One of our favorites from Orientation 2006.
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 alcohol.edu. 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, 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.
12:13am — After a few drinks you’ve lost your sense of smell and suddenly the party gets much better. You’re sitting on a couch and someone passes you a joint. You feel like a college kid and reach out to hug the stoner next to you.
1:13am — Holy shit! You’ve been sitting on the same couch for an hour. This is so much fun! An brunette approaches and takes a seat on the couch. She says she goes to Barnard. You are intrigued.
1:26am — Wow. You really enjoyed that party and were actually upset when it was shut down by a noise complaint. You thought this was the city that never sleeps, but you were wrong. A crowd wanders over to Koronets, and you join them. You must. After devouring two slices of pizza, you realize that you have super-human eating powers past 1am—even if you’re a girl. There is still a girl with you, but you’re not sure if she’s the one from the party.
2:14am — Without knowing how you got there, you find yourself across Broadway in some random Barnard dorm. You’re alone with one of the girls you met earlier and you’re telling her you love her and want to settle in New Jersey and make (or adopt) little Columbia babies. You are so drunk. She says she’s from Florida, or maybe she says Maine. She talks about her cat and her parents and her dreams for the future and then, inexplicably, she starts crying and you’re in a really awkward situation because you can’t remember her name. Luckily she passes out, and you leave. You decide to feel proud of yourself for not doing anything.
3:32am — On the Steps you bum a cigarette off a random upperclassmen. You smoke? You don’t smoke. Wait, smoking while drunk is cool. You’re cool. You smoke.
3:46am — You pee in the bushes surrounding Low Library. You wonder if Eisenhower ever walked where you are peeing. You yell this, along with the years of his presidency and his electoral opponent (Stevenson, Stevenson), to prove that you are still on your shit.
4:11am — Somehow you find your way back to your dorm. Your roommate hasn’t moved for hours, and seems perfectly content playing World of Warcraft, watching an episode of Sex and the City, and eating peanuts. You are slightly jealous. Oh well, time for sleep. Tomorrow is your first meal at John Jay. You can taste the flimsy pancakes and processed maple syrup now. Orientation week is the best.