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Required Reading is designed to help you make one of the biggest decisions you’ve ever been faced with: where to go to college. We don’t want to show you only the best side of Barnumbia—we want to show you what it’s really like being a student here. Subscribe to our Required Reading to get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.

Just in case you aren’t tired of hearing this (considering CU only got the news on Thursday and BC a week ago, you probably aren’t): Congratulations on getting into Columbia and Barnard! Now that many of your decisions are in and you know for sure you’ll end up at at least one awesome place, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

But don’t get too relaxed—there’s still so much to think about and plan for before you can strut onto campus in style. That’s where Required Reading comes in.

We wanted to create a database not too unlike our very own Spectrum, but this time geared toward students transitioning from the adolescent world of high school to the #adulting realm of college. It’s a big change, and we know we needed a decent amount of guidance when we were going through (and to a large degree, are still going through) it.

So what should you expect from us here with Required Reading?

Expect to get all your questions answered

The whole philosophy behind creating our service-oriented products was to have your questions answered as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. This rings especially true for Required Reading—by the end of NSOP (the New Student Orientation Program), we want you to walk the College Walk and talk like a seasoned Columbian.

Our content and features produced on Required Reading will focus on three kinds of questions:

  • For those who are still undecided, how will you know whether Columbia is the right place for you?
  • For those who are committed, what Columbia-specific information do you need to know?
  • For all incoming first-years, how can you live your best college life in New York?

We already have a big, long, master list of topics we want to write about (some of which we already have—make sure you check out our Day in the Life series for CC/SEAS/BC, everything you need to know about the Core/Foundations, and what the party scene at Columbia is like), but in the event that you think we’re missing something, feel free to contact us—that’s why we put that little submission box on our homepage.

In case you missed it.

Expect timely content that relates to what's going on right now

One of the ways we come up with article ideas at Spectrum is by getting into our readers’ heads and thinking about what they might be wondering about. This means that all the content produced here at Required Reading will be extremely timely. When roommate decisions are released, we’ll give you everything you need to know to have a successful relationship with a complete stranger. When you start registering for your courses, we’ll let you know which are the best and what you should expect.

Expect upgrades... soon ;)

Keeping this one a little mysterious because a lot of it is still largely in the works, but we have big plans for Required Reading. Traditional articles are a great way to convey information, but it isn’t the only thing we have going for us. Stay tuned.

Expect weekly updates delivered straight to your inbox

We’ll be publishing content on Required Reading everyday, so make sure you bookmark this page if you haven’t done so already. However, we’ll also give you recaps of every article we’ve published from the week in newsletter form. To get these stories delivered straight to your inbox, make sure you subscribe.

If your excitement level wasn’t maxed out already, hopefully all the content we’ll publish will get you there. Make sure you keep checking back everyday for new articles and features—you don’t want to miss a thing.

Have any questions now about Required Reading or life at Columbia? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Veronica Grace Taleon is Spectrum’s editor and a Barnard sophomore. The summer before she came to college, she did too much research on all the stuff that didn’t matter and not enough on what did. Don’t be like her. Subscribe to Required Reading. Reach her at

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