Being a varsity student-athlete, I am naturally filled with school spirit. If I am running at home meets, away meets or attending games outside of my sport, I love being loud and supporting all of my school's athletes. Those outside of the university sport's world, however, are somewhat lacking in school spirit. Sometimes it is hard to compete when you know you school doesn't truly care or even know how well your team is doing. It is also difficult to get excited about school sports when those around you prefer to sit and stay silent.
I wish that I could have the financial stability I so desperately need. Though Columbia is amazing in so much ways, I truly believe that there should be more initiative taken so that students don't have to feel like their backs are against a wall, finding themselves choosing between the desire to live up to their potential and fiscal soundness in the years to come. Being a student in my position just makes certain daily decisions harder because you always have financial problems looming over you.
I found the social ambiance frustrating. Maybe any prestigious college would be like that. People weren't there to make education an integral part of their lives -- to develop friends and interests that would make them socially and personally deeper, better people. There didn't seem to be a lot of bonding going on, and people weren't sitting around discussing issues in their areas of interest. I found it to be a rather harsh and solitary affair.
Being a large research university, one often finds that professors, while wonderful and utterly inspiring in the classroom, are inaccessible outside of the class due to the many research projects in which they have invested themselves. While this is hardly a major issue, naturally one would appreciate a professor who was better able to balance time between his students and his research.
The most frustrating thing about school would probably be having to juggle school and social life. The school is very rigorous and serious commitment is required to accel at Columbia. However, the harder you study, the more rewarding the time in which you do get to play becomes. So while being frustrating, it is also an extremely rewarding experience for a job well done.
Being the hotbed of social controversy that it is, Columbia can often feel like a negative place. It's important to keep your head above the water. Don't be afraid to think for yourself, even if other people are shouting their opinions from the steps. Everyone will always find something to be pessimistic about; make sure you don't let the haters get you down.
for those in liberal arts: the core curriculum -- classes you must take to graduate, including Art Humanities, Music Humanities, Frontiers of Science, University of Writing, Contemporary Civlizations, Major Cultures, etc. for those in engineering: lack of advising to remind you of the level of difficulty of classes you should be taking
The workload can be overwhelming at times. The professors move through material very fast so you need to dedicate yourself to studying. There tends to be a lot of foreign professors which is great, but sometimes it is very difficult to understand what they are saying.
The most frustrating thing about my school is the about of red tape that has to be dealt with every time that anything administrative must be completed. This includes getting classes changed, applying for programs, and maintenance of housing. That last one especially.
The most frustrating aspect right now is due to all the amazing resources and extracurricular activities offered by the school. I simply cannot choose which ones I will participate in -- there are just so many absolutely incredible opportunities!