What to Do at New Student Orientation Program
As the Class of 2022 finished their first year at Barnard and left for exciting summer plans, the 2019 New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) is just around the corner for the newly admitted students! NSOP is a program to welcome all incoming first-year and transfer students. During this program, students will be introduced to opportunities and resources at Barnard that will help them have the best college experience possible. Students usually arrive one week prior to classes, and they will participe in all kinds of activities with their assigned orientation group, their residential hallway, upper-class students, and Columbia students. Inevitably, NSOP will have moments of being overwhelming since students are moving in, learning about Barnard and meeting new people all at the same time. In this post, I will share a short checklist of what to focus on during NSOP, and I hope this may help you better enjoy the wonderful program!
1. Get to Know Barnard Resources
The main purpose of NSOP is to introduce you to the many resources Barnard has to offer. There will be events held by staff members with themes such as course registration, public safety, wellness, and job opportunities. NSOP is also a great time for you to ask questions and get in contact with certain departments so that you are as well-adjusted as possible once classes begin.
2. Put Emergency Contacts in Your Phone
Put Public Safety’s number and the Health Center’s number in your phone. You may not need them now (or ever), but it’s good to have them on hand. Also be sure to ask your roommate and your RA for their phone numbers so that you have accessibility to people living on your hall.
2. Take Placement Test(s)
If you plan to take a higher-level class, like many language classes, the department may ask you to take a placement test during NSOP. You will receive an email about the placement test schedules, and you should tell your Orientation Leader if your test conflicts with any mandatory NSOP events.
3. Get Familiar with Your Room and Roommate(s)
Spend some time making your room comfortable! This is the place you will stay for your entire first year of college, and you can find many useful tips for moving in in Fatima’s post. With your RA’s help, you will also make a roommate contract with your roommate(s)—this is a great opportunity to know each other’s differences and to build a comfortable living environment for all. There will also be activities held by your RA, where you can get to know the other wonderful people living on your hall.
4. Explore New York City
During NSOP, there will be many excursions into the city and you will definitely find something interesting to do! Past excursions include: trips to local museums, bakery tours around the city (Magnolia and Levain in one day!), and going to a Yankees game. You will be able to explore this exciting city with students who share the same interests as you … and all excursions are free! Of course, you will also have free time to explore the city—the 1 subway station is right next to the Quad.
5. Make Time for Yourself
Lastly, but most importantly, remember to save some time for yourself! Don’t force yourself to go to every single event - it’s perfectly fine if you have some free time to spend by yourself. You can call family and friends at home, decorate your room, take a walk in Riverside Park, or simply go to bed early—make sure you’re rested and ready for the upcoming semester! NSOP provides a lot of opportunities for incoming students and it may seem like you need to attend all of them, but remember Barnard is always here to help throughout your whole time at Barnard!