Senior Wisdom: Cara Buchanan

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A change in tone from past Senior Wisdoms—below, hear from a vocal campus activist.

Name, school: Cara Buchanan, Columbia College

Claim to fame:
Hometown: born & raised in fabulous las vega$
Mom: $tripper
Dad: pimp
Residence: Caesar’s Palace during the week, the Bellagio on weekends

Where are you going?

… off to DC to work on radical health care reform in Congress *where hopefully I will learn that all Congress-people are not aliens*

… then to South America to do environmental health research in the Amazon rainforest

… and finally back to Johns Hopkins University for a post-bac pre-med program before m.e.d.i.c.a.l s.c.h.o.o.l

Three things you learned at Columbia:

1. Agitate. Challenge authority. Never be silenced. Remind Columbia that when they put up a banner up about “neighbors helping neighbors,” they’re still gentrifying colonizing Harlem.

2. Turning off my phone and signing off Gmail for a few hours can bring much peace & clarity.

3. Walking around NYC alone makes me feel alive

“Back in my day…” people bumped into me because they were drunk, not because they were sexting. little kids had no style.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I engage and deconstruct. I love without rules. I know who i want to be – just don’t try asking me what I’m doing more than 2 hours in advance.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories?…there is no war on fun, there’s just people that are too bored and sexually repressed to think of anything else to complain about.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I could get pretty excited about a fellow vegan, experienced, man

Advice for the class of 2015:
Fail a class
Break someone’s heart
Have your heart broken
…adversity introduces a woman to herself
Also – join ROOTEd

Any regrets?
I regret thinking that if I ever wanted to be a doctor I had to be pre-med right now.
I regret thinking that I should never openly discuss intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, class, socioeconomic status, religon or family background.
I regret thinking that all service is good service.
I regret thinking that there was a right path to anything.
* I’m happy to now replace “regret” with “appreciate.”

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  1. BRM

    Cara is a boss. CUE love!

  2. Anonymous

    Fail a class? Are you serious? You have to TRY really hard to fail a class. I don't think it's possible.

  3. regrets

    never making a move on cara buchanan

  4. war on fun

    definitely exists. nyc is great, but how are freshman and sophomores to make friends in the first place without being on campus for some of those years? and why should someone have to leave campus to have fun? plus not everyone has or wants to have a 21+ id.

    the fact that we live in nyc should not excuse campus from being an amazing place to hang out in its own right

  5. Anonymous

    This was the most irritating Senior Wisdom yet.

  6. i love this girl

    she's my soul mate. the use of money signs, her war on fun answer. marry me please?

  7. you know what  

    the only good bug is a dead bug.

  8. Anonymous

    I really appreciate the creative use of punctuation, the advice straight out of a thirteen-year-old's AIM profile, and the heavy-handed footnote.

    *I'm now happy to replace "appreciate" with "do not appreciate."

  9. Anonymous

    you've never had a real science/math course

  10. Anonymous

    Loved this Senior Wisdom!

  11. Anonymous

    a vegan off to save the rainforest who wants to sit around and talk about privilege, power, and political treatment? if I wanted to go to NYU, I would've stopped waxing and self-lobotomized first.

  12. Anonymous

    lose the fake tan dear

    • Anonymous

      It's not fake. Bitch about her if you want (kind of an annoying wisdom even though the real Cara is one of the nicest, BEST people around) but don't let her last name fool you; she's mocha.

  13. Ugh

    So, a representative of Columbia's ever-whining "activists" demonstrates her complete stupidity. Ironic or not, this is pitiful.

  14. Hahaha

    "Remind Columbia that when they put up a banner up about “neighbors helping neighbors,” they’re still gentrifying colonizing Harlem."

    Do you actually expect people to take you seriously? Did I miss the joke? Oh, wait. You are the joke.

    • I'm sorry

      but this is kind of sad. What are you gaining from reflexively supporting the Columbia administration? Or do you actually think Prezbo gives a shit about Harlem?

  15. Anonymous

    it doesn't matter. She's totally hot and it works for her.

  16. Anonymous

    There's fun stuff to do that DOESN'T require you to be 21. Plenty of people know how to have fun without needing to be drunk.

  17. Anonymous

    this girl is so annoying. worst senior wisdom yet.

  18. Anonymous

    I really get annoyed by people who patronize me about how I shouldn't complain about a "war on fun" because this is NYC and there's so much to do. Part of the college experience is actually having fun with your friends on campus, in dorms, wherever - and yes, including drunk fun. And while I don't know what kind of fun she's having, my experience tells me that usually going out in NYC will result in much more expensive days and nights out than partying on campus. (Then again, maybe it's quite cheap if she's walking around NYC alone.)

