Here are the most quintessential ~Columbia~ things to do before you graduate. Keep track of your progress here.
Enter the 116th Street gates and sing “Roar, Lion, Roar” on the first night of orientation.
Check out all five boroughs. Alternatively, set foot in four and look at Staten Island on the subway map.
Try to figure out the Barnard-Columbia relationship. Give up and realize that students from both sides of Broadway are great.
Lock yourself out of your room while in a towel and flip-flops. Proceed to Hartley or the security desk.
Lock yourself out of your room while dressed. Borrow towel and cell phone from friend and call Hartley to say you are locked out and undressed (lazy bums only).
Enroll in an 8:40 a.m. or Friday class. Never go.
Get a Broadway shake at Tom’s after 3 a.m.
Detach your closet door. Play beer pong on it.
Sign up for 20 clubs. Get spammed for the next four years.
Forget to transfer at 96th Street. Never make that mistake again.
Catch someone moving your laundry.
Do your laundry at midnight during the middle of the week just so you can do your laundry.
Develop a vague idea about what Manhattanville is. Realize it probably won’t affect you, but argue about it anyway.
Listen to Vampire Weekend’s discography. Alternatively, lie about having listened to Vampire Weekend.
Pretend to know the acronyms used on campus. Nod your head in fake understanding until you actually learn them.
Get sexiled. Sleep in the lounge.
Eat a slice of Koronet pizza after a long night of drinking. Return another day to discover it’s not as good when you’re sober.
Explore the tunnels. Alternatively (and more realistically), dream about exploring the tunnels.
Watch the Varsity Show each year at Columbia. Notice repetition of tired Barnard jokes. Also GS jokes. And SEAS jokes.
Register for a class without consulting CULPA. Never do it again.
Take a class on the seventh floor of Hamilton. Hate yourself for it.
Be the only one in your friend group without a fake. Sit at home and cry.
Get an A without ever doing the reading (humanities classes only).
Protest something on Low Steps.
Get shafted in McBain. Instagram passive-aggressive posts of the shaft view. Do this until you lose all your followers.
Eat at Sylvia’s in Harlem.
Realize Harlem is a lot safer and more interesting than people say it is.
Go to Health Services with a cold. Leave with condoms.
Have fun at Glass House Rocks. Once it’s over, be reminded about how much Lerner sucks.
Go to a campus group’s performance. Cheer obnoxiously for the friend you know.
Go to Midnight Breakfast and drown your pre-exam jitters in syrup and ’90s pop music.
Make friends with maintenance workers and security guards (and buy their CDs).
Participate in PrezBo’s 5K fun run.
Witness a Columbia athletics victory. High-five Roar-ee.
Subscribe to each new philosopher you read. Believe in nothing but social constructs at one point in your college career.
Finish your Foundations courses as early as possible. Never understand what the Nine Ways of Knowing was (BC only).
Read a text from every author on the Butler frieze. Find out who Demosthenes is and let us know.
Wake up at 6 a.m. just to save a seat in Butler and then go sleep until noon.
Take a walk of shame. Run into your professor. Understand true shame.
Spend freshman year rotating through Mel’s, The Heights, and 1020. Then pick one sophomore year and never go anywhere else.
Change your major. Twice.
Take the vertical tour of Saint John the Divine. Be genuinely awed.
Watch the sunrise from Butler. Marvel at its beauty through your bloodshot eyes
See a movie filming on campus. When the movie comes out, go see it and obnoxiously point out Columbia scenes to your friends.
Go to a fireside chat. Eat mini burgers and chocolate chip cookies in PrezBo’s living room.
Sneak onto the roof of Butler or Mudd or IAB for a picnic.
Take a class on something you know absolutely nothing about.
Eat brunch at Community while hungover. Temporarily forget your woes until you receive the check.
Make 2 a.m. halal your comfort food of choice.
Only take: the M60 to LaGuardia/the train to Newark/a taxi to JFK.
Pull an all-nighter with the rest of your floor studying for the Lit Hum final.
Find a study spot in Butler. Sleep there to keep it during finals week.
Go to Orgo Night. Feel conflicted about what you’re laughing at.
Attend Take Back the Night.
Spend a vacation on campus while it’s empty. Enjoy it until the crushing loneliness hits you. Vow to appreciate your friends more.
