Spectrum | Mar. 30 5:00 pm EST
welcome 2015

Welcome Class of 2015! (Here’s some advice)

Courtesy of Columbia University

Congratulations Class of 2015, you’re one of 6.9 percent of 34,929 applicants to get in! I can’t wait to meet you already. You have no idea what’s in store for you here. Take everything you thought you knew about Columbia, college, and yourself—then throw it out the window. Done? Good. You are now ready to pay the deposit that will seal your destiny… forever!

I want to offer you some advice. First of all, come! I know some of you reading this are probably stuck between our school and a bunch of some other prestigious pretentious schools. Now Columbia is not a perfect school (those smiling people playing Frisbee on the lawns in the Blue Album are probably actors), but overall, Columbians are all a truly passionate, genuine, inspiring, amazing, tough, and fun group of people. Our school will push you, challenge you, excite you, and take you places you would never have predicted. You won’t regret meeting us, and we can’t wait to meet you.

I realized I haven’t introduced myself. My name’s Wilfred. I’m a sophomore at Columbia. On my SATs, I scored a – oh wait, we’re in college now; nobody cares about the SATs again, EVER. The sooner you get over how “cool” or “successful” you were in high school, the better. The key to enjoying Columbia and making friends is to be humble and to show genuine appreciation for all the other truly amazing people here. Bring with you an open, positive attitude, and you will have the time of your life.

More advice: Come to Columbia ready to try as many new things as you can. Our school offers an imaginably mind-boggling array of opportunities and choices, and it’s awesome. There are some of you who might be thinking, “I’m definitely studying southeast African pre-colonial anthropological economics” or “I signed up for Columbia because I am getting a career in investment banking/organic chemistry/drug dealing/insert passion here.” Nonono. Don’t let your whole life direction be determined by the whims of a 17 or 18 year old who has only been to high school. I mean, don’t get me wrong—whatever you’re super interested in, keep doing it, but don’t limit yourself. There’s so much here to explore.

Some practical tips now: Use Culpa to browse professor ratings. Use Columbia’s Course Directory to pick out some classes you’re interested in (but have lots of backup plans; first-years get the lowest priority). WikiCU will tell you all you need to know about… everything. Finally, read Spectrum right here, every day—if you haven’t already been. We’ll tell you about campus life, food, events, and most importantly for you right now—housing (Carman is the best). Definitely sign up for a pre-orientation program (COOP or CUE) if you can, as it’s a great way to make friends. Come to Days on Campus.

Finally, take a deep breath, and relax. You did it. It won’t be long before you’re relaxing on a warm fall night on the Low Library steps, next to new friends. The city will be at your fingertips, every night, and you will simply grow so much as a person in ways that no other university in the world can offer. For now, enjoy your blissful senior summer and do all those things you’ve always wanted to do. We’ll see you in the fall.

Oh right. One last thing. Break up with that high school girlfriend or boyfriend. Seriously. It ain’t worth it. Skype sex is just awkward.

Wilfred Chan is a Daily Editor for Spectrum. Feel free to contact him with any questions about Columbia life at wwc2109@columbia.edu

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COMMENTS (26)

  1. Phil Kessel • March 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm • Reply

    More practical advice: Dont’ come to Columbia. This place sucks.

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  2. Amanda C. • March 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm • Reply

    Come to Columbia, this place is awesome.

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  3. LDR-er • March 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm • Reply

    hey now, skype sex can be underated; also, the sex is just better when you see them again. just sayin’.

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    • Seconded • March 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm • Reply

      .

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      • Jairo • May 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm •

        mujhe aashchrya nahi huaa..maine pesorakhn ko jaj ke samne moti rakam ghus me lete huye dekha hai manchahi tarikh dene ke liye.yahi to hamare desh ki pahchan hai.VA:F [1.9.16_1159](from 0 votes)

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    • Thirded • March 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm • Reply

      yeah

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      • Fourthed • April 1, 2011 at 11:55 am •

        Do what you want, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

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  4. Only • March 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm • Reply

    come to columbia if you’re an attractive male. we need more of those because a) the ratio of men to women is ridiculously high and b) the ratio of ugly men to sex gods is also ridiculously high.

    Male:female approx. 1:5

    Ugly men: sex gods 10:1

    do you see the dilemma? and for the record i am neither ugly nor sex-deprived in the slightest (wink wink YEA BABY) but the lack of eye candy around here is just depressing.

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    • What • March 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm • Reply

      Don’t you mean the ratio of men to women is ridiculously low?

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  5. FBV • March 30, 2011 at 6:49 pm • Reply

    Great post Wilfred! Welcome 2015: we’re so happy to have you!!!

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  6. Block • March 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm • Reply

    Carman is not the best, it depends on what you want in a dorm. Also, you won’t be sitting on Low Steps “Enjoying” the glimmer of the New York Skyline, you can barely see any of the skyline, if at all from Low Steps.

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    • Wilfred Chan STAFF • March 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm • Reply

      Nope, Carman is definitely the best. :) And fair enough about not being able to see the skyline.. but you can still see the glimmer!

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  7. Anonymous • March 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm • Reply

    carman was the worst decision of my life. social dorm doesn’t always = best dorm.

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  8. Don't go to Carman. • March 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm • Reply

    Live in the LLC, where you’ll actually make real friends, not just drinking buddies!

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  9. Wilfred Chan STAFF • March 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm • Reply

    To be fair, my comments about Carman being the best are more or less tongue in cheek (as is our music video). What Block said is right, it does depend on what you want in a dorm. For a different take on the freshman dorms (aka less positive about Carman), check out this great Bwog article from 2007: http://bwog.com/2007/08/28/first-year-dorms-a-play-by-play/

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  10. cc'13 • March 30, 2011 at 8:54 pm • Reply

    go for john jay. best decision of my freshman year.

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  11. cc '12 • March 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm • Reply

    agreed about John Jay. perfect balance between LLC (kind of quiet and often weird, depending on your suitemates) and Carman (crazy sloppy drunkenness). just social.

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  12. CC'14 • March 30, 2011 at 10:08 pm • Reply

    love john jay……not anti-social as some claim…and I have my own space when I need it

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  13. advice • March 31, 2011 at 12:45 am • Reply

    Get Carman, then kick out your roommate and enjoy a dingle for the rest of the year. And amazing bathroom ratio!

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  14. Beware • March 31, 2011 at 10:35 am • Reply

    of everyone who glorifies the LLC. I had an awful time there as a first-year – all my floormates were sophomores minding their own business or VERY awkward freshmen. Though some LLC floors are indeed tight. It’s hit-or-miss.

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  15. Chris Canales • March 31, 2011 at 12:06 pm • Reply

    I’m a frosh RA, and I can’t wait to find out who will be on my floor (John Jay 11!).

    Oh…and Wilfred….good job.

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  16. CC '09 • March 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm • Reply

    LLC love

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  17. CC '13 • April 1, 2011 at 5:34 am • Reply

    What awful advice, Wilfred. Let prefrosh decide for themselves if sticking with their high school boy/girlfriend is worth it. It’s true that most couples break up but some don’t… I’m still with mine and very happy.

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  18. CC '14 • April 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm • Reply

    Having lived in the LLC my Freshman year I can say definitively that the LLC is the worst housing that a Freshman can possibly choose. I’d suggest John Jay but if you like drinking all day and not doing well in school carman is nice too.

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