Trust us, you won’t have time to leave campus when classes start.
It’s important—even during your first week as a first-year—to make it a habit to free yourself from the #MoHiBubble. While some NSOP activities are mandatory, consider skipping a few of the not-so-compulsory events for a little solo exploring.
To give you inspiration, or maybe a little bit of incentive, here’s a list of subway fare-worthy, off-campus events to hit up during NSOP.Monday, August 29th Try out a side ponytail
On Monday, August 29th, Side Ponytail is hosting a free comedy show in Brooklyn at 594 Union Avenue, featuring Conan’s Dan St. Germain and Girl Code’s Julia Johns! It’s sure to be a hoot that will provide some much needed laughs before Columbia breaks your soul and leaves you as a carcass of your old self. It’s at 7 p.m., and be sure to get tickets at Eventbrite here.Tennis tournament trip
Embrace your sporty side and watch the world’s best players compete under the open sky at the US Open Tennis Championship at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows. You don't have to be fit to feel like a tennis socialite.Tuesday, August 30th Get high!!!!! :)
The weather during NSOP is perfect for a trip to the High Line, a 1.45 mile-long New York City park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of abandoned railway. It’s super neato, and definitely a great place to visit if you haven’t been to New York before. It’s also lowkey a great Insta location, I’m just saying. It’s also… free. So, there’s that. The High Line is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and you can stop by on Tuesday, August 30th at 8:00 p.m. for a cool stargazing event!Ur first NYC bar...and comedy show!!!!
Bar None Comedy Show is a free comedy show that happens every Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Bar None NYC (98 3rd Avenue). The Tuesday during NSOP is no exception, and this event is sure to impress. There’s even 2-4-1 drink specials during the show! Enjoy your NSOP week whilst also being #cultured. The show features a combination of both up-and-coming comics and seasoned pros! Tickets here!Wednesday, August 31st Go to a cheap Chicago
To celebrate its 20th year on Broadway, the musical Chicago is having a concert of the show’s greatest hits, for free, on August 31st! Live at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park at 7:00 p.m., sign up for tickets here! The show will feature four members of the show’s current cast, the performance is sure to be amazing, and cheap Broadway is never to be passed up.Cruise with ur NSLOP crew
Grab some of your new pals and enjoy hours of NYC views, DJ music, and a cash bar on a Hornblower Cruise, departing from Pier 15 at 6:00 p.m. Discount tickets are only $15, which, let’s be honest, is what you spend at Mel’s on a typical NSLOP night, anyway.Thursday, September 1st U gotta go to a unicycle festival
Watch 300 unicycles roll around the city, or maybe try it yourself at New York City Unicycle Festival on Labor Day weekend, with unicycle sports, exhibitions, and races on Governors Island. It’s free, so what do you have to lose? Your dignity, maybe…Friday, September 2nd Did someone say “free Alicia Keys concert?”
That’s right, Columbia alum Alicia Keys will be holding a free—yes, free—concert on September 2nd in Rockefeller Center. Organizers suggest you arrive at 5 a.m., and the show should start around two hours later. It’s sure to get you in an “Empire State of Mind.”
Saturday, September 3rd Brooklyn bites
If you’re looking more for variety, head on over to Brooklyn (your first trip to another borough!! Such a balllllerrr!!) for Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is a legendary food festival that occurs on weekends, and can only be described as a quasi-flea market, but with delicious, trendy food, not nasty old-lady furniture. You’re sure to leave full.
Burger boys ‘n’ gals
Burgers… and better ones than John Jay Dining Hall. That’s why you should attend the first ever Burger Festival in New York City during the Labor Day weekend. This day will be perfect opportunity to taste more than 200 different burgers and more than 50 different beers. It’s worth the trip!
If you're hosting or know of any other events happening during NSOP in the city, throw a comment down below, Facebook message us, Tweet us, or Snapchat us @CUspectrum.
Anna Lokey is Spectrum’s Deputy Editor and a rising Columbia College sophomore. She spent NSOP trying to learn the difference between Morningside Park and Riverside Park. She’s almost got it. Those are the furthest places she’s ever ventured since starting college. Reach her at email@example.com and @annalokey.
All gifs via giphy.com