The Truth About NSOP
NSOP, sometimes.

NSOP, sometimes.

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.


NSOP Keeps On Giving

Ridiculous NSLOP tips keep pouring in, so we thought we’d share some with you. Use our anonymous tip form or email us at

Dean Awn has lots of school spirit. We love Dean Awn (remember this?)

Peter Awn, BAMF

Slow down there:

freshman boy coming out of ruggles on Monday night with freshman girl: “that one shot really hit me so hard right now. wow, i’ve never felt like this before”

Truly disgusting:

“There’s a couple nuzzling and kissing at the financial aid info session….how have these people already found each other???”

Drink responsibly, kids:

Sweet dreams

freshman boy with orange wristband in plain sight passed out alone at a table for over an hour at cannons on tues night. lots of people went over to check if he was ok, to which he responded, “oh yeah hi I’m totally fine my friends are here with me” #nslop

Glowsticks update from the rave:

So many kids who are too cool for school, below the jump.

Waking Up With Bwog: In The Swing Of Things

You and your posse

Rise and shine, freshlings! There are boring NSOP events to attend and selfies to take with Alma! As you prep for your 50th trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, we’ll let you know what’s hip and happenin’ on this beautiful NSOP morning. As always, send anything and everything NSOP-related to or use our anonymous tip form.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Sexual Violence and Gender-Based Misconduct (Mandatory Session), Roone Arledge Auditorium, check with your OL for times. In light of recent coverage on Columbia’s sexual assault policies, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the topic.
  • NYC EVENT: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, 8:00–11:00 pm, W. 46th St. and 12th Ave. A good time that many will claim was a great time. Just remember: Bwog’s NYC Event was at the zoo and there weren’t even animals. So count your blessings, frosh.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating: Today’s nugget of wisdom comes from the dynamic duo of Claire Kao and Mahima Chablani (also known as ClaireMahima ClaireMahimerson):

“Delete your Facebook for at least one semester. If you don’t have one, high five!! There’s a strange sorcery to social media, wherein everyone else’s lives look that much more **sparkly** than our own. But things always look grander on Facebook. Skip the virtual interaction in favor of good ole eye and physical contact. Text your friend. No, call your friend. No, knock on their door.”

From the Archives: Ever wonder what you would see if you spent 12 hours straight in a Tom’s booth? Wonder no more.

A picture that made more sense in an earlier version of this post via Shutterstock

Breaking: Pedestrian Struck By Car On 115th and Amsterdam

We are receiving rumors that a pedestrian near 115th and Amsterdam has been struck by a car and killed. Sources say that the victim was not a Columbia student, but this has yet to be confirmed. If you have any information on the accident, email us at

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 9.45.59 PM

Update—A tipster writes: “The pedestrian was crossing Amsterdam during the no walk signal. The driver of the vehicle (a black Lincoln Town Car) stopped and got out immediately, and appeared to have been cooperating with NYPD.” He continues that the man was “motionless in the street with blood coming from his head,” but it was not clear whether  he was badly injured or killed. This comes in the wake of new laws protecting pedestrians and the injury of Public Safety officer Lawrence Humphrey.

Overseen: Pigeon Man

A passerby saw this pigeon-lover passing the time with a flock of friends in front of Butler, and it was so good they stopped to take all the pictures:

NSLOP In Full Swing
OLs go hard.

OLs go hard.

We’re only a few days in, and already things are getting sloppy. Remember to send in your tips to, or use our anonymous tip form. First-years, write about your experiences, and be on the lookout for applications to join our staff.


