#waking up with bwog
Waking Up With Bwog: The Last Day

This is it, friends.  Tomorrow we’re officially back to school.

Today’s Highlights:

  • A ton of neighborhood tours.  See: Central Park, 5th Ave/Rockefeller Center, Chinatown/Little Italy, Midtown, Soho, Staten Island.  Meet at various places.
  • The EcoReps Green Tour, 1:30 pm, meet at the sundial.
  • Welcome to JJ’s Place, 8-10 pm, JJ’s.  Check out the beautiful new JJ’s Place.  You lucky bastards.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating:

Louise McCune: Get into it. Whatever “it” is. I wish upon everyone some extremely “chill” times in college, but I also hope that there will be days– weeks! months!– that you are so so so so absolutely INTO what you are doing that it is almost all you can think about. Take advantage of this unparalleled opportunity to have ideas and make things in the company of all these brilliant people.

Know Your Alums: We can tell you that you go to school with some seriously kick-ass people and you’re really going to enjoy the next four years, or we can just show you these:

The Hard Core: A Columbian Odyssey (Part 5 of 5) “It’s Finals Week” from Bwog on Vimeo.

Waking Up With Bwog: Sleepy Sunday

Classes are looming nearer. Today, you’re going to have to actually run some errands/buy textbooks/buy food, not just put it off. Luckily, you still have a few days of waking up with us. Savor it, this won’t last for much longer.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Meet And Greet, 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Find out which clubs and organizations you’ll be joining/attending for the free food. The list of participating clubs is here for Columbia and here for Barnard; but all you need to know is that Bwog will be in the Satow room from 5:30 – 6:30. Be there.
  • All of the neighborhood tours. Learn your city.
  • Performance Showcase, 8:30 – 11:30 p.m. All of the people around you are incredibly talented. Come to appreciate them, be awed, and be shamed by your lack of dancing skills.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating:

Steven Castellano: Go on top of the Low dome. The journey up is half the fun, and the view from above is unmatched by that of any skyscraper in the city. Definitely do that, but also explore as many other physical and mental spaces as you can.

Know Your Alums:

You have this guy to thank for your 14th floor room with no functioning elevator. He was also the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as we’re sure your enthusiastic tour guide told you. Love you, JJ.

Dat face

Waking Up With Bwog: Welcome, Upperclassmen

It’s everyone else’s move-in day, so NSOP is dangling carrots to lure first-years off campus.  Just stay out of our blue bins’ way!  Please continue to send in overseens and overheards to tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous tip form.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Neighborhood Tours: East Village, Downtown/Financial District, Brooklyn Bridge, Park Slope, meet at 11 am in various locations and MoMA, meet at noon.  It’s almost like you live in New York or something.
  • TVC Social Outing at SPiN Galactic, noon-3 pm, meet at 116th and Broadway
  • CC First Year Class Council Info Sesh, 3-4 pm, 569 Lerner
  • SEAS First Year and 3-2 Class Council Info Sesh, 3-4 pm, 568 Lerner
  • Chillin and Grillin with Greek Life, 5-7 pm, Pupin Plaza.  It’s almost like you’re in college or something.
  • Soccer with SGA, 7-9 pm, Lehman Lawn
  • Commuter Night In NYC (BC), 7-9 pm, meet at Barnard Gates
  • Late Night Entertainment, 9-10 pm, Roone Arledge
  • Late Night Movie, 11 pm-1 am, Lerner Cinema

One Thing To Do Before Graduating:

Rachel Nash Bronstein: Go the fuck outside. Like, right now. Chances are it’s nice out, but even if it isn’t, the fresh air will do you good.

Know Your Alums:

Hell yeah this song is about where you are right now.  Welcome back, upperclassmen!  (And, yes, the chandelier is in St. A’s)

Waking Up With Bwog: Finally Friday

You’re almost there, NSOP-ers — real school is almost in session.  Welcome to your first Friday.  Not the First Friday, though.  Please continue to send in overseens and overheards to tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous tip form.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Class Registration Help Session (CU), 9 am-7 pm, Satow Room on the 5th floor of Lerner.  Go to this it will help you registration is confusing.
  • eBear Registration (BC), 11:30 am-12:30 pm and 12:30-1:30 pm, Held Lecture Hall, 304 Barnard Hall.  eBear is confusing.
  • Getting A Job On Campus (CU), noon-1 pm and 1-2 pm, 329 Pupin.  $$$$$
  • CC First Year Class Council Info Sesh, 5-6 pm, 569 Lerner Hall
  • SEAS First Year Class Council Info Sesh, 5-6 pm, 568 Lerner Hall
  • Update, 12:15: the SEAS Info Session includes an info session from the 3-2 program representative as well
  • Open Mic Night, 9-11:30 pm, Roone Arledge Auditorium in Lerner Hall.  Go show off!

