Our next December Senior Wisdom is from Annie Bryan, who has published a lot of writing during her time at Columbia (including a book, a play, and some pieces for Spec).
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Annie Bryan, Columbia College, Creative Writing, Vienna, VA
Claim to Fame: The boring stuff is that I published a book, published a play, and interned in newsrooms a lot. But more interestingly, I got the Spectator in a 3-year-long legal battle with Columbia Administration for a piece I wrote freshman year. The court dismissed it, twice.
Where are you going? I’m starting a job in January writing and editing for The Skimm, whose office is down in the Flatiron district. And I’m moving allllll the wayyyyy to a new apartment… a block away from campus. I chose to live near campus so that I can still live out some semblance of a senior spring while working in the city… so please keep inviting me to stuff?
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021? At Columbia I learned that I’m super gay, the sell-outs get ugly (from exhaustion) shortly after they graduate, and that I have absolutely nothing to prove. The latter is the part I’d actually want to impart on underclassmen. No achievement is ever going to make you finally feel whole, which is a seemingly simple concept that’s easy to lose sight of in this environment. Even if you haven’t really failed yet in life– which is true for plenty of first-year Columbians when they get here– it will happen eventually. You have to figure out how to change your self worth metrics so you don’t end up losing your sense of identity when sh*t goes wrong.
Back in my day… Cannons. That is all.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: WTF is this question? My existence matters no matter what I put here. That’s the whole point of my ~wisdom~ parting advice, after all.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? My favorite class at Columbia was Theatre Traditions in Global Context with Shayoni Mitra. I didn’t expect it, because I just took to fulfill a global core requirement. It taught me so much about story-telling, and more importantly, learning different types of dance got me to loosen me up a lot during the school day and forced me to make a total fool of myself. It was a blast.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? …… cheese always wins……
One thing to do before graduating: Slap a dude across the face on Amsterdam for calling your friends misogynistic, homophobic slurs. If he’s wearing a Vineyard Vines shirt, do it twice. ;)
Any regrets? I regret ever having the freshman-year-insecurities I (thankfully) outgrew. I didn’t know I deserved to treat myself with more respect, and I’m sure I’ll say the same about my current insecurities in 1o years. I probably couldn’t have known any better at the time, but I wish I’d been more gentle with myself.