Senior Wisdom: Rebecca Newman

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Name, Hometown, School, Major: Rebecca Newman, Greenwich, CT, Barnard College, Economics

Claim to Fame: President of Columbia Women’s Business Society, possessor of an alter-ego with her own name, and known to many as “that girl that’s in Theta, but not.”

Where are you going? Austin, TX to sail for Columbia at college sailing nationals, Southeast Asia for a month of backpacking, then back to NYC to begin my completely original, not-at-all-sellout, two-year analyst stint at JPMorgan. Hopefully by then I can convince myself that it’s still possible to have fun after college.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Club sports saves lives.
  2. Avoiding Butler like the plague during midterms and finals can make you a much, much saner person. There is nothing wrong with going to a library that has more open seats, fewer people having panic attacks, and closes, thereby forcing you to go to sleep.
  3. Don’t be afraid to take huge leaps of faith when making life-changing decisions. I decided to transfer to Barnard from the University of Wisconsin in a week. I couldn’t have picked a more drastically different school or a worse time to transfer and I risked multiple relationships by making the switch, but my life has been unquestionably better because of it.

“Back in my day…” The Diana was brand new and exclusively called the Vag, the Heights was always fun, and Mike Wetherbee was the most important man on campus.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: I’m probably the only person who thinks Columbia is more fun than a Big 10 party school. Also, I started my admissions essay with the quote, “EAT SHIT! FUCK YOU!”

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? From my experience, it doesn’t even seem like the administration is fighting the war anymore, but there are definitely students on either side. If the party next door is too loud at 11:30pm on a Friday night, don’t complain. That is your signal to call your friends and go out. Or better yet, invite yourself over. Your neighbors sound fun.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Life without either seems pretty bleak, but I can obtain the absolute best quality cheese, at any hour of the day, whenever the mood strikes. The same cannot be said for oral sex. For now, I’m sticking with the cheese.

Advice for the class of 2016:

  • Don’t buy into the culture of competing for who is the most studious, miserable or sleep-deprived. It will be almost impossible to avoid, but you’ll be a happier person for it. Plus, no one really cares how many hours you spent in the library and talking about how much you study does not make you a more knowledgeable or interesting person.
  • Overextend yourself. That one semester when you are on multiple club executive boards, have two part-time internships, five classes and a club sport will absolutely drive you crazy but it will be so worth it. Not only will you find out what your limit is, but you will accomplish more than you ever thought possible while taking advantage of all the things you came here for. And you’ll probably get your highest semester GPA too.
  • Make a friend in every school. Accept the fact that Columbia is a diverse community and let go of any stereotypes or prejudices you may have. You can learn so much from all the different students who share this campus – don’t let that opportunity go to waste.
  • If you hit a rut, join a new club and commit yourself to it for some time. Getting involved in something new is the best way to turn your time around at Columbia.
  • If it ever bothers you that Columbia is not a “traditional” college in any sense of the word, choose instead to celebrate its quirks and oddities and it will be impossible not to love going to school here.

Any regrets? Never having a marg with Anna, not making time to do all of my readings, and ever skipping sailing practice. Other than that, none at all. These have absolutely been the best years of my life and I am unbelievably sad to be leaving.

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  1. Huh

    You know what's funny about Senior Wisdoms?

    A lot of people who've never had oral sex pretending to be connoisseurs.

  2. Anonymous  

    I like this one. Simple and genuine, not overloaded with inside jokes and attempts to seem hip.

  3. I LOVE YOU  

    don't leave this school.
    <3 Sarah

  4. Anonymous

    I think you rotarized the shit out of this senior wisdom!! <3 <3 <3

  5. anom

    Finally, a graduating senior who has a good start at a high paying career. Not one of the other senior wisdom students has anything that will help pay the student loans.


      She admits to being a sell-out...ARE YOU GODDAMN SERIOUS??? The other people doing senior wisdom may not be going into "a high paying career," but at least they can be proud of what they're doing, following their dreams, not just following the smell of cash!!!


      • Anonymous  

        What if your passion is to not live with horrible debt?

        Not all of our parents can afford to finance 4 years of Ivy League tuition plus a stint in grad school. I came to Columbia, loved the Core, studied what I was interested in, and will now go on to a job that will help pay off debt and hopefully support a family some day. Throwing yourself into the wind is for movies and independently rich people. Some of us still have a bit more ladder to climb.

        Also, it's completely possible to be a well-rounded, interesting person while working a regular 9-5,6,7,8 job in finance or consulting. The difference, is that then you have a whole lot more freedom (financially) to pour yourself into passions.

      • The Dark Hand

        >Getting this mad at Bwog comments

        someone of your lowly intelligence is probably better off reading the Spec.

      • Fellow sell-out  

        Perhaps I'm just trying to rationalize this for myself, but I don't think that accepting a two- or three-year program at a bank (or consulting firm, or law firm, or any of the other "sell-out"-y jobs people take after graduation) necessarily means a person has abandoned their passions and is just "following the smell of cash."

        The reason why I, and I suspect many other students like me (idealistic students warily entering the corporate world), take these jobs is to improve our agency to do what we actually care about in five years-- whether that means work in government, education, non-profits, start-ups, or something else. I think it can be a rational choice to take a few years working at a job primarily for its instrumental rather than intrinsic value, especially if it expands your future opportunities to do good things. For many of these jobs, exit opportunities are a far bigger draw than compensation.

        That being said, if I'm still working my corporate job in five years, please do call me a sell-out.

    • v118  

      niamh o'brien would be proud!

  6. Huh??  

    I like this one, but I find it funny how "don't compete over your commitment" and "overextend yourself" are right next to each other. Maybe they're not mutually exclusive, but don't they send opposite message?

