Required Reading 2018
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New Student Orientation Program (aka NSOP) is just around the corner, which means all you first-years-to-be out there must be starting to feel really nervous. You are about to move into your dorm, meet your roommate, pick your first semester of classes, and (fingers crossed) find a way to adapt to the undergraduate lifestyle. Well, to help calm your nerves a bit, here is a guide to help you survive NSOP.

Part 1: What will I bring? How will I design my room? What will my room even look like?

If you need some guidance on what to pack click here. When it comes to what your room will look like, you can check out the pictures and floor plans available online or simply post in the Facebook class group. It is more than likely that an older Columbian will have a picture of your room or at least one very similar. Lastly, Pinterest is honestly one of the best tools for getting some inspiration about how you want to design your room. If you think of any basics ahead of time that you definitely want for your room (bed sheets, shower caddy, etc.), go to your hometown Bed Bath & Beyond, scan for what you want, and then you can pick it up when you get to the city. Last year, there were even organized buses to take students and parents back and forth. (Honest disclaimer: I wouldn’t recommend ordering EVERYTHING ahead of time since you may change your mind once you actually see your room. BB&B is only a short train ride away. And they deliver!)

Part 2: Will I get along with my roommate(s)? How will I meet new friends?

The first thing to realize is that literally everyone has the same concerns. When it comes to meeting your roommate(s), here are some conversations to have before NSOP. In addition, you can try to get to know your roommate(s) a little beforehand (ie. find if you guys are any similar interests or disinterest). You will also have an opportunity to decide on some basic ground rules once you meet each other. In the end, whether you end up BFFs with your roommate(s) or not, no worries, housing tends to be pretty good at making sure that you and your roommate will co-habitat pretty well. In regards to meeting others and finding your niche, I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s actually really easy to meet people. During NSOP, you’ll meet people in your NSOP group, on your floor, simply by riding the elevator, and you’ll have the chance to join on-campus clubs. Honestly, the big problem is not meeting new friends, it’s remembering all of the names of the people you do meet.

Part 3: What are the required events like? Which optional events should I go to? Are the NSOP events even fun?

During NSOP, there are a lot of required events some which you may find fun and some that, to be honest, are a little tedious. The best pieces of advice that I can give you about the required events are don’t miss them and drink coffee beforehand. When it comes to the optional events, depending on what you’re interested in, they are pretty great. Last year there were speakers, helpful info sessions, performances, neighborhood tours, and more. Essentially, just make sure you go to the required events (they’re required for a reason) and go to any and all optional events that interest you. This is the only time during the school year you won’t have to worry about deadlines and essays, so take advantage of it and enjoy everything NSOP has to offer.

Part 4: How do I stay sane?

Honestly, as fun as NSOP is, it can also be really overwhelming. To stay level-headed during NSOP, the best thing you can do is do what calms you down. Maybe that’s watching some Netflix one night, going for a walk alone in Riverside Park, or doing some yoga in your room. Just know that it’s okay to feel like your head is spinning a little bit.

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