You’ve read Columbia’s official packing list, you’ve cross-referenced your own list with those of your friends and the other kids on the Columbia Class of 2019 group—now what? Bwog put together a list of a few items to bring that you may not have thought about to help with everything from party preparation to actually passing your classes.
For your social life…
- A fake ID – Seriously, you need it—a night out at Columbia will usually end in bar-hopping. Yes, they’re expensive, but well-made fakes are a good investment in the next three years of your social life. If you’re more tech-savvy, check out Reddit’s fake ID subreddit for possible places to purchase. There will also be lots of other first-years scrambling to order during the first few weeks of school, so either organize an order or get in on one. Make sure to check out how credible your vendor is (people do get scammed!), and be careful if you decide to ship the IDs to your Lerner address (we’ve heard of the package center confiscating fake ID orders if they figure out what they are).
- Speakers – How else will you bump Drake or Kanye or The Weeknd at the many parties you’ll be throwing in your Carman double?
- Cleaning supplies – How else will you clean up all the sticky patches of spilled red bull and vodka from the night before on your floor?
- Inexpensive shoes – You’re going to be walking around and frat-hopping a lot during NSOP—pick up a pair of cheap sandals (some schools would call these ‘frat flats’) to use during the first few weeks of school, and just toss them when they start to break down. In our experience, you don’t generally have to worry about ruining your shoes post-NSOP (unless it’s snowing or you really like frats or something). Also, for winter—get an inexpensive coat that doesn’t look like everyone else’s. Too many people lose their coats at Cannon’s (ugh)! Don’t be one of them!
- A corkscrew and a bottle opener key chain – The former for wine nights and the latter for spontaneous parties when you’re on the go.
For your academic life…
- A coffee maker – Buying coffee every day is expensive, and the dining hall coffee is shitty. We recommend getting a french press or a pour-over set-up (both are pretty inexpensive and easy to use), and you should definitely check out the different beans at Joe’s, Oren’s, Samad Gourmet (the deli next to The Heights on 111th and Broadway), and even Trader Joe’s. Please don’t get a Keurig—they’re expensive, bad for the environment, and the coffee is not good. An electric kettle is also a good idea, but Housing does get mad if you blow a fuse using one (whoops!).
- Medicine – Let’s be real—college is gross. At the beginning of freshman year, everyone is sharing drinks, sneezing on each other in Butler, making out at sweaty Carman parties, and exchanging germs from all over the world (or something like that—we’re not scientists)! Almost everyone gets sick within the first couple of weeks, so stock up on Dayquil, Nyquil, Emergen-C, and other cold medications so you’ll be prepared when sickness inevitably strikes (and you won’t have to miss any of your classes!)
- Extension cords and outlet splitters – Straighten your hair and charge your iPhone and boil some water!
- Amazon Prime membership – So you can order that book that you forgot to order that you need for Lit Hum, or so you can get a taser to show off at parties (we’re kidding, please don’t order tasers. You never know when Michelle Obama will come to campus and you’ll be searched by the Secret Service…)
- Spotify Premium membership – Students can get Spotify Premium for $4.99/month. Put two coffees worth of money towards Spotify each month and you’ll have unlimited access to music in Butler, the subway, and lame parties when you get your hands on the aux chord.
- Ear plugs – For ignoring chatty sorority girls in Ref or sleeping really, really well when they’re doing construction right outside of Furnald.
- Tupperware/mason jars/etc. – Sneak food out of Ferris and sneak wine into Butler.
- Decorations for your room – Don’t leave your walls bare (especially if you’re shafted against Lerner…so depressing)! Try to cover up as much of the ugly cinderblock with photos, posters, Christmas lights (yeah, sorry, they’re kind of lame, but they do make your room look better), and make your new living space somewhere that you actually want to hang out/work/whatever.
- Extra underwear – It’s simple—the more underwear, the less laundry you will have to do during the semester.
- A robe – For when you need the comfort of being in bed but can’t trust yourself to stay awake if actually in bed. We have also worn our (silk) robes out before (after friends finally convinced us to leave our rooms and get a few drinks with them.)
Distressed first year via Shutterstock