    Also, I think a corollary to her "challenge authority" is that we should also challenge anti-authority - that is, don't take the agitators at their word, either. Columbia's expansion and the cultural history of Harlem are issues with just enough complexity that reducing it to "colonizing Harlem" does no one any favors.

    Finally - and I hate to be that guy that gives advice to 2015 without being a Senior, but - to 2015: don't fail a class. It's not worth it.

  19. CC11

    Cara Buchanan was one of the first people I met at Columbia, and my life has been worlds better for it. Thanks for the love, hon, and don't let haters get you down. They're jealous they don't have your Vegas pole-dancing skills.

  20. truth

    cara speaks the truth. thanks, i wish i'd met you.

  21. Amazing Woman

    Cara is incredible - so passionate, driven and thoughtful. I'm truly blessed to have known her for the last three years. <3

  22. Wait. Wait.  

    Is your dad actually a pimp? And is your mom really a stripper?

  23. Worst senior wisdom

    I don't know this girl so maybe she's a good person, but this is the most annoying senior wisdom. I don't know which is worse: her thinking that having pimp/stripper parents is funny, her decision to separate letters with periods, or her ridiculous need to rebel against absolutely everything (don't eat meat, fail a class, no war on fun, don't be pre-med, spend money you don't have on post-bac instead, etc.).

    I have two pieces of advice for her: 1 - learn a little more about who -you- are beneath all these trends you subscribe to and 2 - don't try so hard to be funny.

    • isn't the "it's okay to be post-bac

      (even when you're barely 'post')" thing is SO annoying. just perfectly characteristic of that don't have to take care of myself/ wannabe-alternative/ all with the financial backing of my parents attitude. i hope she has fun on her road-less-traveled while the rest of us necessarily grow up.

  24. sigh - this is for the haters

    the bwog comments section is often barely different from the comments section on a Yahoo! (or similar news site) article on LBGTQ rights. that is to say - extremely hateful.

    i'm not sure why individuals feel so inclined to blast senior wisdoms -- this is Cara's senior wisdom; it's what worked for her/what she's learned, and you might identify with yourself, maybe now or two years down the line. but let's be clear -- she really didn't write this FOR YOU. why are you upset with her reflection of her experience? especially if you've never met her? (i'm sure the most spiteful commenters have never met Cara, or the person behind any other senior wisdoms they've hated on.)

    you think senior wisdoms are about you -- they're not. this is about the senior who wrote it, about their time here, and this space they have to give voice to the past four years of their life.

    when you insult her wisdom, you insult her time here, and in this sense, Cara herself. it's extremely rude. i'm hoping that Cara's reading all the bullshit and is like "mannn FUCK all y'all" instead of letting your words sting her. this woman is clearly on her way to big things, you all clearly aren't her friends, she definitely does not need you in her life, and she will leave all of you in the dust.

    Cara, go girl. You've graduated. F--- this.

    • this is for all the narcissists

      If you make public pronouncements, be willing to see them tossed around in the court of public opinion. Them's the breaks.

      There's an old saying... better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

      • sigh

        this is the advice she gave (read: what is actually up for scrutiny) --

        "Fail a class
        Break someone’s heart
        Have your heart broken
        …adversity introduces a woman to herself
        Also – join ROOTEd"

        why are people telling her to grow up? why are people talking about her "fake tan"? why are people getting all huffed about everything else in her senior wisdom?

        it's not narcissism, it just is what it is. this is CARA's senior wisdom, not yours or anyone else's.

        if you don't like it, stfu. that is all. since you're so into sayings -- "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all."

  25. Anonymous

    you just revealed your privilege and your ignorance with you comment. just because you are so lucky to have nothing to fight for doesn't mean that everyone who does is just whining. you clearly live a sad existence if you can't appreciate activism/critical social engagement.

    • oops

      the above comment was supposed to be in response to ugh's comment, "So, a representative of Columbia’s ever-whining “activists” demonstrates her complete stupidity. Ironic or not, this is pitiful."

  26. Anonymous

    Are you being mean cuz it's summer and you have no meaning to your life now that Butler and Milano Market are closed. This is a human being. Go count your money, or whip the willy, or whatever it is you do in your \spare time.\

    But please take a seat and stopping blocking my view because CARA BUCHANAN KICKS ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

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