After many voiced their Columbia concerns in response to my post a few weeks ago on why you should come to Columbia, I decided to present some cons to Columbia that I think are really worth considering.
1. Some people are annoying: People will ask questions that will make you roll your eyes until someone says heteronormative and you have to start rolling your eyes in the opposite direction. But if you got into Columbia, I'm sure the other schools you're considering have people who are also pretentious at times---after having grown up with your back being patted by parents, teachers, and peers, I find it hard to believe that it wouldn't get to some people's heads.
2. The facilities suck: Usually one of the two printers in a room are broken, and the elevator in John Jay has broken down at least three times this year.
3. The food isn't great: They only have real bacon every other day at Ferris Booth.
4. Sometimes you feel stuck: It's hard to get the courage or time to leave Columbia at times, but at least it's an option. I doubt the kids in Ithaca or Hanover get out more often than we do.
All joking aside, there were some genuine concerns expressed in the comments.
Columbia is pretty hard sometimes. We've been called the most stressful school in the country, and the week before finals when people are sleeping in Butler or the many times you hear people trying to outdo each other on how little they slept the night before can bring this home.
Sure, we have more work than kids at other schools, and yeah there might not be parties to go to every day of the week. But part of what makes Columbia great is how focused everyone is. I know that being around motivated and ambitious people this year has made me work harder and be better.
And the Core is annoying sometimes---as I work on my problem sets late into the night, I often ask myself why I'm taking a physics class as a computer science major. But at the end of the day, I do feel a little more informed.
I think it would be pretty weird to leave college with my only chemistry or physics background being AP classes I took in high school. And in the College, I can't imagine people thinking they're qualified for the real world without having taken a writing course or a class on the scientific issues that affect our everyday lives.
First-Year Student Sounds Better Than Freshman is a weekly series on life as a first-year at Columbia that runs every Saturday.