Mixers & Such:

  • Students of Color Breakfast (BC), 9:30-10:30 am, 2nd floor dining room
  • Native and Indigenous New Students, 12:30-1:30 pm, 423 Hamilton Hall
  • Commuter Social (BC), 2-4 pm, Lehman Lawn
  • Understanding American Academic Culture, 4-5 pm, 555 Lerner Hall
  • LGBTQA New Students, 4-5:30 pm, James Room on the 4th floor of Barnard Hall
  • TVC Social Outing: 6:45-10 pm, meet at 116th and Broadway
  • Shabbat Dinner, 8:15-10 pm, Diana Center Lobby

One Thing To Do Before Graduating:

Brian Wagner: Get your heart broken. It doesn’t have to be by a person—it could be an idea, organization, or friend. Once you get over the grieving, you’ll have quite possibly the clearest perspective on life that you’ve ever had, and you’ll learn what really matters to you. Find that one thing, and never stop doing it.

Know Your Alums:

Alexander Hamilton: the man, the myth, the legend.

Waking Up With Bwog: Thirsty Thursday

Moooornin y’all, A+ work on getting Beta shut down before midnight.  The war on fun: it’s real!  Now get some coffee, pancakes, and ginger ale and get ready for more activities.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Charting the Course (BC), 9:30-11 am, Held Lecture Hall/304 Barnard Hall.  Learn how to learn.
  • Being a Transfer Student at Barnard, 10 am-noon, Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor Barnard Hall.  Learn how to be a transfer student.
  • Alumna Summer Reading Forum (BC), 1:30-3 pm, Event Oval, Elizabeth Benedict, BC’76, will talk about her book Mentors, Muses, & Monsters.
  • Well, nothing very interesting is happening for CU during the day besides some advising sessions, BUT THEN:
  • NYC Event: Victoria Gardens (CU/BC), 8-11 pm.  Party on, friends.  Send your story to tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous tips form.  Anonymity is always guaranteed.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating: [Today we're giving you two pieces of advice for the price of one thing.]

Beyonce Knowles Carter Meriam Raouf: Lose that virginity. Not so much because you need to have sex to fit in, because, let’s be honest, there’s a ton of abstinence being practiced on this campus. But because that mission will probably take you below 110th street or just more into 116th. Either get involved off campus or get involved on campus. Netflix, Reddit, imgur, all those bastards, can eat up a semester, and then a year. And you’ll wish you’d only watched Parks and Rec all the way through one time, and done something instead.

Will Hughes: Spitters are quitters.

Know Your Alums:

Be proud, you’re joining the company of these fine humans:

Waking Up With Bwog: Hump Day

Good morning. Starting to get the hang of things? Remember, keep emailing tips@bwog.com with stories, overheards, desperate pleas for roommate advice. Keep on rocking.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Individual Advising Sessions, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. The advice just keeps coming. All day long.
  • TVC Group Advising Session, 9-11 a.m. “The best way to start the day is with good advice.” We couldn’t agree more, writers of the NSOP schedule book. That’s why you’re reading this post, isn’t it?
  • Academic Resources Fair, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. It’s never too early to start milking all you can out of Columbia. But really, the sooner you learn the actual opportunities available to you, the better. Take what’s being given to you.
  • Community Forum, 8-10 p.m. Or, where you cover Alma from head to toe with glow bracelets/necklaces and take selfies with your new BFFLs.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating:

Logon Donovan: Make an effort to get to know at least one new person in each of your classes. Go get coffee or tea or whatever they drink. It’s so easy to go to class every day and sit next to the same people and not even know their name. Especially in engineering where all of your classes are with the same people.

Know Your Alums:

Let’s keep listing the celebs:  Anna Paquin, both Gyllenhaals, and the far-superior-to-James-Franco Joseph Gordon-Levitt. None of them may have actually graduated from Columbia, but they were once on this campus, just like you.