  • Columbia Admirers is back, kinda. This website links to this Facebook page. At post time, the Facebook page had 249 friends.
  • Two OLs have gotten CAVA’d: “An OL got cava’d two nights ago and turned up late to [his/her] shift 4 hours late the next day and so got fired.” That’s why a few OLs had new additions into their groups. The second got CAVA’d Monday night.
  • Unwanted guests already: “Found a few giant-ass cockroaches in Hartley 3B, top floor. Yaaaaay.”
  • A tip: “That new Columbia party app, Partycast, was just made by Beta brothers to advertise their parties.”
  • Another tip: “Pro tip: I’m an RA, and I was able to create an account. Kids these days.”
  • There’s a kid who looks passingly like Sidd Bhatt (i.e. red glasses and the bright, preppy clothes) in the Class of 2018. See for yourself below.


  • Freshie on the phone in front of Lerner: “Like I’m having a tough time making friends but,” [laughs] *turns to sad*…”I can’t wait to be really popular again.”
  • Freshmen are flipping their bright orange wristbands inside out so that they can look less conspicuous and get into the Heights. We link again to Rhea Sen.

From the Twitter:

See the rest of the tweets below the jump.

Houses and Homes: Ischia, Italy

Although the class of 2018 is already settling into the Columbia Bubble, let’s take a moment to remember that, for many of us, the summer is not technically over. Hold fast to your fading freedom with this submission from Jacqueline Basulto, who is “studying marine biology off of the coast of Ischia, Italy and living on this sailboat.”

Someone obviously had a cooler summer than you did:

Columbia Hyperlapse

Our school is so pretty. Thanks, Instagram, and GS student Dan Burkhardt.

Waking Up With Bwog: Weird Wednesday
missed u shutterstock

“Look at all the friends I made, mom!”

After two days of NSOP, you can officially call yourself an old pro at this game. Slug down some OJ and eat away that hangover you still have from Sunday night to prepare for the day that NSOP and your clingy roommate both start to feel overrated. Keep trying to impress everyone with your SAT score and listing the schools you declined to attend Columbia. If you hear someone actually do this, tell us all about it by emailing or using our online tip form. This is the day the real whispered confessions come out.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Healthier Heights, Together, 10:30 am-1:30 pm, Lerner Health Ramps. This is listed as required on the NSOP schedule, but we’re guessing nobody is going to miss you, especially Health Services. If you do go, we’re sure you can snag some prizes (condoms.)
  • OL Sibling Dinner, 6:00-8:00 pm, John Jay Dining Hall. Meet some people outside of your college and see what those Barnard girls are all about. Last year CC students got lobster and everyone else got bagged lunch. Flaunt your privilege.
  • Community Forum, 8:00-10:00 pm, Levien Gym. Wear that new t-shirt mom bought you from the bookstore and head over to the only event you’ll experience until graduation with all four colleges in one space. Lots of laughs and forced school spirit.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating:

Find the best bathroom on campus to have a peaceful poop. You will forever be grateful how proactive you were finding that toilet your first couple weeks at Columbia until the day you graduate. Pro-tip: the higher you go in Butler, the more pooping privacy you shall find. (Thanks for the advice, Shelby.)

From the Archives: Love can be found in 1020. Robert and Kristine 4ever.

CU, Abbrevs.
Columbia takes these scissors and snip snip snips names into short letters

Columbia takes these scissors and snip snip snips names into a few letters

Pay attention, freshpeople! Soon you’ll be thrust into a world where it seems like everyone speaks in TLA’s. Have no fear though—Bwog’s always posted this little guide to Columbia acronyms and initialisms, and we’ve updated the list for this year. The shrewd freshperson will write these on flashcards and memorize them all before arriving on campus.

