For the class of 2016 (and the rest of Columbia), we present the Freshman 15, a series of posts that will offer some guides to life at Columbia, catch you up on news you’ve missed, and let us get to know some of the interesting incoming faces. Today, we hear from one incoming first-year on his thoughts about coming to Columbia.
It’s hard for a prefosh to think of something to write about for Spec. It’s almost harder than picking up the Iliad and actually suffering through the first 12 books, or completing the required Alcohol Education online course.
Why it’s hard might seem obvious. You watch as fellow prefosh ask questions, and some try to answer each other on the Facebook group, often without successful results. Occasionally maybe a sage upperclassman will pop in with seemingly infinite knowledge about every little thing, served with a healthy dose of cynicism. You surf through CULPA, even though the classes you’re dying to take will no doubt be either scooped by a sophomore at the last minute, or become unmanageable once you’re smacked with the 9 a.m. Monday/Wednesday section of Lit Hum (God bless you).
As a prefosh, you may not comprehend enough about Columbia to become Spec’s ace reporter, but you begin to understand the culture at Columbia. At least, better than you thought you did when that acceptance letter transformed into an acceptance fee. You subscribe to the updates from Bwog (but you still don’t recognize the trolling in the comment section). You get no notifications from Columbia about anything you need to know—SSOL notifications and financial aid form deadlines (something about the “bureaucracy,” whatever that means). You hear about all the perfect schedules your high school friends have constructed at their schools, but you won’t hear anything about your preregistered University Writing section until NSOP kicks off.
On the topic of NSOP, you find yourself searching for archived schedules of Orientations past, configuring plans in order to avoid saying goodbye to your parents too soon—or looking for ways to sneak onto the 1 train and venture across the length of the island with your rebellious buddies. You’re already thinking of places to try downtown when Havana Central rejects the fake ID you scavenged from a total creep in a dimly-lit room near Times Square. You’re filing a letter of complaint to Housing signed with just the right teaspoon of entitlement (they shacked you up with someone of the opposite gender). You’ve scoped the Bulletin like it’s the Bible, submitted your picture for your student ID, and shipped empty envelopes to your shiny new Lerner mailbox just to see if it works.
On one hand, you may not be a real Columbia student yet—but, for just the tiniest moment, you’re also not just the prefosh everyone makes you out to be.
Leave a Comment
Be nice. Don't use HTML tags. And consider reading our full comment policy.