Senior Wisdom: Ryan Mandelbaum

Written by


Ryan Mandelbaum

Listen up, seniors: it’s your Class Prez!

Name, Hometown, School: Ryan “_________” Mandelbaum, Cedarhurst, New York, Columbia College

Claim to fame? I’m “the fat one in the Carman video,” “the study guide guy,” “the email guy,” and “the sweater guy.” You may have seen me standing on a canoe in the Delaware River or on the radiator at your EC party. I may be the future recipient of a nobel prize for having no hand in the recent discovery of a new particle.

Where are you going? I’m moving to Madison, WI to work for Epic Systems, which I can hopefully leverage on my resume to get a record deal rapping for Epic Records. In my opinion, Wisconsin happens to be the only state where “Oral sex or cheese?” is a valid, fair question.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. There is nothing more attractive than self-confidence. I mean, how do you expect other people to like you when you don’t even like yourself? At the same time, it doesn’t take too much to become overly concerned with youself, to the point that you completely forget about all of the amazing people and things going on around you. Love yourself and everyone else equally – that’s how you build a community.
  2. Some of the nicest people here are the people who work here. Carman Mike, EC Mike, Wilma, Rody, Pericles, JJ’s Charlie, and Claremont Maria made every day here better for me. Treat them nice, and really, if you don’t get to know them and ask them their story, you’re seriously missing out.
  3. Give everyone a chance, even the weird, overweight freshman who showed up to his first class in a hat with panda ears on it and shearling lined crocs. Some of your classmates are going to, or have already done amazing things.

Back in my day… You could get a hot dog from a vending machine in Ferris, watch your friends’ band play in the tunnels, and not only could you get a spicy special at all, but it only cost four bucks. Laypeople people called the Diana the Vag (It’s short for Vagelos) and it was called “Frontiers,” not “Frosci.” “Community” really only referred to the restaurant across the street, and it was perfectly valid and respectable to spend your Thursday nights drunk in JJ’s. You didn’t even need to swipe in and you could buy yourself a lunchables from behind the counter.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Quick back of the envelope: I’ve sent 80 class emails, each with four three-minute YouTube videos. Assuming 400 people watch them all, I’ve wasted 9 months of CC 2013’s time.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: To the CC Class of ’13: Every class has a “stereotype” about them. Maybe they’re especially hip, nerdy, international or something. The Class of ‘13’s stereotype is “Goes H.A.M.”

Class of ’14 be warned, you have a whooole lot to live up to. We doubled the capacity of the party space at every single Lerner Pub.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Imagine the increase in the general physical health of the human population in a world without cheese. Think about how attractive and healthy everyone would be, and how exciting and great the oral sex would be. Now imagine the drastic decrease in the general psychological health of the human population in a world without oral sex, all smelly and out of shape because they have nothing but cheese to fulfill their carnal desires.

Ladies, gentlemen, etc, the answer is obvious.

One thing to do before graduating: Find a way to party with LeBron James and your best friend. You won’t be disappointed (he’s much taller in person), and Jay-Z’s manager might call you “Beastie Boy.”

And maybe something more attainable: Do something fun and crazy without thinking about your schoolwork at all. For example: go see your favorite DJ with your favorite person the night before a 9AM final exam. Pay close attention to how little it affects your grade.

Any regrets? There are some people I wish I had met much earlier in my college career, others I wish I’d have been able to spend more time with while I was here. Other than that, no, none at all.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


  1. J̶J̶1̶1̶ ̶4̶ ̶L̶y̶f̶e̶ James Bennett  

    This wisdom right here. this, like come on. what a wise guy. so wise.

  2. Anon  

    WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!! Stay with us 4ever

    - Columbia University

  3. Perfectly Round Head  

    Ryan, I wish we spent more time together. Come on spring trip. xoxo

  4. YES  

    Please start doing Security Guard Wisdom. Carman Mike is hands-down one of the most fantastic people I've encountered here.

  5. Aww  

    Mandelbaum, imma miss you. You were one of the first people I met on this campus that made me think "Yeah, I'm gonna have a good time at Columbia". You've made me feel included everywhere over the past couple years, and I'm going to miss seeing you around. Have a wonderful life, and please visit often!

  6. CC13  

    Because you were about to google Carman Forever anyway:


  7. Hail  

    To the Mother Fucking Chief.

  8. Anonymous  

    it's Franklyn

  9. Anonymous

    I'd actually say that doubling the capacity for Lerner Pub indicates that a lot of CC'13 has nothing better to do on a Thursday night

  10. Anonymous

    You make my dingle tingle

  11. hey Ryan  

    you give me a swellie

  12. Anonymous  

    still no senior wisdom from the dark hand. disappointed bwog. maybe columbia lion will publish one.

    • Anonymous  

      pretty sure he's c/o 2014

    • The Dark Hand  

      The columbia Lion is corrupt too. ONLY SPECSUCKS is the last bastion of journalistic integrity.

    • Former_TDH_Roommate

      I've known TDH since Day 1 at Columbia freshman year and I assure you he has no advice to offer other than "troll interwebz lol" ... I kid, I kid. He's a cool guy, I'd like to hear what he has to say.

      • Nick  

        It's ultimately up to Bwog, since I don't feel strongly about me personally getting a senior wisdom.

        At the risk of sounding butthurt I will say what does rub me the wrong way is that there has been exactly one senior wisdom from SEAS (and he was a Bwog staffer,) which is a group that makes up ~20% of the class of '13. This reflects badly upon us as a self-proclaimed progressive community that claims to value, among other things, diversity of thought. Or it just reflects badly on SEAS for failing to nominate each other BUT I know for a fact that people have nominated me.

        Also Ryan, if I remember correctly, is the first natural sciences major senior wisdom so props for that (sorry Comp Sci, your major is really interesting and really tough but not /really/ science). I got nothing but love for liberal arts majors and the rest of you extroverts truly, but I still think it would be great if you would mix it up a little more Bwog, rather than falling into your little self-aggrandizing circlejerk.

        I don't know why I'm bothering to type this shit out since it's not like anything meaningful ever came out of Bwog comment sections lol #specsucks

  13. Anonymous  

    I hate this kid

  14. i feel like  

    Ryan hates fat people or something

  15. guys  

    I just pooped my pants. Can someone help me out?

  16. i don't often comment on bwog, but...  

    what a genuinely good person, through and through.

  17. Madisonian  

    Madison's great!! Live downtown, though.

  18. eva  


    also xandarg made a pretty funny joke during your speech at senior dinner "in the hall of the mandleking" HA HA HA


  19. Tell me more  

    about this hot dog vending machine. Were they warm? Did the shame cost extra?

  20. Anonymous

    Great wisdoms. Thanks for the nod to the people who work at Columbia

  21. whatthecat  

    Can I just say, this kid is suprisingly sweet. You'd think he'd be a pompous douche because he's so involved and motivated and he sends like a million emails, but he's really great. Really easy to talk to, and with a big heart.

  22. Steve C.  

    Thanks for being super chill and super committed to making this school a more livable place for everyone from day 1.

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.