Columbia provides one of the best college experiences in the nation, and that begins with New York City. I simply cannot comprehend spending my four years in another place. When you combine the greatest city in the world with one of the best universities in the world, you simply cannot go wrong. A great example of this is Kenneth Jackson's "History of the City of New York" class. Not only are you studying with a world-renowned scholar of New York, but you are also going into the city, as you are required to go on eight field trips with your professor! The same thing goes for other classes, such as Masterpieces of Western Music, where you are required to go to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. These opportunities do not exist at any other top quality institution. All that being said, there clearly are some negative aspects of the school. First, the administration (including the advising deans) are not helpful or intelligent. You pretty much have to figure out your own way through the Core and your major. Also, the university is not focused on generating school pride for its undergraduates. Our sports teams are terrible, and hardly anyone turns out for games. One thing that actually generates some fun on campus is Greek life, but after the recent Columbia drug bust, the university has cracked down on that aspect of the school. Being a member of the Greek community, it has been hard to deal with this, but we continue to carry on. One experience that I love every year though is tree-lighting. At the beginning of December on College Walk (the walking street that runs through the middle of campus), all of the trees are wrapped in white holiday lights, and are lit every evening. When they are lit for the first time, the entire school comes out to watch, and a number of a cappella groups sing holiday classics and the student councils pass out hot chocolate. It's wonderful to see the entire school come together before finals and break.
Columbia has many different aspects that are grouped into 2 categories: social and academic. The academic side seems ridiculously rigorous. The amount of homework I am assigned per class is basically impossible to finish and when you add up all the homework for every class you get an amount so large that it would drive 99% of people insane. The teachers seem to not care about the student but then a very small percentage care enough to make it worthwhile. You cannot get too into your work or you will go crazy and you need to realize that college is more than just grades it is the entire experience that makes it what it is. The social aspect can seem very lame at a distance, but if you find the right people and make your own fun, it can be a great time. However, you certainly need to know how to find fun on your own because it most definately does not come to you. At the end of the day if you do not take yourself to seriously Columbia can be a decent experience.
Columbia really has a different university feel in comparison to most other universities and colleges. I feel that there isn't much unity among students, everyone is always "busy," hurrying off to study, attend a meeting, or work at an internship. There isn't much togetherness when speaking about Columbia from a social and friendship standpoint. Columbia's inefficient administration is beyond absurd. We pay loads of money to hire these unhelpful, unfriendly, and incapable staff. Quite honestly, it's outrageous. There isn't much school spirit, particularly because our sports teams never do very well, especially our football team. Also, because Baker field is so far away, it's quite a trek to get up there. I spend most of my time on campus, but on the weekends I like going downtown to run errands, go shopping, or just explore.
Big school. Bigger than I'm used to. And there's a swim test. It seems like there's always something going on at Columbia, which I appreciate. No matter what you're into, there's an event, club, or party available. This could be largely due to the fact that Columbia has such a diverse student body (at least that's what I'm told), and that everyone is so ambitious. The thing that I'm most conscious of is that I'm completely on my own here. Getting anything done--whether it's homework, schedule planning, a trip to the nurse--requires personal effort. The advisors here generally do not help you, if you need an answer you need to hound them. People told me before I came here that no one was going to hold my hand, but at times it feels less like freedom and more like neglect.
Columbia University in the City of New York offers countless opportunities for students of all backgrounds. The diversity of the campus is its initial draw; afterwards, you find that many of your peers may share the same interests as you. There are countless opportunities both on campus and around the city that caters to almost everything, from finance to scientific research to interior design. Columbia University is known not only for its groundbreaking research (it has more Nobel laureates than any other university in America), but also for the strength of its undergraduate program, defined by the well-known Core Curriculum that exposes students to a wide range of studies meant to widen the student's academic horizon.
Best thing about Columbia is the city, and then classes. The level of education you receive is worth every penny that you pay. I may complain about going to classes frequently, but the truth is that I really enjoy what I am studying and the opportunities (such as going abroad) that Columbia offers. The fact that you are in the center of the world doesn't hurt either, whatever you want to do, at whatever time you want to do it, the city will most likely offer it. It is the most vibrant and lively place in the world that you will never cease to be bored to explore.
I sometimes wish the school were a little larger, because I feel like I constantly run into the same people every single day. It would be nice to see a few more new faces from time to time. I love being in NYC for college, this is definitely a plus as there are so many opportunities to take advantage of in the city. There is not a lot of school pride and I wish there was more. This is one of students' more frequent complaints. People are always impressed when they hear you are a Columbia grad or student, because it is an amazing school, after all.
I love Columbia's campus. It is absolutely gorgeous. The dating scene isn't the best but in general I've met a lot of nice boys and girls. Most of them smart, though some are just book smart. Columbia is not a great party school but sometimes the few parties that do happen are fun. Thank God we have bars and places to go out just down the street. Also, the RAs are sometimes way too strict and not very nice (not always of course). And we are in NYC which is awesome! I'm really loving Columbia!
Columbia is great because there are so many different kinds of people here. i wish that there was more of a campus wide community, but this is new york city, so it will never be like a state school. the school is perfect size for me, just big enough that i can walk on campus and still see someone i know. the hunger strike on campus last semester was interesting, because i saw columbia allowing its students freedom of speech and treating them with respect.
Columbia is my home, plainly put. I really can't think of anywhere else that I feel as comfortable as I do when I walk through the gates and back across Low Plaza by Alma Mater... it's an indescribable feeling. We have it all - amazing research opportunities, a tight-knit campus community, New York City and all its glamour right in our back yard. It's the first and only place I've really ever thought, "I can do anything."