Waking Up With Bwog: You’ve Totally Got This All Figured Out

A hearty welcome to the TVC students today!  We hope your day goes smoothly.  If you see or hear anything funny, or if you just need someone new to talk to, go ahead and email tips@bwog.com — we’d love to hear from you!

Today’s Highlights:

  • Move In for TVC students, 9 am-1 pm
  • Individual Advising Sessions, 8-9 am, 4th floor Lerner.  If you’re awake early enough for this, you probably don’t need an advising session.  There’s also sessions from 10:30 am-7 pm.  We don’t get why they’re listed separately either.
  • Lit Hum: The First Class, 2:30-4 pm, Roone Arledge Auditorium in Lerner Hall.  Go to this.  Write about it and send it to tips@bwog.com.  Christia Mercer has been gone for the last year and oh boy have we  missed her.
  • SEAS Math Info Session and Placement Exam, 2:30-4 pm, 312 Math.  While CC is at a lecture, SEAS takes a test.  This is also how the next 4 years will be.
  • Community Night Out, 10 pm-1 am, various locations.  Got out with your RA!  It’ll be fun!

One Thing To Do Before Graduating:

Randolph Carr III: Rob this school blind. Check out as many books as you can read, and keep whatever you find inside. Apply for every grant whether you think you are qualified or not. Any professor who you are slightly interested in, take every spare moment they will offer you, to loot their wisdom. This school is abundant in resources, most of which it has, indeed, robbed from someone. Do not be ashamed, steal every opportunity you can get.

Know Your Alums: James Franco was here for a little and “studied” in Butler 209 a lot, which was a fun and sexy time for people.

Waking Up With Bwog: The Gang’s All Here

Today we’re getting our final round of movers-in with the short-distance travelers.  Bwog will be running about today, snooping on NSOP and talking to freshmen about the experience.  As of today, NSOP is officially in full swing, so it’s time for you to Wake Up With Bwog.  If you’re interested in writing about anything that you go through today, email tips@bwog.com.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Barnard <3 NY, 10 am-3 pm, various locations. You’re in NEW YORK FUCKIN CITY NOW.
  • Columbia Convocation, 2:30-4 pm, South Lawn.  Get yer convocation on.
  • Meet Your OL, 4:15-5:30 pm, various locations.  Do a human knot.
  • Class Act, 7-8:30 pm, Roone Arledge Auditorium in Lerner Hall.  It’s just like Pitch Perfect we swear.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating: One of Bwog’s classic traditions is Senior Wisdom, a series run around graduation every year, where seniors are nominated to shed some wisdom.  Here we highlight a piece of advice from them.

“Have purpose, and lots of sleepovers.” – Claire Sabel

Know Your Alums: Comedy group Local Empire, Columbia alums who were in the Fruit Paunch improv comedy group, verbalize how you’ll feel on the lawns with your OL today:

And So Ends NSOP

It’s over! We hope that you freshpeople have enjoyed getting to know Bwog as much as we’ve enjoyed getting to know you. Relive the best of this week’s NSOP coverage:


  • Overseen: codewords, totes, parents and more
  • Overheard: the things they said
  • Swag: free things that Bwog found, including slushie cups
  • Photobwogging: orientation in pictures
  • CUgLow: Alma at the disco

Introducing the Class of 2015:

Health and Safety:

Getting to Know the ‘Hood:

Things you should really know about:


Getting to Know Columbia:

Home decorating:

Waking Up With Bwog #7

The ultimate dilemma

As you freshpeople look forward to the next four years, seniors are anticipating their last. Whatever they’ve been through during their time at Columbia, one questions plagues them more than any other: if you had to give up either oral sex or cheese for the rest of you life, what would you choose?

Rajib Mitra, SEAS ’10

Unless you are lactose intolerant, the answer should be oral sex. If you say otherwise, you are wrong. Actually, even if you are lactose intolerant you should still pick oral sex. You survived the post-John Jay dining hall afterparty in your tummy, you know you can suck it up for glorious cheese.

Katie Reedy, CC’09

I must refer to the 5/7 episode of 30 Rock. Liz Lemon is curled up alone in her apartment, wrapped in a blue Snuggie, sampling from a large cheese tray and singing to herself, “Workin’ on my night cheese,” to the tune of “Workin’ on my night moves.” This scene encompasses my answer and my general philosophy.

Jody Zellman, JTS/GS’11

It’s hard to imagine one without the other.

