NSOP is now officially in the past. Below, a freshman — specifically, Ethan Wu, 2017 — reflects. Bask in the nostalgia.
Thoughts of a Columbia Freshman
How does one describe their seminal days of college? As a blur, a memory corrupted, or a lucid stream of meetings and names and events more epic than Gilgamesh, crazier than Bacchanal? (Which, I hear, was not that crazy.)
I started off my day with food in front of John Jay. We were treated to a lobster-and-shrimp delight, the pinnacle of my JJ food experience as every other subsequent meal has descended into the realm of mushy beans and overly salty pasta.
From there, OL group icebreakers led to me playing ninja with the self-proclaimed nephew of Chuck Norris, who trounced me soundly. My friend and I went back to our floor, where we hung a verbally engraved banana from a shoelace out of the window to communicate with the resident of the room below us (the banana, or at least its peel, hangs there to this day).
Later, we would end up discussing the merits of postmodern rock, Ken Kesey, the American government and the idea of bunking the beds in my friend’s walk-through double, creating a “party room” out of the empty space.
The day ended in night, as it always does, and I was introduced to the tradition of nightlife at Columbia. To quickly list it off:
- pregaming in Carman (already a classic event)
- a game of Tip the Cup at Cannon’s
- pizza at Koronet’s (it’s so damn big)
- overly crowded frat party at an unnamed brownstone with patriotic décor
- late-night jazz in the John Jay lounge
The highlight of the night was by far the impromptu jazz session. A tall, lanky bassist, nondescript saxophonist and bespectacled pianist with a beak nose to rival Ra had come together in the wee hours of the night and the air condition of the lounge to meld their music into something wholly unique, vibrations and emotions that formed a gem in the dirt of NSOP. There may have been oodles of freshman talent showcased at Open Mic Night, but nothing compared to the raw stream of ideas and thoughts, of emotions and that elusive feeling of being alive, and one with the world.
And that’s NSOP. That’s what my first week of Columbia has been, one gigantic jumble of people and events interspersed with moments of absolute gold, classic happenings like Deantini’s Pantone 292 speech to intimate conversations about literature with newly-made friends. I’ve had fun and am looking forward to the future, but in the end I only have one thing to say:
This shit is bananas.
B-a-n-a-n-a-as via Wikimedia