Columbia Culture Shock
Moving to the biggest city in the US is a wild ride from start to finish.
I’m from a small-ish town in rural Pennsylvania, so going from a town of 15,000 in the middle of nowhere was a massive culture shock. You all have beer in your grocery store! The Smell! Hearing people speak languages other than English everywhere you go!! It’s shocking, it’s beautiful and I knew I wasn’t the only person to experience this phenomenon. No matter where you’re from (unless you’re from New York City, we guess) it’s a transition of the highest magnitude so Bwog staffers submitted their biggest moments of culture shock when coming to Columbia. Feel free to share yours in the comments!
- People walk up and down escalators.
- Everything is open constantly—now when I go home I’m shocked that the Starbucks isn’t open until 11 pm.
- The SOUNDS.
- What kind of city has multiple floors for movie theaters?
- Bowling allies are their own independent place of business?
- The only Krispy Kreme donuts are in Penn Station and the closest Office Depot is in New Jersey
- Too many buildings in Manhattan not enough mountains in the distance
- I come from a hot and dry climate. Fuck this “humidity” bullshit.
- We do not so much have a campus as we do a dome with buildings squished around it. Every day I wonder what it would be like to bike the paths of my state school without fear of an errant taxi.
- Rooms small
- No Raising Canes (west coast best coast)
- The way water tastes here
- Not driving a car
- There are grocery stores here that aren’t from huge chains?? Like I can’t think of a single locally-owned grocery store near my house. I love the bodegas and delis on Amsterdam.
- The acceptance of queerness on campus <3
- HILLS: THERE ARE NO HILLS IN FLORIDA AND I HAVE TO WALK UP ONE EVERY DAY FROM PLIMPTON TO COLLEGE WALK
- People straight up ignore people and that’s not how we do it in the south.
- You can literally be doing the weirdest shit in public and no one cares. I’ve cried on the subway and walked a very large and out of control package cart from Broadway to Amsterdam and no one around me cared.
- Strong agree on the hills
- No alleys???
- Being able to get almost any place without ever needing a car
- Less McDonald’s than expected [Ed. Note: rip McDonald’s]
- People use umbrellas when it’s DRIZZLING outside. Back home you get wet like a real man.
- No one I know back home eats kosher.
- Rats just out and about
- Humidity isn’t a thing in Oregon so that was real fun to deal with
- Important things actually happen here????
- MTA fares drain your wallet SO FAST—back home I pay $2.50 for 2.5 hours which is usually enough to get me out and back but not here
- NO ONE COMPOSTS IN THEIR HOME HERE. It’s so unbelievably strange not to have a compost bin in our suite kitchen. I’ve seen them around campus but it’s not a universal thing.
- Everyone walks at 10% the speed that they should walk
- Tons of people never learned how to drive
- Distance is so different in NYC…. in Ohio, driving 20 miles is nothing, but here 2 miles is a fuckin TREK! Your bubble is physically so much smaller here.
- Imposter syndrome is very real.
wow such alcohol via Wikimedia Commons