You have time to think about this ’15ers, but one day, your time will come.

Waking Up With Bwog #6

We hope you’re starting to find your sea legs by now. We’ve some real treats for you today.

Get yourself wiser courtesy of Bwog alum Menachem Kaiser, GS ’09:

A good title on a paper will help you far more than you might realize. Whatever it is you kinda dream about doing in life, do it here, while you can, often. Sweatpants do not help anyone get laid. Professors are, by far, the most under-utilized facility on campus, followed by the librarians; use ‘em. Assiduous note-taking in science/math classes does not help one whit. There’s a lot to be said for classes where the readings are good.

We’re feeling it’s about that time of the year for some Ferris Bueller:

The rest of this morning is dedicated to the tips and tricks to choosing classes that no one ever tells you.

First of all, Columbia has no official “shopping” period, where you test out classes, but most professors understand that things shake up a bit in the first two weeks. So it’s definitely not the end of the world if you switch into a class or two late.

You are told that you cannot switch core sections without petitioning, but this is false. It’s perfectly easy to do through SSOL. Bwog cannot impress upon enough the beauty of the refresh button. You can see all the Lit Hum professors under the subject ‘Humanities’ in the Directory of ClassesDo some research, because a professor’s area of expertise can bring a lot to the table. Some historic favorites are Richard Sacks (section 11) Mark Lilla (sections 30 and 48), and Liza Knapp (section 7). Once you’ve identified a few sections that you would like to switch into, sit in front of your registration page and hit the “switch section” button. Freshpeople are all over the place with their course selection, switching in and out of things willy-nilly, so availability will be changing all the time, and most spaces are only open for a few minutes. Same goes for all other first-year reqs.

Keep an open mind. CULPA is highly subjective, and just because one person didn’t enjoy a teaching method doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for you. Teaching styles will vary hugely, and you shouldn’t dismiss your professors based on hearsay. The number of negative CULPA reviews that get written because people were miffed about their grades or just wanted an easier ride is really depressing.

Talk to your professors! They know you’re ignorant and afraid and a little sweaty. They want to encourage you. Just be honest with them about what you’re looking for in a class, and they’ll be able to direct you to the right place.

Waking Up With Bwog #5

Peel yourself out of bed and go ‘splorin.

Classes start soon, so before you get lazy, make this Apple your oyster. Some weekend suggestions: Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, the annual unicycle festival, Brazilian DayThe Central Park butterfly garden, Upright Citizens Brigade, eating. Structure a full day around finding the best pickle, pizza or bagel. Pick a random neighborhood and stroll. You run this town.

Another daily dose of wisdom, courtesy of Nina Pedrad, CC’11

Find a couple things you love here, and get into them. I came from the “do every activity imaginable in high school so you can get into a good college” school of thought. And I wore sweatpants for most of high school. Now, there’s nothing wrong with sweatpants, but I wasn’t pregnant or training to fight Apollo Creed. My point is, you can calm down a bit because… you’ve done it! You’ve gotten into a good college. So do a few things you love and relax.

Oscar Wilde said “life is too important to be taken seriously” and sister knows her business. No assignment should throw you into a massive panic attack, no weird look at a party should ruin your night. I don’t know if these will best the best four (or five, or six) years of your life because that will mean you peaked in college, but they can be a damn fun four years.

And get to know people, because there are some pretty cool ones here. On your freshman floor you probably have a kid who can build a rocket ship, belt all of “Defying Gravity,” and make fart noises with six different body parts. If the same kid can do all three, then you need to become that kid’s manager and exploit him.

Bwogline of the Day:

After all the consent workshops, this NYTimes article on college gender roles seem topical…and frighteningly familiar. An excerpt: “What stunned me was what was happening outside class, where women seemed not to have budged in decades.  In social settings and in relationships, men set the pace, made the rules and acted as they had in the days when women were still “less than.” It might as well have been the 1950s, but with skimpier clothing, fewer inhibitions and better birth control”

Waking Up With Bwog #4

NSOP is the new COÖP

Mornin’ freshpeople! We heard you were on an island last night!

How the kids branched out before:

NSOP renting out iconic New York places has been a tradition. Last year, 2014 was on a boat, 2013 danced in the zoo, and 2012 bonded in Victorian Gardens. But maybe dear ol’ 2011 had it best when NSOP used to host a concert. This band Vampire Weekend was there once.

