Trends and trajectories: A first-year's evolution throughout the semester

As the second round of midterms approaches, you might be a little tired of reading graphs. You might also be so sleep deprived that everything you see has started to look like a graph (kind of a problem when you’re just trying to do UWriting).

But when nothing in your life seems makes sense anymore, maybe some graphs are just what you need. Analyzing these won’t help you with school, but at least they’re a good way to procrastinate.

First-years, here are some graphs that represent your lives at Columbia thus far.

Slumber numbers

You started out getting basically no sleep during NSOP because there was just way too much to do and too many people to meet. But you cracked down when school actually started and you wanted to ace your classes.

You were that annoying kid who bragged to your friends that you managed to get everything done and still get a solid eight hours of sleep. But that only lasted for like a day, and now you're lucky if you get six hours (including those impromptu Butler naps).

Goal GPA

You were optimistic, but then you got your first midterm back.

Student density (no, not how dumb you are)

The first time you walked into class, you were lucky if you could even grab a seat (there were more people in Intro to Computer Science than in SEAS ’20). Slowly but surely, however, the class population dwindled down to a reasonable size, until you started wondering where the hell everyone was.

You spent a good chunk of the time during your midterm asking why all the seats were suddenly filled and where all the extra people had come from, but that was soon fixed when grades came out and basically everyone dropped the class.

Study buddies

You met a couple of people in the first week of classes, and you thought that number would steadily increase. However, it’s stayed pretty much the same since half the people you met on day one no longer show up to class and the current rotation of faces doesn’t seem to change.

Nap stats

You never took naps in high school, and you thought that naps were only for babies and lazy people. After all, your schedule was jam packed—who can find the time for a nap?

But caffeine doesn't really cut it anymore, and you learned to savor those 15 minute intervals. Too bad you don't even have 10 minutes to spare anymore.

Football fascination

Zero until Homecoming weekend, basically zero since.

You might notice that most of these are school and sleep related, but isn’t that all our lives are at Columbia? No? Just me? Okay.
So, where do you fit into on these graphs? Are you an outlier? Are you (as everyone is always trying to be) “above the curve”? Tell us about it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.
Victoria Yang is a SEAS first-year and trainee Spectrum staff writer. She wishes everything could be represented in graphical form. Reach her at


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