Daze on Campus

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If you missed the hundreds of high school seniors roaming around campus today, know that there are three more Days on Campus event left. And that while the afternoon barbeque is guarded, the breakfast buffet is not.

While it’s all fun and games and stealing food for us, the Class of 2006/2010 is making some major life decisions. For all those future-Columbians who left in tears, never fear. We’ve all been there, as freshman Ellen Kessel’s tale attests.


I can safely say my “Days On Campus” experience was worse than my first day of kindergarten, when I drowned myself in my own tears as I was ripped off my father’s leg. Like my usual asinine self, I showed up at Columbia an hour late. Little did I know that my tardiness would cause me to be stuck with a host who would blow away every revered opinion of Columbia I held.

She had over processed blonde hair, a skirt that was four inches higher than it was supposed to be, and one of those cheesy shirts that said “New Jersey: Only the strong survive.” She asked us the usual questions: Where are you from? Are you early decision? When it came time for us to start asking her questions about Columbia, I felt pressured to ask her the questions I knew she wanted to hear: How did you avoid the freshman fifteen? What are the parties here like? Are the guys hot? How many keg stands have you done?

On our trek, she pointed out the guy she hooked up with last night, the one from the night before last, and the one from a week ago (after she thought about it a while, she decided it might not have been him but the lucky gent’s twin brother). Her suite’s walls were creepily covered with sorority pictures dating back to a time when scrunchies and big hair weren’t fashion faux pas.

When we returned later that night from a bus tour that didn’t even get past 34th before turning back, neither of us was in the mood to do a scavenger hunt, or play tag for that matter. We didn’t go to the West End, Casbah, or a party in Carman. Instead, we went back to the dreaded sorority shrine. As my friend and I tucked ourselves into bed, a bid to end the night as quickly as possible, I could see the tears welling up in her eyes. She assumed Columbia would be the perfect school for her, but after her visit, it was a slim chance she would attend. She felt hopeless. And I tried to make myself accept the fact that I would be miserable for four years and tried to think of the hell I’d give my parents for letting me apply early decision.

In, the end, though, all is well that ends well. My parents panicked and asked a family friend to host me a week later. She gave me the true Columbia experience, and after a few shots and a fun night out with sexy Eurotrash guys, I knew Columbia was the right place for me. As for my friend, she did end up coming here—a decision she doesn’t regret. I’ll never know exactly what my mistake was: showing up to Days on Campus late or just showing up at all.

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  1. b&w

    crying over the existence of sororities? treasuring nights with eurotrash men? this is a story only b&w could have told.

  2. barbeque?

    I love how the Oxford dictionary standard in OS X 10.4 defines Bwog's spelling:

    "barbeque |?bärbi?kyo?| noun & verb a common misspelling of barbecue. USAGE This common form arises understandably from a confused conflation of the proper spelling barbecue, the abbreviation Bar-B-Q, and phonetic spelling. Its frequency does not quite justify it: in no other English word does que attain the status of a stand-alone, terminal syllable."

  3. whatever

    ellen kessel is such a loser. what a loser. loser times twenty. ellen: you lose!

  4. M.R.

    Bus rides? Free T-shirts? What's with this nonsense?

    My DoC experience seems like a "You should feel lucky to even be here"-fest by comparison.

    Not to say that it sucked. It was awesome. But I sure wouldve liked a T-Shirt. My harvard bound friend rubbed in he fact that he got one all the rest of that spring...

  5. ehoeruchl

    I completely avoided days on campus - it gives a false view of columbia

  6. fuck

    wait...when did big hair and scrunchies go out of style?!

  7. Dayana Azuaje

    I went to DOC this April and I didn't have the great time that I thought/everyone else told me I would. I was really social but everyone had their cliques preset and it was really awkward. I'm really not basing my experience at DOC at all to what I hope my 4 years at Columbia will be like. If I were to base it on that, tehn I'd be a lonesome individual on the phone outside of JJ complaining to my boyfriend.

  8. hmm

    I didn't realize so many people had a horrible time at DOC. It was one of the most enjoyable weekends of my life! It completely reinforced my positive views of Columbia.

  9. sorry, but

    i actually really enjoyed my time at doc... i skipped the plan-a-thon of the bus/activities, etc., met a lot of people, went to some parties that ranged from dirty to fun, and had a great time.

  10. moi aussi

    I agree. Good times.

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