Sari Ancel, SEAS ’10, shares some of her wisdom about just talking to others:

Stop and Chat > Wave Hello > Awkward Ignore…

Awkwardly ignoring someone you know is not only super mean but also not worth the effort of pretending to not know them (e.g. fake texting, feigning sudden interest in lawn trimmings). Just smile or say “hi.” This is perfect for Orientation Week when you make 150 new best friends in one day and you can’t remember someone’s name. [Side note: never be embarrassed to ask someone their name.] The Stop and Chat, however, is by far the superior option. It will help you stay updated with friends that you don’t get to see as often as you like. And, as you are rushing from a lab in Mudd to a meeting in Lerner, the stop and chat will keep you sane / put a smile on your face.

A few culinary options around Morningside Heights:

You’ll probably get sick of John Jay at some point (probably this week, maybe even today), so why not get a little adventurous and check out some of the other options you have right around you?

  • If burgers are your thing, look no further than our own Battle of the Burgers guide to the neighborhood
  • If brunch is your thing, Community Food & Juice is a Bwog favorite. Relish in it now, as it was once closed due to a fire but reopened to everyone’s delight. If you’re feeling bold, you can also try the new Cascabel Taqueria or the new-but-basically-just-Campo Il Cibreo.
  • If you’re in need of coffee, be hip and check out Joe in NoCo
  • Brad’s is an often overlooked and relatively recent addition to the campus dining fare, probably because it’s nestled in the J-School
  • Food cards are a good choice if you’re just after something quick. They will really start showing up more often once the semester starts, but staples have always been dosa cart(s), halal carts (Bwog’s fave is Hooda), and the trendy Korilla.

And if you’re the kind that doesn’t like to pay for their food, don’t worry. Soon there will be tons of student groups looking to recruit fresh young minds, bribing them with the holy grail of college cuisine, free food.

A Golden Nails masterpiece tipped by Michael Kaufman

Waking Up With Bwog #3

Top of the morning to you freshpeople! So much to see, so much to learn!

The wise John Jay once said:

“Hold fast to the spirit of youth, let the years to come do what they may

The wise Wayne Campbell once said:

“I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored.”

The wise Sarah Sechan, GS/JTS ’11 once said:

“Visit all 5 boroughs. Know how to spell “borough.” Make friends with the security guards. They’re going to be dealing with your drunk asses for 4 years and if you get on their bad side, you’ll regret it. Find meaningful volunteer work off-campus. Join the marching band. Don’t drink vodkawine.”

Bwog heartily seconds the greeting to your security guard. Yesterday morning, in a brief chat with the chap on duty about the lameness of the swipe-in/sign-in system,  he quoted Ron Paul, Ben Franklin, and Aldous Huxley in solidarity and then we talked politics a bit and parted ways.

Waking Up With Bwog #2

"They are pulling on the gates at 7:30 when we open at 8. They ask, ‘What am I going to do without my cah-fee?’ I say, ‘What am I going to do without my wine?’”

It’s another beautiful day. Be fruitful and multiply your knowledge with Bwog.

First, a warm cup ‘o senior wisdom, courtesy of Ian Kwok, CC’11:

Columbia is a university where it’s really up to you to make what you want of it. So have some fun with it! Sure, grades are important, but in the end, that last 2% isn’t going to change how successful you’ll be in the long run. I mean, studies show that it’s just as important to be good-looking, so if success is what’s important to you, why not switch some of that tuition money over to get some quality plastic surgery?

Anyways, I kid, but seriously, enjoy yourself! Seriously enjoy yourself. Enjoy your serious self. You’ve got the rest of your lives to worry about your career. As a pre-med, I can assure you that you can have fun and still get into a good med school (I’ve only been to Butler a handful of times, and usually to rent a movie or play Sardines). And if you feel like you’ve got too much on your plate, just give some to me. I’ll take your leftovers, any day. So take it easy, eh? All you need is love!

Get to know Columbia’s unsung heroes, the friendly faces you’ll see everyday:

Bwogline of the day:

Earlier this summer, the New Yorker published a meaty profile of Facebook COO and Barnard graduation speaker Sheryl Sandberg  Former SGA president Lara Avsar was even quoted. A memorable excerpt:

Of all the seniors who paused onstage, the one Sandberg recalled most vividly was the graduate who said, “You’re the baddest bitch.” Sandberg added, “I hope she meant it as a compliment. She gave me a big hug.”