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Senior Wisdom: Marissa Tremblay

Name, Hometown, School, Major: Marissa Tremblay, Cow Hampshire, Barnard ’12. Everyone says, “you’re that girl majoring in geology at Barnard, right?” But I’m technically an Enviro Sci major.

Claim to fame? People thought it was pretty cool when I came back from a semester sailing from Hawaii to Tahiti with a shaved head (a small part of the hazing tradition associated with crossing the equator). I also email thousands of people from the Columbia community on a regular basis as president of the CU Hiking Club.

Where are you going? BARKALAY!!! For some reason, I say it that way in my head every time. It sounds remotely similar to this. Translation: I’m starting my Ph.D. in geochemistry at Cal this fall.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Having a regular sleep schedule is really important! If you had class with me freshman and sophomore year, you likely observed me sleeping in ~75% of lectures. Junior year, I started being more productive during the daylight hours, going to bed earlier, and waking up at the same time instead of 1/2 hour before my first class. And guess what? I’ve stayed awake in 97% of lectures since!
  2. Life at this institution was so much more enriched once my social circle extended beyond the undergraduate population. Professors, graduate students, and staff have been an integral part of my non-academic experience here. They have helped me become mature(ish) and imparted great wisdom. Thanks!
  3. The words tipi, tepee, and teepee all refer to conical tents used by Native Americans of the Great Plains. And they are all pronounced the same way.

“Back in my day…” you could not walk from one end of Barnard’s campus to the other without going underground. La Negrita had the best trivia night in town on Tuesday nights during the summer. La Negrita existed.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: I cannot physically frown. I’ve tried veryvery hard, but my face must lack those muscles. I think this means that, deep down, I probably have a happy soul.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? The loud parties, public consumption, and rooftop excursions I enjoyed this year were not sanctioned. Maybe the war is over? Or maybe our fun has just grown more discrete?

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I consumed far too much Kraft mac & cheese when it was on sale at Westside for 2/$3 for over a year.

Advice to the class of 2016:

  • You may feel out of place when you first get here. I certainly did; I was sheltered, I was boring, and I was pretty uninspired. Wearing a bright green fleece all of the time didn’t help either. Most of that will change, in due time. But don’t work too hard or force it to fit in. Do what feels right and what makes you happy. That’s what I did. I still wear the fleece (it helps people find me in a crowd), but I am a much more confident and passionate person than I was when I got here.
  • Spend a summer living in New York! It’s a completely different experience from being a student here during the semester. Try and spend a summer in another part of the country/world as well. It helps give you perspective on your life in NYC.
  • This is specific to incoming (and current) Barnard students: don’t treat the lab science requirement like a death wish! Seriously. Barnard students want to become the women leaders of the twenty-first century, but they need to remember that, well, we are in the twenty-first century, and that our everyday existence is heavily rooted in science and technology. Embrace it!!!

Any regrets? I REALLLLY wanted to be a beatboxer in an a capella group. But I never auditioned. I also never learned how to beatbox…

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous solid advice

  • the first piece of advice says:

    @the first piece of advice is spot on. i’m just a sophomore and i am already seeing the truth in that paragraph. marissa, you could not have said it better. VIVA LOS WEIRDOS

  • Ale says:

    @Ale You will always be my science hero! Can’t say how much I’m going to miss you. Still hoping some day my life will somehow morph into yours – YOU ARE THE COOLEST.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I have never commented on a Senior Wisdom and AHH I have never had the privilege of meeting you, fellow Barnard colleague, but damn, I must say I think we would get along great together. Wonderful person, congratulations on your graduation! And as a lady in a rehab center wearing her bedsheets as a turban once said to me, “Your good-hearted spirit will be a force of good for the world!” Her words, I now say to you. :-)

    P.S. Can you tell us more about your interest in the geochemsitry field? Is there a specific point or range of inquiry that is driving your work? If so, what is it??? Please, tell me more wisdom!!!

  • bjw2119 says:

    @bjw2119 Wait, why have we never met/been green fleece buddies?

  • Bison says:

    @Bison Eh. She’s ok.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Marissa Tremblay is wonderful

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This girl managed to major in “having fun”. I swear. Of course she can’t frown. Best of luck with everything!

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