Required Reading
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Natalie Tak / Staff Illustrator

After applying and committing to Columbia, you’ve probably bookmarked the Columbia Undergraduate Admissions website and scoured all the different pages countless times. However, it’s quite difficult to get a real feel for the school if you haven’t had the chance to visit campus or attend Days on Campus. 

To help you (and your Facebook stalking habits) out, Spectrum has compiled a list of the social media pages and profiles you should follow to get a realistic perspective of the authentic Columbia experience. 


If you haven’t opened Facebook in a while, we don’t really blame you. However, at Columbia, it will be the main platform for communicating with the rest of your class and looking at information from clubs, so we recommend you remember your password and log back on. By now, you should have received an invitation to join your official class group. There, student admissions representatives will post important updates and will answer any questions you might have about housing and class registration. If they haven’t already done so, students also usually post introductions to meet new friends and possible roommates.

You can also use Facebook to find out more information about the clubs on campus and the types of events they organize. To learn more about them, go to the club directory and type the name of the club you’re looking for, and hopefully, they’ll have an updated Facebook page.

Students have also created unofficial Facebook groups and pages that have become quite popular with the student body. One page not to miss is columbia buy sell memes, a page to which students can submit topical and campus-related memes mimicking the format of Facebook Marketplace pages. Columbia Confessions is another page to add to your list. Anonymous submissions about academics, professors, crushes, struggles, or anything you want to vent about are sent in by students through Google Forms. 

Finally, Ref Spotting @ Columbia is a private Facebook group on which people post pictures of the friends they meet in Ref, which is what people call 301 Butler, also known as the Lawrence A. Wien Reference Room, one of the largest study rooms in Butler Library. Once you arrive on campus, you’re going to learn very quickly that Ref culture is very much a real thing,  and you’ll probably join the group once you understand the hype. 


If you aren’t already, we recommend following @columbia and @barnardcollege for important updates on your respective schools. The student life accounts, @columbiaulife and @barnardstudentlife, post about events and talks that you might not hear about otherwise. The School of General Studies, Columbia College, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science also have their own Instagram pages. You should also follow @gocolumbialions, the official Columbia Athletics account, to keep up with the Lions and their exploits. 

Instagram is another great way to research clubs you are interested in joining. If the club you are interested in has an Instagram page, it’s a great way to find members and shoot them a direct message to ask any specific questions you might have. 

Students have also created Instagram pages to post memes and relatable content. Like many other schools, Columbia has its own Barstool-affiliated Instagram account, @barstoolcolumbia, a page also affiliated with @columbiachicks. If you’re interested in learning about the social scene of a school, University Barstool Instagram accounts will usually give you a glimpse. 

If you’re looking for more cheery accounts to follow, start by adding some good doggos to your feed (you can never have enough) by following @columbiacanines. On this page,  anyone can submit a picture of a dog they spot on campus. Another page that’s gotten a lot of attention lately is @li0ncraft, the Instagram account for a Minecraft server on which students recreated the entirety of campus. Make sure to give the account a follow if you’re looking to play some Hunger Games in Butler. 


YouTube is a great way to get an inside look into the daily life of a typical Columbia student, courtesy of the many vloggers documenting their college experiences on campus. If you haven’t already, check out Izzy Snapshots for some aesthetic study montages and some pretty accurate “week in my life” videos as a Columbia student. 

From Q&As about Columbia, “study with me” videos in Butler Library, and vlogs of the many special events that happen every year, Caroline Chen is another vlogger you should check out for more insider information. 

Kevin Kong is another vlogger who not only documents his academic life at Columbia but also includes how he spends his weekends and how he takes advantage of New York City during his free time. 

Finally, If you’re looking for video footage of the dorm you might live in next year, Columbia Undergraduate Admissions also has a YouTube channel on which it post tours of first-year dorm buildings. 


If you’re on TikTok—or tell others you aren’t but secretly are—then you might know that many people have posted about their college acceptances. You can easily try to meet the other members of the class of 2024 by checking out the hashtags #roar2024 and #columbia. This also works on Instagram. 

There aren’t many Columbia TikTokers who regularly post about their experiences at school or New York City. However, @gab_nyc on TikTok has amassed an impressive following and regularly posts TikToks about both her life at Columbia and in New York. Not only does she post satirical and funny videos about being a Columbia student, but she also gives recommendations for restaurants and must-visit spots in the city.  

Finally, a little shameless promo: If you’re enjoying Required Reading and would like to stay up to date with Spectrum’s content, make sure to like our Facebook page and follow our Instagram account to keep up with campus and community news. We’re excited to see you all next semester, whether it is on campus or through our computer screens. Congratulations, class of 2024!

Note: Izzy Mollicone and Caroline Chen were previously staff writers at Spectrum. They are no longer members of staff and are disaffiliated from the organization.

Staff writer Lina Bennani Karim can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec

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