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Every Wednesday, Spectrum sends out Required Reading. It’s a newsletter filled with handy hacks to get you, the Class of 2020, ready and pumped for starting college at Barnard and Columbia.

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We’ve put all the Required Reading articles from this summer here for easy-breezy perusal. Get ready for the final installment, which focuses on hacking NSOP, this coming Wednesday.

 

DORM WEEK

Spectrum's 2016 Packing List: What to take and what to forsake

How many of these do you have ready to go for your first year of college?

 

Bring or buy? Don't pack these things for college. Get them here.

You may think you desperately need to bring certain things from home. You don't. Trust us. Buy these treasures here instead, and spare your suitcase the extra weight.

 

Discuss this with your roommate *BEFORE* you get here

You've chatted with your roommate on Facebook, but maybe not about this. Make sure you sort out these key issues before arriving on campus.

 

The 5 roommates you could have...and how to deal with them

Your roommate situation can be a hit or miss, but you can turn any nasty experience into a good one (or at the very best it can be an opportunity to learn something :\ ) Check out our advice on how to cope with almost any kind of roomie during your first semester at university.

 

ADULTHOOD WEEK

The Budget-Off: 3 editors, 3 ways to manage money

Three tried and tested ways to budget at college, but which one is your favorite? Pitch in and take the poll at the end.

 

Discounts to exploit with your student ID

Your Columbia or Barnard ID card is actually magic and can get you discounts and perks from all these crazy expensive and useful stores.

 

Hack the international student life

You’re moving to a new country and there are things you don’t wanna learn the hard way. Here are some handy tips on working in the U.S.A; organizing your Visa sitch, and traveling the savvy style.

 

How to earn money while at Barnard and Columbia

There are so many job and money=makin' opportunities on and off campus. Find the best fit for you.

 

ACADEMICS WEEK

Supplies you'll need for Columbia and Barnard classes

Staples and Target will lead you to believe that you need so many things for your academic escapades. We're revealing the essentials and laying out your actual options.

Carrying credit: What will your AP, IB, and A-level scores get you?

You worked hard on those exams, so let's see if they'll get you college credit.

 

How to shop 'til you drop (classes)

You may feel out of place as a wee first-year to begin with, but if you know how to play the Shop ’Til You Drop game well, you’ll fit in seamlessly and be able to sample a huge amount of classes in just one week.

 

The Textbook-Off: 3 editors, 3 ways to get books

Textbooks can be pretty pricey. However, there are ways to circumvent the standard spending by reselling, renting, or borrowing. Weigh up the pros and cons as Spectrum’s editors dish out how they get ready for academic classes.

 

EXTRACURRICULAR WEEK

Clubbing at Columbia: What to do in college that you didn't do in high school

Seven student groups you can join with zero high school experience.

 

A capella audition tips: Advice from behind the audition table

What auditioners want you to know when you're trying out.

 

How to get involved in sports on campus

Even if you're not athletic, there are ways to get involved in sports on campus.

 

Ace that audition: Theater advice from upperclassmen

Textbooks can be pretty pricey. However, there are ways to circumvent the standard spending by reselling, renting, or borrowing. Weigh up the pros and cons as Spectrum’s editors dish out how they get ready for academic classes.

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