Welcome to the Columbia Olympics. Through this series, Bwog hopes to prepare you for at least some of the events that you will participate in at Columbia. Unlike the real Olympics, no one’s too young, too old, too juiced, or too angry to participate. Since everything must be judged, though, we have included gold medal outcomes at the end of each post.

Thanks to the constantly long lines on move-in day, and the rather packed schedule at the start of Orientation Week, many first-years (Columbia-speak for freshmen) no doubt are still contemplating just how to make that special 110 ft. single or half of the 215 sq ft. double their own. How does one turn that whitewashed cell into a new home? Use the comments to add your own advice.

  • Decide immediately whether you want to loft your bed or put it on risers. Even if you don’t want the extra space (or can’t leap in and out of a lofted bed), you don’t want to have to rearrange everything later.
  • Use every corner and every tabletop of space for bins, refrigerators, etc.
  • Know how to loft a bed – nobody wants to start their college experience with their father in the hospital with a gash from a falling bed frame.
  • If you didn’t loot your local Virgin megastore for cool posters (or are ambivalent about defining your identity so early in the year), a New York subway map looks good on any prison wall (and is actually pretty useful when first adjusting to the city).

  • Make sure you really like any posters you do put up – you’ll be staring at the same cast for months at a time.
  • If you’re in the habit of collecting cards (restaurant, contacts, etc.), pin those up into a useful collage (better than finding a decaying stack in your drawer at the end of the year and thinking, man, I should have gotten off campus more).
  • When putting up stuff, instead of wall putty or double sided tape that will just fall down, use a staple gun. It keeps things attached to the wall and the holes are so small you won’t get charged for it.
  • None of these steps will matter if you don’t have a lamp to make up for the terrible ceiling lights.

Gold Medal Outcome: Incorporate a dance routine.