The Schools

  • CC – Columbia College.
  • SEAS – School of Engineering and Applied Science. Note the absence of an “s” at the end of “Science” and realize that if you ever call it “Fu” or “Fu Foundation,” your friends will never let you live it down.
  • CE – Columbia Engineering. SEAS is trying to rebrand itself as “CE.” Don’t worry though, it will still be SEAS.
  • GS – General Studies, Columbia’s undergraduate school for “nontraditional” students, people who are usually more worldly than you. Dean Peter Awn explains it best here.
  • BC – Barnard College, the all-ladies college across the street from the main campus.
  • TC – Teacher’s College. They train teachers.
  • JTS – Jewish Theological Seminary. JTS’ List College offers joint degrees with Barnard and GS, so you’ll probably mingle with these guys.
  • UTS – Union Theological Seminary. Another theological school affiliated with Columbia. Also houses a killer theology library, the biggest one in the Western Hemisphere.
  • SoA – School of the Arts. Offers the MFA degree and, formerly, James Franco.
  • SIPA – School of International and Public Affairs.
  • GSAS – Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
  • GSAPP – Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Columbia offers landscape design degrees. You can take a class on plants. How bout that?
  • CUSSW- Columbia University School of Social Work for the do-gooders.
  • CUMC – Columbia University Medical Center. Even farther north, this collection of medical and health schools is located up in Washington Heights, about 50 blocks north from the main Morningside Heights campus. Intrepid pre-meds take note.

The Government

  • CCSC – Columbia College Student Council. Represents CC (let’s see how fast you learn) students.
  • ESC – Engineering Student Council for SEAS.
  • SGA – Student Government Association for Barnard.
  • GSSC – General Students Student Council for GS.

The Bureaucracy and more after the jump.

AskBwog: NSOP Edition
Like this but with less food

Like this but with less food

It’s that time of year again…you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Send ‘em to

Dear Bwog, 

I am a first year wondering if it is allowed to ship a mini-fridge to school. Also, is there only one fridge allowed in a dorm room? Thank you!

- Hungry in Hamilton

Dear Hungry,

The answer to this question really depends on how many fridges you’d like to bring. One is definitely okay, and two is okay if you’re in a double (i.e., one fridge per person). It’s a good idea to coordinate with roommates, though, since one fridge is probably fine for two people. As a first-year most of your meals will come from the dining halls, so you won’t need as much fridge space as you think. Unless you really like hoarding the sliced cheese from JJ’s place.

Bwog has never heard of one person in a single with more than one fridge, but the restrictions on fridge size and quantity are pretty loose. For example, there’s no need to stick to the Columbia-mandated maximum fridge size of three cubic feet, though we wouldn’t recommend anything above 4.5 cubic feet. You can ship a fridge to the package center in Lerner, even if it’s over the three cubic feet limit. Just make sure to bring your parents, roommate, or some randos you just met during NSOP to help you carry it to your room.

Bottom line, you might be able to get away with bringing four jumbo fridges and having a fridge party, but that’s way more space than you need. Plus, it would be expensive. And speaking of expensive, remember that it’s a lot cheaper to buy your fridge at the green sale! Check them out for lots of discounted, recycled items from the frosh of yore (and by yore we mean last semester). Happy snacking!


Read on for tips about DRINKING

Waking Up With Bwog: The First Morning
A first year trying to fall asleep on a Columbia mattress

A first year trying to fall asleep on a Columbia mattress

How was your first night in residence? Loud? Smelly? Pleasant? Tell us EVERYTHING by emailing or using our anonymous tip form.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Columbia: Step-Up!, two different session in Roone Arledge Auditorium. Definitely don’t want to miss this one. Sexual assault is a huge, ongoing issue at Columbia. Bwog is very curious about how Step-Up! differs from its predecessor, Keeping Sex Sexy, so please send us your thoughts on it.
  • Columbia: Community Night Out, 10:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m., wherever your R.A. decides. This night out in the city will probably be the nicest interaction you have with your R.A. all year, so treasure it.
  • Barnard: Constellations Love NY, 12:30-5:00 p.m., wherever your Constellation Leader decides. This will probably be the only time you care about your constellation, so treasure it. It’s also a good way to meet the people living around you and make friends.
  • Barnard: Ice Cream Social, 8:45-9:45 p.m., Lehman Lawn. Free ice cream, need I say more?

