Not enough CUMB for you with just one CUMBers senior wisdom? Next, we bring you former CUMB Minister of Propaganda Orli Matlow.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Orli Matlow, GS/JTS, American Studies, Toronto, Canada
Claim to fame: Former CUMB Minister of Propaganda, Spec videos, the Getting Graphic series on Spectrum, Jester standup shows. Lorne Michaels is my mom’s friend’s husband’s first cousin!! I’ll watch your stuff while you go to the bathroom.
Where are you going? Hopefully to be one of the Jews who control the media (Google it!). Oy. Please @HireMeImFunny.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2019?
1. Don’t be so committed to a particular vision of yourself that it prevents you from exploring other opportunities. I arrived here in August 2011 a precocious weenie who called Broadway showtunes “sacred music” and all other songs “secular music.” Freshman year, I thought that theatre was going to be my jam like it was in high school. Not being cast in shows that spring turned out to be a great thing, because I started writing and entered a standup competition on campus (once you start performing your own jokes, Shakespeare and Sondheim can suck it!). I joined both the Marching Band and Spec to write jokes, and those turned out to be my *things*. Had I been fixated on what 17 year-old-me wanted her college experience to be, I never would have figured out what I wanted to do with my life!
2. Go to therapy. It is the best, and there is absolutely no shame in it. Shout out to my bro Dr. M for always being there for me (well, in exchange for money), and to my friends who had to put up with my shit for free.
Whether it is venting to your mom or masturbating (just not at the same time), have an activity that lets you destress, and has nothing to do with your resume or GPA. Prioritize your health and well-being; Sleep deprivation doesn’t make you cool, it makes you vulnerable to heart disease.
3. Laugh (This one will likely get shit in the comments). Oscar Wilde said, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” (Please pardon the cliche use of this quote, I picked up this cheesy writing technique in UWriting.) This place can be awful and weird – #FuckingColumbia – you might as well be in on the joke. It is empowering and cathartic to laugh at things, for other than certain pharmaceuticals, laughter really is the best medicine. This is going to get soapboxy, but when it comes to analyzing jokes, think lawyerly and ask about malicious intent: comedians often have the same end in mind as activists but just go about communicating their message in a different way. College is about being open not only to ideas but also methods of communicache*
*Made that an abbrev in an attempt to sound less pretensh.
“Back in my day…” Columbia was in the news for inappropriate sexual behavior (the prof who did his daughter) and drug busts (Operation Ivy League). So much has changed, eh?
But for real: Comedy shows went on without administrative intervention, Havana Central existed (but the US wasn’t in the process of normalizing relations with Cuba), and people only psychologically projected their problems onto the school.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Frankly, I’m only 21 and don’t feel like I’ve done anything to justify my place on this already overpopulated planet. So, I had to outsource this one to my mom. She writes, “Orli is smart and kind, and the pregnancy was difficult, so she really is our miracle.”
What was your favorite class at Columbia? American Intellectual History with Professor Casey Blake. Turns out “American Intellectual” is not an oxymoron.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese never asks for reciprocation, and what is the Lewinsky without the Mozzarella cheese?
One thing to do before graduating: Get uncomfortable (within safety and reason, of course). Among the most valuable moments for me were the ones in which I was even more anxious than usual. Go to an open mic; Speak up in lecture; Text them first; Try that pizza or kale salad everyone’s talking about on Venmo; Go to a CU GOP meeting (Also, am I using semicolons correctly? I st;ll don;t know;;)
Any regrets? I wish I could be all Katy Perry and say “No regrets, just love,” but I have plenty (of regrets). I regret half-assing classes I could have gotten a lot out of. I regret the times I acted like an asshole just because I was really bored. I regret not graduating with more badass stories beyond “I got super crunk at that mixer with the Penn Band!!” But, even though I’m graduating, I still intend to hold fast to the spirit of youth, and let the beers to come do what they may.