What is the name of the institution you attend and what year are you currently at the school? Additionally, please provide any information pertaining to your relevant background i.e. high school, ethnicity and gender. All of your answers to the questions below will greatly help parents with prospective students separate the reality from myth of different colleges.
Columbia University freshman
1. What were your expectations of your college in terms of its academic and social culture? How did your time at this institution stack up to your expectations?
I had heard a lot about how Columbia students aren’t the most friendly/outgoing people. To some extent, this generalization is true. Many Columbia students are extremely driven and focused on their activities, accomplishments, future, etc. They may tend to appear less outgoing because of this.
Academically, it matches up to my expectations. Challenging and decent workload.
2. In your personal experience, what is the drug scene (excluding alcohol) at the college like? Please give estimates of the percentage of people that use them. What are the disciplinary actions taken towards student who are caught using substances?
Drug scene does not affect the majority of the campus. (Maybe only 2%?) Some usage of weed but nothing too severe or abusive. There is definitely a drug scene though since we are in New York. A drug bust at Columbia happened this school year and you may have seen it in the news. Disciplinary actions from what I’ve seen are strict.
3. In your personal experience, what percentage of people drink on a regular basis (at least once or twice a week) at your college? What are the disciplinary actions taken towards students who are caught drinking?
About 50% probably drink once a week. Disciplinary actions are not that strict unless they are drunk.
4. What are some of the most significant differences between your college and high school experiences?
Experience new things! Bay Area/Cupertino is extremely sheltered.
5. What do you like most about your college? And conversely what do you enjoy the least about it?
It’s in New York! What more could you ask for! The city constantly has exciting things to do and museums are always convenient. This is where change in the world happens!
Least…New York is quite expensive! Also Columbia is not as proactive about helping students with finding internships or jobs or just student advising in general. Advising exists but students must be diligent in their pursuit.
6. What are some of the most important things you feel students should know or do going into college? What about going to your college?
Be open to meeting everyone! You meet some of the most interesting people. Build bridges over different cultures or family backgrounds.
For Columbia, take full advantage of the city!