Reporting live from Columbia University in the City of [Your_Hometown_Here], I’m here to tell you how to emulate going to school in the city while trapped in the suburbs.

We’ve all seen them: the bitches in our Zoom classes openly living in New York, skyline perfectly angled in the background of their video icons. If you are not one of these bitches, I’m willing to bet you hold a deep-seated jealousy, much like myself. Typically, as Columbia students, we share the unique responsibility of reminding people from our hometowns that we Go To School In The City. As much as many of us reject this small (large) superiority complex, pieces of it live within all of us, and it’s soul-crushing to attend a poli-sci seminar from Orlando, FL or wherever the fuck we all are. To combat these insecurities, here are some of the best and most disgusting ways to convince your classmates and, most importantly, yourself that you never actually left New York.

  • Learn how to navigate your phone while keeping it inside your pocket. While talking to someone, use your new skills to play the song “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys. Do not acknowledge what is happening, and when the people you’re with say something, respond with “Oh, is ‘Empire State of Mind’ by Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys playing? It happens to me all the time, I can hardly even hear it anymore.”
  • Google “Who is the man who says ‘stand clear of the closing doors?'” Find out that he is a radio news anchor named Charlie Pellett. You will need to save up one million dollars (his commission price I am assuming) and pay him to come to your house twice a day to say the door thing. No one would ever suspect you did this, and it is very normal to attend class from a train platform.
  • In conjunction with the suggestion above, come to one of your classes prepared to do an entire monologue about the reading. Mute yourself for a few seconds at a time while talking, and when the professor tries to let you know that you’re cutting out, say “Oh, haha! Sorry, I’m on the 1.”
  • Go buy some poster paper and a tube of orange acrylic paint. Using your finger (no brushes are allowed), write the word “LOVE” in giant letters on the poster paper, and hang it right behind your head. Casually mention that you are at The Met, and if you are questioned, just roll your eyes and scoff.
  • Buy some of these plates and make this buffalo chicken wrap recipe. You just went to Ferris, and it is a Thursday.
  • They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and this is why you should scope out the most New Yorky looking Zoom video in your class, screenshot it, and make it your background. Someone in your class might think you are planning to murder them, but it’s better than them thinking you’re from Orlando.
  • Buy or weld a large hexagonal salad bowl. Put anything in it (it doesn’t have to be salad) and aggressively shake it with your mic on for sixty seconds. The people in your class will just know.
  • There may not be any celebrities in your sad, sprawling hometown, but there sure are stars in New York. Develop some photoshop skills and become really good at elaborate lying in order to convince people you saw someone big on your way to Joe Coffee. Today’s sighting can be Gwyneth Paltrow!
  • Do you have sewers in your glorified medieval village? Perfect! Go down there and collect some sludge; sprinkle it on your comforter to emulate the subway to dorm nap pipeline that many of us disgustingly take part in.
  • If you’re really willing to go into the sewers, which I’m assuming you are, I’m also going to bet you would capture a rat with your bare hands. Train your rat victim to run up and sit on your shoulder. Give her the cue while you’re in class, and you classmates will respect and admire how much you are in New York.
  • If you haven’t exited out of this article out of fear already, I’m assuming you have an Edward Cullen cardboard cutout hanging around somewhere in your home. Sit him down at a table behind you, and put a book in front of him. The pale face, quaffed hair, and dark outfit will have your classmates believing it’s just another day in Butler Library for you.
  • Buy a Teacup Yorkie, name it “Princess”, walk it around your room, and let it piss in a potted plant on your floor.
  • Believe in yourself :)

photo via Flickr