This story is part of our Orientation 2012 special issue. Check out our complete guide to life at Columbia here.
1. Enter the 116th Street gates and sing “Roar, Lion, Roar” on the first night of orientation.
2. Discover that your RA is useless (best case scenario) or a pain in the butt (worst case scenario).
3. Set foot in all five boroughs. Alternatively, set foot in four and look at Staten Island on the subway map.
4. Try to figure out the Barnard-Columbia relationship. Give up.
5. Lock yourself out of your room while in a towel and flip-flops. Proceed to Hartley or the security desk (normal people only).
6. Lock yourself out of your room while dressed. Borrow towel and cell phone from friend and call Hartley to say you are locked out and undressed (lazy bums only).
7. Enroll in an 8:40 a.m. or Friday class. Never go.
8. Get a Broadway shake at Tom’s.
9. Avoid Uni Café like the plague. You might catch it there.
10. Detach your closet door. Play beer pong on it.
11. Pretend to be interested in a club to get free swag. Get spammed for the next four years.
12. Forget to transfer at 96th Street and end up at Central Park North.
13. Catch someone moving your laundry.
14. Get excited about the new buildings on Manhattanville campus. Just kidding, you’ll never take a class there.
15. Learn what eminent domain means.
16. Spend a week eating nothing not in sandwich form.
17. Get sexiled. Sleep in the lounge.
18. Eat a slice of Koronet pizza after a long night of drinking. Return another day to discover it’s inedible when you’re sober.
19. Explore the tunnels.
20. Watch the Varsity Show all four years. Notice repetition of tired Barnard jokes. Also GS jokes. And SEAS jokes.
21. Never choose classes without using CULPA.
22. Take a class on the sixth floor of Hamilton. Hate yourself for it.
23. Get a fake ID. Still get rejected from Mel’s.
24. Go to a frat party. Just one.
25. Get an A without ever doing the reading (CC only).
26. Counterprotest something.
27. Get shafted in McBain. Make lame “shaft” jokes 10 times a day for the rest of the year.
28. Take the science or lab requirement. Almost fail out (nonscience majors only).
29. Eat at Sylvia’s in Harlem.
30. Go to Health Services with a cold. Leave with condoms.
31. Rock the Glass House.
32. Go to a campus group’s concert.
33. Go to Midnight Breakfast.
34. Make friends with the people in maintenance and with your security guards (and buy their CDs).
35. Join PrezBo’s 5K run.
36. Witness a Columbia athletics victory.
37. Believe at one point that race and gender are simply constructs.
38. Drink on Low Steps.
39. Read a text from every author on Butler. Find out who Demosthenes is and let us know.
40. Take a walk of shame. Run into your CC professor.
41. Complete the Set—a drink at Mel’s, the Heights, 1020, Cannon’s, and Il Cibreo in one night—and discover how much you love Columbia.
42. Change your major. Twice.
43. Go to services at Riverside Church or to the Blessing of the Animals at St. John the Divine.
44. Take part in 40s on 40. If it still exists. If not, pour out a 40 for another casualty of the War on Fun.
45. Volunteer with Community Impact.
46. See a movie filming on campus. When the movie comes out, go to see it and obnoxiously point out Columbia scenes to your friends.
