Between the glossy admissions fliers and the rowdy Facebook posts from your friends who went to state schools, you might be feeling a little confused about what NSOP is truly supposed to be. Well, here’s what we thought about our own NSOPs…
Maud, BC’15: I thought NSOP was incredibly disappointing. By the end of the mandatory presentation about how to not set your room on fire, I felt pretty over the whole thing. My expectations were probably too high. I was expecting to be welcomed into the secret Barnard sisterhood with fireworks and free alcohol and lots of swag that said BARNARD on it. And I never got over the initial shock of how ugly the entrance to Hewitt is. It cast a pallor over my whole first year, to be honest.
Claire, CC’16: The best friend I made during NSOP was the fan I purchased from Bed, Bath and Beyond. If that sounds depressing, you’ve obviously never lived in a John Jay single during the summertime. Think of the inside of an oven, then multiply that by the surface of the sun and you’ll have roughly the correct temperature. While I cannot blame the heat entirely for my shitty NSOP, I will say that making new friends is a pretty low priority when you feel like an inhuman sweat-monster. Especially when it seems like everyone already has a whole posse of new BFFs. After three days of self-explanatory safety presentations and awkward dinner conversations, I sat down in front of my fan and thought, “Well, looks like I’m going to be a friendless hermit for the rest of my life.” Two years later,
I am a friendless hermit I am beyond excited to get back to the city. Why? Because IT GETS BETTER.
Eric, CC ’16: My NSOP experience was neither good nor bad. It had its share of cringeworthy moments: for one, being the only person in my orientation group to show up to an event at Pinkberry on the second day, when desperate utterances of “I wonder where everyone is” were all that punctuated the awkward silence between my OL and me (we left after 5 minutes). But, I met one of my best friends during NSOP drunkenly bonding over Law and Order: SVU in our floor lounge. The days were somewhat dull (a week can be a really long time), and I survived largely by commiserating with my friends from high school about how bored we all were. In comparison to all I’ve experienced at Columbia in the years since—because NSOP, or even freshman year for that matter, is not the be-all end-all—NSOP was a dud.