Don’t Stop For NSOP

How students feel about Barnard’s New Student Orientation Program

Photography by Claire Cenovic

Either students in Ferris forgot how the omelet line works, or they are all first-years whose NSOP experience taught them nothing about Barnumbia dining hall etiquette. Not long ago, the Barnard College’s class of 2027 split their time between exploring NY and partaking in Barnard’s NSOP (New Student Orientation Program), run by Orientation Leaders (OL).  

OL Fanglin Yuan (BC ‘26), hoped to “help new students as they transitioned to college.” She recalls her own NSOP as a “fun experience” and wanted to “extend” her enjoyment to new students. Yuan says that the NSOP committee’s schedule “showed a lot of effort to make the NSOP experience fun for all the students.” 

Barnard first-year Anyssa Dang appreciated her OL, especially for the campus tours she offered beyond NSOP’s schedule. “I didn’t know where to go,” says Dang. “The programming didn’t really have a tour and I felt like I was kind of lost like the first few days.” After others expressed similar concerns, Dang’s OL offered to show them her favorite spots on campus.

While Dang says the daily seminars were useful, rumors about Columbia’s NSOP program crossed Broadway. “Columbia students weren’t really doing seminars,” says Dang. “They were going to explore the city or explore the neighborhood.” 

“I guess it was like slight FOMO,” says Dang. “You’re going out exploring the city and I’m in a lecture hall. I was really bored.” 

Yuan says that Barnard’s NSOP this year offered outdoor excursions, school-wide activities, and two-hour breaks between seminars to “ease down some exhaustion from all the required events.” However, Dang found these breaks insufficient to tackle the exhaustion from the daily seminars. “I didn’t have any time to do anything,” says Dang “I had no idea where I was going. And breakfast was from seven to eight AM. And then it stopped. That was really rough.”

Attendance at NSOP seminars declined throughout the week, yet many New York City excursions, like thrifting, drew massive popularity from students. Wednesday was dedicated to these activities, with no required events scheduled. However, as the activities filled up quickly, Dang used her day off to explore the city with friends. “I felt like that was a good break in the middle,” says Dang. 

With classes now in full swing, Barnard’s NSOP continues to be a contested topic of conversation among students. And this invaluable advice: the omelet line starts and wraps around the topping section. Not directly in front of it.

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