47. Go to a fireside chat. Eat mini-burgers and chocolate chip cookies in PrezBo’s living room.
48. Sneak onto the roof of Mudd, SIPA, or Sulz for a picnic.
49. Take a class on something you know absolutely nothing about.
50. Eat brunch at Community while hungover, temporarily forget your woes until you receive the check.
51. Order the Spicy Special at CrackDel. Never actually find out its ingredients.
52. Take the M60 to LaGuardia. Take the train to Newark. Foot the taxi bill for JFK.
53. Pull an all-nighter with the rest of your floor studying for the Lit Hum final.
54. Find a study spot in Butler. Sleep there to keep it during finals week.
55. Go to Orgo Night.
56. Go to the Hungarian Pastry Shop. Realize Artopolis and Café Amrita are better.
57. Spend a vacation on campus while it’s empty.
58. Go to Postcrypt in St. Paul’s Chapel.
59. Quote a Core text outside of class.
60. Take a class that meets in 309 Havemeyer. Even if the class is awful, you won’t regret it.
61. Ignore the red flags on South Lawn.
62. Go to a World Leaders Forum event and shake hands with a foreign leader—preferably a brutal autocrat.
63. High-five Roar-ee. Don’t get kicked by the visitors’ mascot.
64. Forget your umbrella, pick up a copy of Spectator to protect your books.
65. Call CAVA for a friend.
66. Avoid getting CAVAed.
67. Start a CU Assassins team. Obsessively stalk your target.
68. Make a spare key with an old credit card and an X-Acto knife (VingCard dorms only).
69. Check out the view of campus from Butler’s roof, preferably at night and preferably sober.
70. Sled down Low Steps on a tray from Hewitt.
71. Start using Flex because it’s just like free money. Feel the wrath from your parents when it shows up on your tuition bill.
72. Get into museums for free using your CUID. Pay for the Frick.
73. Listen to your out-of-town friends call it the “red line.” Call them noobs.
74. Write a term paper in 12 hours.
75. Realize Williamsburg isn’t the only place in Brooklyn worth visiting.
76. Eagerly await the announcement of Bacchanal artists. Then complain that they suck.
77. Walk all the way up Lerner using only the ramps. Wonder why it’s built like that.
78. Hear Jeffrey Sachs speak. Experience liberal guilt.
79. Sample the various local supermarkets. Pledge your heart to Westside.
80. Pass without ever scoring above 60 on a test (SEAS only).
81. Protest something.
82. Get dragged out of bed at 4 a.m. for a fire alarm—three times in one week. Swear to savagely beat the person who set off the alarm.
83. Walk from Battery Park to campus or vice versa.
84. Wait an hour, in the cold, while drunk, for chicken and rice from the cart on 53rd and 6th. Shed tears of joy if it comes to campus.
85. Get a bagel from Absolute. Never go to Nussbaum again.
86. Get a coffee from Joe. Never go to Starbucks again.
87. Spend a month never going south of 107th Street (Absolute Bagels) or north of 120th Street (Joe).
88. Take Principles of Economics with Sunil Gulati. Become an econ major.
89. Discover econ majors have to take econometrics. Become an English major.
90. Try to go to a party in EC. Spend your whole night waiting to get signed in (Barnard/GS only).
91. Log into LionSHARE and realize that 90 percent of the internships are in consulting.
92. Get an “I love BC” T-shirt on Barnard Spirit Day.
93. Attend Homecoming once—the year you get free beer (seniors only).
94. Seriously consider dropping out. All the cool Columbians have.
95. Pledge to cook more. End up starting a line of credit at HamDel (cool kids only) or Milano (gourmet eaters only). Or Morton Williams (imbeciles only).
96. Attend a ceremonial religious meal, but not for your religion.
97. Have a drunken hookup. Awkwardly bump into said hookup everywhere.
98. Find the owl and then sit on Alma Mater.
99. Wait for Obama to acknowledge that he went here. Realize it’s never going to happen.
100. Join a campus tour and ask the tour guide awkward questions.
101. Go to the tree-lighting and Yule Log ceremonies.
102. Attend a WBAR-B-Q.
103. Go for a run in Riverside Park.
104. Run into a TA at 1020, awkwardly talk about your time in his section.
105. Spend one summer living and working in the city.
106. Make friends with a General Studies student who is 10 years older than you.
107. Lose friends in Senior Regroup.
108. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at night. Eat at Grimaldi’s.
109. See your name appear in a campus publication.
110. Realize the value of research librarians.
111. Check out Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium.
112. Work an off-campus internship during the year.
113. Put off the swim test until second semester senior year (CC only). Consider inventing a water phobia to get out of it.
114. Hook up in the Butler stacks.
115. Remember that thesis you were supposed to write. Leave the stacks.