The image of Low Library, with Ionic columns on its imposing facade, remains with Columbians long after they graduate. It also stands out when, as a prospective student, you ask, "Should I come here?" We don't want to give you the Columbia Confidential insider's scoop. This is an additional perspective, supplementing the many other perspectives you'll get in your few rushed mid-April days in Morningside Heights. We want to give you our view on three of Columbia's main selling points. New York: Few people understand how the University interacts with the city before they come to Columbia. The brochures tell you that the University's unique relationship with New York provides endless opportunities: from free entrance at MoMA to cheap Broadway tickets. But even if you never go beyond the Chipotle on 110th, the city life seeps onto campus. New York's pace is contagious, and it can often be difficult to adjust. The city's sense of isolation follows—multiple, isolated groups seem the norm, not a cohesive student body community. Rest assured, though: You will find your own niche in one of the pluralistic communities that co-exist at Columbia. The faculty: "World-class education" is more than just a slogan you might have seen on Columbia's recruitment pamphlets. You will not have to search hard to find amazing teachers. Your professors will assign books written by their colleagues down the hall. They may not always be accessible, but you can seek out the dedicated ones who hold office hours—and they are the best teachers. The Core: Columbia's alumni love and support the Core and that speaks to how unifying and transformative the experience is. When your first year begins, you run into countless first-years with their noses in the "Iliad." Midway through your sophomore spring, you'll see the same people carrying bright red copies of the Marx-Engels reader. By then, it will be clear that the Core is more than a list of required courses. You won't know what that "more" is until you've experienced it. But whether you end up loving it, or hating it, the Core will impact your education and change you. When you see Low Library looming over you, remember that if you choose to come here, New York, the faculty, and the Core will impact you in ways you can never expect. One day, you will learn that Low Library isn't a library at all. By then, it won't matter.
Columbia Spectator Staff