One Thing To Do Before Graduating: Find the owl in Alma’s robes! Legend has it that the finder of the owl will graduate at the top of their class and become the new Wolf of Wall Street and be blessed with dozens of healthy children (or something). And do it soon, because if you wait too long then this activity will seem boring and dumb.

From the Archives: Every game of Never Have I Ever is the same and they’re all horrible.

Bed of nails via Wikimedia

Move-In Monday
Those balloons, still hanging on

Those balloons are still hanging on

For the young freshlings moving in today, it’s the first Monday of the REST OF THEIR LIVES. Here are the highlights.


“Lots of OLs are getting tipped for moving people in, up to $10 for a family I’ve heard”

“Last night 2 RAs were locked on the roof of Carman Hall by a group of students. The RAs had apparently gone up to remove a bunch of guys who were drinking on the rooftop and somehow got locked up there as then everyone ran away. Public safety showed up a minute later in force and looked like they had someone detained. Not a great way to start the year.”

A first year: “Is it bad that I really want to hook up with my OL?”



Classic Bwog: First Night

Here’s an old favorite from NSOP 2006. Send your own first night stories to to inspire the freshlings.

It’s your first day at Columbia. Mom and Dad just drove back to New Jersey, and you are ready to celebrate your newfound freedom. But wait. Shit! You’ve heard that Columbia is an awful party school. They say the only fun thing to do here is cocaine, but you don’t want to put anything in your nose. You’re planning on being pre-med; noses are for sneezing.

You want to drink. Well never fear: did you know you can overcome homesickness by drinking? Bwog contributor Will Snider channels this spirit to conjure a typical first night out during Orientation Week. So sit back, relax, and forget everything you learned from Remember, you’re pre-med. You know that shit.

10:30pm — Your Floor Meeting just ended. After learning from your RA “what it means to be part of a vibrant campus community,” you’re ready to kill some brain cells. Rob, that sort of sketchy guy on your floor who wears way too much Axe deodorant and brags about being from Buffalo, pulls out a handle of Nikolai vodka and punches you in the stomach saying, “It was made in Kentucky, so you know it’s good.” Someone brings out four shot glasses, and you chase the drinks with the Gatorade your mother bought at Sam’s Club for you. Everyone on your floor comes out to this makeshift party. Suddenly, you begin to think Columbia might not be so socially awkward after all.

10:45pm — Your floormates are now all passed out in the common room. By your seventh call to CAVA the dispatcher knows your name, and you begin to wonder why you didn’t just go to Michigan. So what if it’s a state school? You decide to venture beyond Carman Hall.

11:20pm — After your cousin’s old fake ID is rejected by 1020, Nacho’s [now defunct], the Heights, and even the Abbey (despite seeing what appear to be 12-year-old girls being admitted), you give up and begin to walk back to Carman. Out of nowhere a guy in a polo shirt who reeks of cigarettes and jungle juice assaults you. He slaps you on the ass and tells you to rush Pike—even if you’re a girl. Suddenly you find yourself in a dark room with a sticky floor, surrounded by sweaty men and girls in short skirts, and you realize you’re in a frat house. You didn’t even know Columbia had fraternities. How did all these people get into Columbia? (Hint: they were once just like you. Almost.) At the frat party you squint your eyes to find the keg in the dark.

11:34pm — While in line for the bathroom you see two guys doing lines off a coffee table. You tell them you’ve never seen cocaine before, and they tell you it’s Adderall. Suddenly one of them begins to read Dubliners. You now know what hell feels like. (more…)


In case you haven’t already figured this out, almost all of your conversations during NSOP are going to consist of exchanging the same boring facts about your life with strangers. You’re stuck cycling through the same intro until you either find something you can make awkward conversation about or you decide not to be friends. Why not expedite the process with our patent-pending NSOP Introduction Cards? Studies show they help freshpeople make up to 12% more friends than our control group. The only things you need to remember now are 1) no one cares about your SAT score and 2) it’s Bwog, not BWOG. Good luck and download a printable PDF here.

business card