Senior Wisdom: Jacob Rice
Written by Bwog Staff
Claim to Fame? I think I may be the only person to graduate Columbia with a double major in theater and astrophysics, but most people know me as the loud kid who looks kind of like Andy Samberg.
Where are you going? I’m doing a theater marketing fellowship at Berkeley Rep for a year. After that? Probably homelessness.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
- Doing anything cool or challenging will almost always piss off somebody. (And I’ve probably pissed off more than my fair share.) If you obsess over everyone agreeing with you, or even liking you, you’ll go completely crazy. If you dismiss their criticisms, you’ll miss out on a chance to grow. There’s probably a middle ground, but I haven’t found it yet.
- The people who matter to me most now were mostly the ones I found weird or annoying at first. The people who challenge you can be a pain in the ass, but they’re usually the ones who are insightful enough, and who care enough, to teach you something about yourself.
- Most of the time, people are shit. Every once in awhile, they are amazing. No matter how many times you tell yourself both of these facts, people will continue to surprise you with just how horrible and wonderful they can be.
“Back in my day…” The upperclassmen in charge of clubs and student groups knew exactly what to do all the time. Ever since I’ve been one of them, I’ve been waiting to feel like I had even the slightest clue what I was doing. The best I’ve been able to manage is to pretend. I’m starting to suspect they may have been doing the same thing.
Justify your existence in 30 words or less: If I could justify my existence in 30 words or less I would lead a pretty boring existence.
Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? Sophomore year I produced KCST’s Spring Show and we had a huge party that got broken up by the RAs in EC and then, when we moved to an off-campus apartment, by the NYPD. Undaunted, a group of us stormed the steps of Low (where Campus Safety has its offices). One of the security guards came up and pointed out that we were breaking about half a dozen campus rules and state laws, at which point I pulled myself up, still clasping a handle of vodka, walked over to him, and said very calmly “John Murolo (The deputy head of public safety whose name I miraculously managed to remember) said we could be here.” He looked at me suspiciously as the people behind me all nodded sagely and tried to look like they knew where, or who, they were. Then he shrugged and walked off, leaving us to carouse in peace. If that’s not a victory for fun, I don’t know what is.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? No one ever woke up the next morning regretting that they got drunk and bought a delicious wedge of Gouda.
Advice for the class of 2016:
- Columbia is a place with wonderful opportunities and truly spectacular people. It’s also a place with a culture of stress, elitism, self-destructive behavior, and downright cruelty. People have finally started to talk about this problem but you guys are the ones who can fix it.
- Don’t brag about not getting sleep or missing classes. (Why is that a good thing?)
- Don’t try to compete for who can be the most stressed. (We’ve all done it, but if you really think about it, it’s incredibly sick. Would you really want to win?)
- Don’t post malicious anonymous comments on Bwog slandering classmates (or an entire school). (It won’t make you happier, trust me, I’ve tried.)
- Don’t overuse parentheses. (Okay, so not directly relevant, but clearly a problem I’ve had.)
- You are so lucky to be here. You probably killed yourself to get in and now you have access to everything this place has to offer. Plus, now you have four years before they’re going to make you try to be a real person. Life is good. Why would you want to make yourselves miserable?
Any regrets? I regret that I have defined myself by what I do rather than who I am. I regret that who I am so consistently falls short of who I want to be. I regret that I have missed so many opportunities for life-changing friendships because I was too busy or too proud or too stupid to realize how amazing people can be and how much I need them. I regret that I have not told the people I love how much they matter to me every day. I regret that I have spent so much of my time here being a bad friend, a bad boyfriend, a bad leader and even, at times, a bad person. And most of all I regret that I will probably make all of these mistakes again.
Oh, and I still haven’t taken the swim test. That’s pretty stupid.