Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Student Side: NSOP

NSOP - What is it? Why is it a thing? Do I have to go?

Oh my young Barnardians, NSOP is a time honored tradition we all experienced. It was your first week on campus, you moved into your dorm, met your roommate(s), and learned that you can’t eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch for every meal without feeling your arteries starting to clot.

So what is NSOP? NSOP stands for New Student Orientation Program and pronounced EN-sop. During NSOP you’ll meet fellow classmates, meet with your adviser, get more information about clubs and organizations on campus at the Student Activities Fair, and have a chance to find out more about the different services and offices on campus.

If you haven’t already, you should be getting an email from your Orientation Leader (OL) introducing themself and giving you some initial info about the week -- some of you lucky ducklings may have gotten one of us as your OL ;)

This person is responsible for making sure you all understand your schedules during NSOP, are going to the correct events on time, answering any questions you have, and being a friendly face for your first few semesters in the city, as they can be a bit daunting. You’ll get to know all the other people in our orientation group very well throughout NSOP and may even find your new best bud.

Here are some of the highlights of NSOP:
Activities Fair
Find out about ALL the available clubs on campus. Sign up for 50 email lists. Get some buttons, candy, and other swag. Probably get a sunburn.

Advising Meetings
FINALLY you’ll get to meet with an adviser about the next registration period and get to sign up for all of the non-FYE classes you’ve been dreaming about. Make sure to have back-ups!! You should receive an email from an adviser before NSOP about how they’d like you to schedule your meeting time.

Bear with Us
It’s a Barnard variety show with skits, performance, and cookies. What more could you want from an evening?

Barnard Reads
Get to have a conversation with the professor or administrator who chose your book(s) about why they chose it and what’s important about that particular piece of literature.

Chopped Judge
Alex Guarnaschelli, class of 1991, will be visiting campus to discuss her life at Barnard and beyond. Meet this “Chopped” judge in person and find out the secret to becoming a successful Barnard alum!

Community Forum
Come together with students from all four undergrad colleges to celebrate being a part of the Columbia community.

Neighborhood Tours
Find out more about different neighborhoods in NYC including some of the boroughs outside of Manhattan!

Outdoor Movie/CU Glow
Go to low library for a late-night outdoor movie followed by CU Glow, an outdoor dance party. Glow sticks will be provided which only ups the game that much more.

Reception/Welcome for marginalized identities
There are receptions for students across many identities throughout NSOP to meet and mingle with one another, ranging from students with disabilities, First Gen, LGBT, Jewish students, students of color, transfers, native and indigenous students, and more. If any of these apply to you, make sure to get out and meet other folks and find out what resources are available at BC/CU!

Get a taste of the different performance-based groups on campus. Sit back and relax and maybe you’ll find a group that sparks your interest to audition for in the fall!

Also look out for a ~big NYC event with students from all 4 schools~ which will be announced early next week!!

Remember that adjusting to college can be a little overwhelming. It’s a lot of change all at once. So here’s a list of Paige and Rowan’s Pro-tips for NSOP...

-Find a meal buddy to go to meals with so the dining hall doesn’t feel as overwhelming and lonely.

-Reach out to people! Everyone is feeling just as lost and confused as you are. NSOP is one of the few places you can straight up ask someone to be your friend and they’ll be more relieved than creeped out.

-Don’t be afraid to ask your OL or RA for help or for someone to spend time with. They signed up for this job because they want to help you get acclimated. Don’t be embarrassed. We like feeling needed, tbh.

-Nightlife starts at NSOP. Be smart, take care of yourselves and those around you. Being a part of a community means being conscious of people around you. You can make a big difference in people’s lives, and protect yourself, by being aware of your surroundings.

-Bring a reusable water bottle. The days are long, it’s hot, the environment is our friend, climate-change is happening. You’re gonna be sad if you don’t have one. Slap some stickers on it for extra fun personality.

-Explore campus! Columbia’s campus is a little bigger than Barnard’s and some buildings have the same names which can be confusing. Go throughout Barnard and then cross the street to Columbia to get used to where everything is. If you’re like Rowan and have gotten to your senior year and still have to look up the Columbia map online to get places you're gonna feel a lil silly. Don’t be like me.

-Don’t feel like you have to make your best friends for the rest of your life during NSOP. Find people you’re compatible with and get to know each other. Don’t feel bad if after NSOP you still haven’t met your soulmates. Some people find their group right away and some people take a few semesters to really find their people. Be open to possibilities and keep meeting new people, even if you like the few you’ve already met.

- Don’t be too proud! If there are things you DON’T know how to do: laundry, eat a balanced meal, finish registering for classes, etc., find someone who does and bond over them teaching you a new skill if they’re willing. It can be a good way to connect to someone new and maybe you have a skill you can teach them in return! It’s better than being the kid who put too much laundry detergent in and flooded the laundry room.