Go to Postcrypt in St. Paul’s Chapel. Dress like a hipster.
Quote a Core text outside of class. Bonus points if you do it at a cocktail party.
Go to the World Leaders Forum and shake hands with a foreign leader. Bonus points if it’s a brutal autocrat. Alternatively, never manage to sign up in time. Complain about the limited seating anytime Columbia is called a “global university.”
Have a snowball fight on Low Plaza. (Bonus points if you get on the news for doing it.)
Make a snow lion on the lawn in front of John Jay.
Walk down the middle of Broadway when a snowstorm closes the streets down.
Pretend that Low Steps are your local beach when it gets nice out. (Only possible for two weeks during each semester.)
Forget your umbrella. Pick up a copy of Spectator to protect your books.
Call CAVA—now CU-EMS—for a friend. Resolve never to be CAVA’d.
Discover previously unidentified substances in the McBain/Carman elevators.
Take part in CU Assassins. Develop intense paranoia.
Make a spare key with an old credit card and an X-Acto knife (VingCard dorms only).
Check out the view of campus from Butler’s roof, preferably at night and preferably sober.
Jump in the fountains in front of Low Library.
Start using Flex because it feels like free money. Feel the wrath of your parents when it shows up on your tuition bill.
Get into museums for free using your CUID. Hate paying for the Frick, Guggenheim, and Whitney.
Listen to your out-of-town friends call the 1 the “red line.” Laugh at their ignorance.
Go for a run in Riverside Park. Post about it on Instagram so people have proof it actually happened.
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Learn that Williamsburg isn’t the only place in Brooklyn worth visiting.
Eagerly await the announcement of the Bacchanal headliners. Then complain that they suck.
Walk all the way up Lerner using the ramps until you discover the staircases in the back. Pretend they’re secret passageways when you use them.
Sample the various local supermarkets. Pledge your heart (and wallet) to Westside.
Pass a course without ever scoring above 60 on a test (SEAS only).
Drag yourself out of bed at 4 a.m. for a fire alarm—three times in one week.
Walk from Battery Park to campus or vice versa.
Join a campus tour and ask the tour guide awkward questions.
Be first in line to get a warm bagel from Absolute Bagels when it opens.
Get a coffee from Joe or Oren’s. Never go to Starbucks again.
Spend a month never going south of West 107th Street (Absolute) or north of West 120th Street (Joe).
Discover econ majors have to take econometrics. Become an English major.
Try to go to a party in EC. Spend your whole night waiting to get signed in (BC/GS only).
Spin the tooth statue near EC at 3 am with a bunch of friends just because you can
Log into LionSHARE and realize that 90 percent of the internships are in consulting.
Only attend Homecoming senior year for the free beer.
Seriously consider dropping out. All the cool Columbians have.
Pledge to cook more. Fail. Get Seamless.
Attend a ceremonial religious meal, but not for your religion.
Hook up with someone. Awkwardly bump into said hookup everywhere.
Find the owl and then sit on Alma Mater.
Go to the tree lighting and Yule Log ceremonies. Discard your jadedness for several hours.
Experience a Surf and Turf, boatload of shrimp included.
Reserve a table for a Thanksgiving Dinner at John Jay with friends.
Attend a WBAR-B-Q. Pretend you’ve heard of the bands to impress the bespectacled, beanie-clad WBAR staff.
Attend Senior Night more times before senior year than during your senior year.
Run into a TA at 1020. Awkwardly talk about your time in his section.
Spend one summer living and working in the city. Appreciate how good New York smells the rest of the year.
Make friends with a General Studies student who is 10 years older than you (CC/SEAS/BC only). Be the General Studies student who is 10 years older than everyone around you (GS only).
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at night. Eat at Grimaldi’s.
See your name appear in a campus publication. (Bonus points if it’s an op-ed in Spec.)
Realize the value of research librarians.
Check out Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, and Barclays Center.
Work an off-campus internship. Either love or hate the commute.
Put off the swim test until the second semester of your senior year. Consider inventing a water phobia to get out of it (CC only).
Hook up in the Butler stacks.
Remember that thesis you were supposed to write. Leave the stacks to get actual work done.
Get into arguments about how terrible your commencement speaker is with friends. Realize it doesn’t matter. Instead, focus on the remaining time you have left with those friends.