From a CC First Year

<p>Hello Class of 2016! Let me congratulate you for making it this far! I hope you all are enjoying break and are amped for your last semester in high school! I am a current first year in CC. I am planning to major in Sociology with a concentration in African-American Studies. I am work-study so I work a job on campus and I am an active member of the Black Student's Organization (though I go to events for a bunch of other clubs :) ). I remember being on this board when I was a Senior so I wanted to pass down some tips and my observations. Maybe it'll help someone? And feel free to ask me questions too.</p>

<p>First: If you are still in the application process, stop...I repeat, STOP asking people to chance you! Last year, this board was so bad telling people that they wouldn't get in because SATs were too low or not enough extracurriculars. Most of the chances were dead wrong! Columbia is truly dedicated to bringing people who are interesting and add to the campus. SATs are not an end-all, be-all. Extracurriculars are not either. Neither is GPA. I can't give you the exact formula, but I'm willing to bet that if you truly have an interesting story to tell and have a lot of passion, I'll see you on South Lawn next fall.</p>

<p>Second: I don't know where these woe on me upperclassmen come from, but I can tell you I love my Columbia community. I have plenty of friends, both first year and upperclassmen. We party together, study together, and laugh together. I'll admit, it's not as live as a state school when it comes to homecoming or sporting events, but you can easily make your fun. Even if it's something stupid like climbing on the lion statues and pretending to ride them (yep...that was my suitemates) or performing for the Carman elevators (yep...that was me and my friends), there are plenty of things to do to build community and make memories.</p>

<p>Third: Get the second dining plan! The food isn't that great compared to what you could be eating and the hours are wierd. I have yet to use all 15 in a week. Trust me.</p>

<p>Fourth: Work-load honestly depends on your major and your professors. I had a very light LitHum class compared to some of my friends. However, it is all achievable if you have good time-management. All-nighters can be avoided!</p>

<p>Fifth: Clubs help. Do not be too cool to go to clubs, even if they aren't what you thought you'd be interested in or if you are a "minority" there. There is always some sort of party or event being thrown by the various clubs. GO!! (Shout-out to Black Student's Organization, Sabor, and Chinese Student's Association!)</p>

<p>Sixth: All the first year housing is fine. Carman is considered the party-dorm, but you can change that. Some floors are completely quiet. John Jay is very nice. Wallach and Hartley are very nice as well. So don't stress if you don't get your dream housing. It'll be fine trust me. (I got my 7th choice, but I love being "home" in Wallach)</p>

<p>And Seventh: Take a breath! Enjoy the life of college and never take it too seriously. In the end, you're still young and everything will be ok. </p>

<p>Hope that helped some! Feel free to ask any other questions!</p>

<p>Hi, thanks for such a lovely post and for your willingness to help! I'm an ED admit, and I was leaning towards JJ for housing, but I've been thinking it over and talking to my parents and I'm considering the LLC too. I know it's "suite-style," but I'm not exactly sure how many people that constitutes, and what benefits (other than, I think, a kitchen?) come with it. I'd love to hear your experience!</p>

<p>To be completely honest, the LLC can be a mixed bag. It truly depends on your floor and suitemates the type of experience you will have. Personally, I live in a wonderful suite (11 people, including me) on a great floor and we consider each other family, but I know that this is not a guarantee (the floor below us doesn't talk to each other). I'd like to think that if you get in with people who are really dedicated to the purpose of the LLC, which is to make bonds and help each other out, it'll be a great experience, but there is no telling. </p>

<p>The biggest benefit of the LLC I can think of is the LLC only events. These are only for people who live in the LLC and they are completely free. Examples of events are going to the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy, taking the vertical tour of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, going to the MoMa, and going to Rockaway Beach. So those are pretty fun. Another hidden benefit is having upperclassmen in house. I've gotten a LOT of good advice from the older suitemates. Also, the LLC has a walkthrough to John Jay so you can get to the dining hall without going outside (this is INSANELY valuable when it rains/gets cold!)</p>

<p>Thank you so much for some optimism- the way recent grads talk about Columbia makes me hesitant to proudly declare myself as an early decision admit. I know my experience will be like yours. How is the theatre culture at CU? I've been super involved in theatre all my life and don't wNt to give it up cause I'm not majoring in it..</p>

<p>Theater culture is AMAZING!! And it does not matter if you are majoring in it. You've probably heard of Varsity Show which is a Columbia tradition. In addition, there are different productions one can be a part of. This semester I remember seeing posters for about 10 productions and I'm sure I missed some. The arts are supported and every show I went to was packed (my favorite was Late Nite, a compilation of student written and produced short plays.) So you can definitely do it without majoring in it (one of my suitemates is an engineering major but she's done work for 3 plays).</p>

<p>Honestly Class of 2016, I've yet to meet someone who would give up Columbia. We may be pessimistic at times (that's the nature of New York ;) ) but even these woe is me upperclassmen are in it til the end.</p>

<p>You have no idea how happy you made me. I can't wait :)</p>