  7. Anonymous

    This bitch thinks she is street smart.

  8. Anonymous  

    And you’ll probably get your highest semester GPA too.

    Yeah, no. It'll be your lowest.

  9. Anonymous  

    "I can obtain the absolute best quality cheese, at any hour of the day, whenever the mood strikes."

    ahh, privilege.

  10. cwbs member  

    love her so much!

  11. Anonymous  

    Love her and will miss her, even if she loves sailing team more than Skiteam.

  12. Anonymous  

    This senior wisdom might be the honkiest thing ever, from Greenwich to sailing to JP Morgan to the tales of pleasant treatment at the NYPD's hands. I'm embarrassed to be a privileged white kid.

    • Anonymous  

      Actually, commenting on bwog is the honkiest thing ever, you catty jackass

    • Anonymous  

      if you're so embarassed maybe you should take a look at yourself instead of shitting on a smart, successful girl like rebecca. clearly you need some self-reflection before you can comment on others' ways of life. if you're embarassed for yourself then so be it, but grow up a little. jeez.

  13. don't like to judge ppl i don't know  

    but wow this girl sounds super bland

  14. stopped and frisked  


    she gets out of trouble with NYPD because she is a pretty, white girl!!

  15. Anonymous  

    hmm barnard girl president of "columbia women's business society"

  16. Anonymous  

    Met her once. I thought she'd be a power woman (since she was the president of CWIB). Instead, I quickly discovered her to be painfully underwhelming and bland. Nice and giggly, but honestly she's really not made for the world of finance. I predict she'll be a housewife in two years...Just sayin it like it is sugar!

    • CC12

      I hope you're not graduating, because if you come out of college not getting why using "housewife" and "sugar" as pejoratives is an assy thing to do, then Columbia has failed.

      • Anonymous  

        Owww..did I hit a nerve with you, sugar? I like that you're graduating and you still consider "assy" to be acceptable. Columbia (or Barnard perhaps) has clearly done its job for you! Ha

        • Anonymous  

          "Ha" ?? i hope you realize how utterly asinine you just made yourself out to be. the immaturity of your gloating over bwog comment is rather pathetic. also your comment on becoming a "housewife"... really? you're going to pull out one of the most cliched stereotypes of all time to purge yourself of the urge to lash out at perceived bourgeois success? criticisms like yours only stem from bitter souls. have fun fuming at the world.

    • Anonymous

      No actually, she is as ditzy and boring as everyone is making her out to be. But a GREAT social climber, so yeah, rich housewife in 2 years

  17. Please  

    PLEASE do not overextend yourself. For the sake of your sanity and other people's as well.
    We need people who are committed to what they're passionate about.
    Not people with a zillion things on their resumes. It takes time and deep reflection to be sure that you gave something your all.
    This is the worst advice ever.

  18. Cmon Guys  

    stop the hate. She seems incredibly healthy and balanced, and has probably never left the kind of mean/troll comments that all you miserable, unbalanced people in butler are currently leaving

  19. Anonymous  

    How did she get a job at JP? She's not very smart at all...

  20. cwbs  

    yep getting taken over by the over zealous barnard girls

  21. Definitely  

    very giggly and ditzy. Another pretty white girl in finance who will probably burn out from the hard work and find another privileged well connected gig or get married. Bore.

    • ITS FUNNY  

      how everyone is who is making fun of rebecca for being "white" and "pretty" and "blond" are actually the ones being shallow. I'm sure you guys are all really deep and sensitive and never indulge in stereotypes

  22. Anonymous

    I know Rebecca from a class that I took with her. She is so nice and so fun to be around. I think I have secretly had a crush on her all year. I think we are hearing a lot of jealousy in the comments. Rebecca is beautiful, happy and smart and a joy to be with. I wish her all the best and I only wish I had the opportunity to get to know her better.

  23. Anonymous  

    Guys Rebecca is the complete opposite of these comments. I am not a close friend but I know her well enough. The work she put in for the Women's Business summit in low is testament enough to her character. Why do we need to spoil what should be a celebration of diversity on our campus?

  24. Anonymous

    yeah i've met her. a lot of these comments are actually pretty on point--she's privileged, hungry, and ditzy. nothing more..

    • Katie  

      Being blond and beautiful doesn't make you ditzy. It makes you blond and beautiful. You don't know someone because you met them once or know where they grew up. Rebecca is wonderful, smart, and down to earth. Follow her lead, and get the most out of your time here and wherever else you go.

    • Katie  

      Also, at least Rebecca has the courage to speak her mind without hiding behind an anonymous comment.

  25. Anonymous  

    ...Because there's something terribly wrong with being pretty and successful?
    Rebecca is awesome. Haters gonna hate.

  26. Anonymous  

    She is a really inspirational and wonderful woman. Congrats on graduation and good luck at JP. You're going to be great. Thank you for organizing a wonderful conference this year. I really loved it.

    It is sad that so many people can't be happy for our peer's accomplishments. The hate at our school deeply saddens me.

  27. Anonymous

    Columbia students are funny. They say that diversity and acceptance are important, but they have a lot of trouble with blond haired blue eyed pretty girls. This is especially true if they are WASPIsh. I am ver familiar with this, because my gf is a Columbia girl who is a happy, pretty girl who happens to be from a well to do WASP family. She has had to put-up with nasty remarks from fellow students. Typically, the abuse comes from other girls.

    The comments on this senior wisdom are a disgrace. We have some bitter and jealous students here. Also, we have mean know that Rebecca is reading these comments! I know Rebecca from class and she is great. She is a lovely girl who brings sunshine and happiness into the classroom with her smile.

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