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Jaime Danies / Senior Staff Photographer

Firsts always hold a special place in our hearts, whether that’s a first kiss, a first rejection, a first heartbreak, a first date, or a first hangover. First-years, I am sure y’all are as pumped as I am to finally no longer be treated like babies, but before we start fantasizing about better and more exciting times in the future, let’s go down memory lane and review our many firsts of this year.


August 2017: First Carman party

NSOP or NSLOP? Carman parties sure were your first taste of college: sweaty, overcrowded, lights dim but spirits high. We all had the same questions on our minds: Is this what Columbia parties are like? Is this a fire hazard? There must be 40 people in this suite! Wait, is that the RA knocking? Of course, there were the occasional RA scares, but Carman parties still hold a special place in our memories.


September 2017: First time at campus bars

Remember when it wasn’t freezing and you always ended the night at Mel’s, 1020, or the Heights? Waiting in a HUGE line pretending you weren’t first-years, scrambling to memorize the birthday and address on your fake, trying to compose yourself and look like you are 21. Next thing on the bucket list is to actually get a burger at Mel’s!


September 2017: First EC party

Where is EC? Why does it say it’s on 119th and Broadway? Where is Google Maps taking me? Are we even on campus still? All the confusion soon became a familiar weekend routine, until it got to November and going to EC required freezing your face off crossing the bridge. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Our first EC party was sweaty, it was breathless, it was claustrophobic, it was wild, it was memorable, but it also might have been a night you couldn’t remember.


September 2017: First time going downtown

A week after school officially started, you were finally making your way downtown! Whether you found a local friend as your guide, or downloaded the NYC subway app, going downtown was still quite confusing. When do we change to the express? Why are there so many people? Ugh, we are in the car without AC! Going downtown could be overwhelming and disorienting, but by now I am sure it has become muscle memory.


October 11, 2017: First protest

Do you even go to Columbia if you’ve never experienced or taken part in a protest? Back in October, you went to your very first Columbia student protest when CUCR invited Tommy Robinson to speak on campus. Now, whether it’s the 24/7 student sit-in, or the upcoming graduate student strike, you are ready to let your voice be heard!


October 14, 2017: First Hoco, first darty, first feeling of Columbia school spirit!

Homecoming was your first everything: first time day drinking, first college sports game, first time Columbia was actually good at athletics. Who’s Penn? I don’t know her.


November 2017: First midterm…

Hello Butler, my old friend! First time in the stacks? It’s not that intimidating after all. With a few friends, you can even make the stacks fun. Soon you would realize that midterm season never ends until it’s finals season, but what’s a more Columbia-specific experience than stressing with your friends together and finding the fun in it?


November 30, 2017: First Tree Lighting

Remember when it got dark at 4 p.m. and walking through College Walk was the most romantic thing ever? Tree Lighting brought many great memories and of course, beautiful Instagram pictures. Ever get nostalgic about the good old fairy lights when you walk down College Walk these days? I sure do, but no tree lights also means longer days, more sun, and better weather!


December 15, 2017: First finals week, first Orgo Night, first all-nighter

Who needs another coffee?


January through March 2018: The dark months

Nothing to see here… no really, what even happened?


February 14, 2018: First Valentine’s

Love is in the air! Just kidding, love doesn’t exist at Columbia. Whether you are single, cuffed, or anything in between, Valentine’s at Columbia will surely disappoint. Our one true love is Butler. Just kidding... Columbia may not be the most expressive in its ways of showing love, but it still can be sweet in its own way. If you want to get back in the spirit of love, check out this photo essay about affection on Columbia’s campus.


March 20, 2018: First snow day!

Did you catch up on work? Or play in the snow?


April 7, 2018: LOOKING BACCH AT IT!!!

Did I crash midday? Uh, sorry, my memory is escaping me here. Bacchanal was surely the highlight of your first year at Columbia. It was probably the only day of the year where the entire campus was ready to let it all go and just have fun! The darty hopping, the mosh pit, bopping with Alma in the background. Bacchanal, we miss you already!


There you have it, the 12 unforgettable firsts of your first year at Columbia. We hope that you will continue to create fun memories with your friends, in the classroom, and on and off campus. The world is your oyster—make every first count!

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