Welcome to Barnard, Class of 2017! Today is move-in day, the big day when you say goodbye to yourfamily and start to chart your own course through college. We remember the wild range of emotions that you’re no doubt experiencing, from unbridled excitement to overwhelming nervousness. At some point today you were probably given a copy of the NSOP 2013 Schedule Book. You’ve probably flipped through it and have seen the sheer number of events that you’ll have the opportunity to participate in. And while this may seem all the more overwhelming, we’ve been there, done that and can pass on our NSOP wisdom to you. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Tumblr, and check back for more updates on NSOP 2013. Remember to keep up with your Schedule Book (or bookmark the online version here, or download the Guidebook app on your smartphone and select Columbia University), as it will help guide you through the endless stream of ice breakers and events.
|Welcome to Barnard, Class of 2017!|
Once the tears have dried and your parents are headed back home, NSOP begins in earnest. Before you start your first week at college, some advice from the staff of The Nine Ways of Knowing. No student has the same NSOP experience, and that’s the way it should be. Feel free to go on (or skip) as many events as you’d like (though you really should go to the required ones). Encourage your roommates/suitemates/floormates to tag along, but be sure to also branch out. You may feel compelled to do everything, as is so often expected of us in high school, but it’s important to break that mentality here and now. Do the activities that feel right, and never push yourself to the point of exhaustion or unease. NSOP is your chance to experience Barnard, Columbia, and New York on your terms, and we’re here to help you make the best of it. Welcome to Barnard, Class of 2017, we’re so glad you’re here!
Day 1, Sunday, August 25, 2013
Convocation, 7-8:30pm, LeFrak Gymnasium, Barnard Hall
Convocation is a pretty big deal, considering its “your formal rite of passage into Barnard’s community.” Not only will this be your first time with your entire class together, but it’ll also be the first time President Spar addresses your class as a whole. Even if you’re not the type who enjoys the dramatic fanfare of lighting candles and reciting oaths, there’s no denying that something special goes on at Convocation. I didn’t entirely appreciate it then (I spent most of that first day clenching my jaw to keep myself from crying), but Convocation truly is your introduction to Barnard’s community, something we value as a small liberal arts school for women.
Ice Cream Social, 8:30-9:15pm, Lehman Lawn
I can’t honestly remember if I attended the Ice Cream Social (see above, re: crying), but it’s an opportunity to hang out and eat free ice cream. While this certainly won’t be the last time you’re served food by deans and other members of Barnard’s administration, you can learn more about your roommate or meet new people. Don’t worry if it feels forced, as you’ve only been on Barnard’s campus for less than twenty-four hours. Take what you can from the experience and know that NSOP will get a little easier every day.
Community Night I, 9:30-10:30pm, Your Residence Hall
This is your first time meeting with your RA and hallmates, and you should definitely be in attendance. While there will be plenty of awkward ice breakers, your RA will also introduce herself and give out useful information like important phone numbers, ResLife policies, and advice about NSOP. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and be sure to listen to your RA, as she’ll be an important reference for you throughout the course of the year. Start to familiarize yourself with the faces that live on your hall and try your hardest to remember their names and the fictional character they’d most like to have dinner with (it’s usually either Mr. Darcy or Liz Lemon).
|The 1 train: your way out of Morningside Heights.|
Day 2, Monday, August 26, 2013
Barnard Loves NY, 10am-3pm
Today is your day to familiarize yourself with your Constellation, comprised of all the students who live on your floor; for example, Lyras live on the seventh floor of Brooks, Reid, and Sulzberger. This is the third year that Constellations have been assigned at Barnard, and eventually the idea is to include all Barnard students and alumnae into a Constellation by the floor they lived on as first-years (feel free to surmise with your fellow floormates to which Constellation Cynthia Nixon ’88, Lauren Graham ’88, and Greta Gerwig ’06 belong). You’re invited to meet with your CL for a brief overview of your Constellation and your plan for the day. Locations for these meetings are in the Schedule Book, and each Constellation is given a secret location throughout New York to visit. While some locations might be more exciting than others, it’s a chance to explore the city under the guidance of a more seasoned New Yorker. Because Barnard is paying for your admission to some exhibit or attraction, it’s an opportunity to see a part of New York City without having to pay. Take advantage.
Pizza Party with Your Constellation, 6-8pm
After spending the day with your Constellation in New York, you can enjoy a pizza party with the new acquaintances you made. While this event, like the earlier Barnard Loves NY, is not mandatory, it’s a free meal, something every Barnard student quickly learns to never pass up. In fact, if there’s one thing the Constellations are good for, it’s free food.
Day 3, Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Today is probably the busiest day of NSOP, if you attend all the required events you’re supposed to attend. Pro tip: no one actually takes attendance (with the exception of when you’re meeting with your RA, OL, or other small group, and then only maybe). Though the Schedule Book might say an event is required, no one will know if you choose to sleep in. That being said, there’s a reason these events were planned in the first place, and good information will be offered to those in attendance. But you’re a big girl now, so exercise the independent thinking college affords you!
Being a Student at Barnard for First-Years, 10-11:30am, LeFrak Gymnasium, Barnard Hall
Welcome to your crash course in being a first-year at Barnard. Dean Lisa Hollibaugh, your First-Year Class Dean, is your first point of reference for any academic concerns you may have during your first year. She’ll give you an understanding of what to expect in your classes, what expectations professors will have of you, the requirements you’ll fulfill during your time at Barnard, and how to use resources like eBear to keep track of your progress. Even if you don’t take notes or remember much of what’s said, Dean Hollibaugh’s reassuring talk will calm even the most high-strung first-year (aka, me).
|You’re not the only newbie on Barnard’s campus.|
Student Resources Fair, 11:30am-1:30pm, Lehman Lawn (Rain Location: Lehman Overhang)
This is your introduction to the various offices on campus dedicated to making your life at Barnard easier and happier. Bonus reason to attend: it’s a fair, which means there will be freebies handed out. Pick up pens, buttons, and other things you never knew you needed until just this very second.
First-Year Wellness Forum, 1:30-2:30pm, LeFrak Gymnasium, Barnard Hall
Take a few minutes out of your day to learn about the Primary Care Health Service, the Furman Counseling Center, and the Office of Disability Services.
First-Year Public Safety and Community Standards Forum, 2:30-4pm, LeFrak Gymnasium, Barnard Hall
Regardless of whether you’ve lived in New York City your whole life or hail from Smalltown, USA, college is the first time you’ll be largely responsible for your personal safety. Learn how to best protect yourself and your belongings, both on and off campus.
Dinner with OLs and CLs, 5-7:30pm, Hewitt Dining Hall
Your OL and CL will expect you to eat with them, and full disclosure, I felt like I was on a field trip in elementary school. While OLs and CLs are well-meaning, some can come off like parental chaperones. If you and your OL or OL group aren’t really gelling, you can skip dinner, stowaway at a friend’s table, or get dinner in the neighborhood. After NSOP, you’ll probably never see your OL again anyway.
Community Night II, 8-10pm, Your Residence Hall
This is probably going to be very much like Community Night I, but hopefully less awkward.