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  • Writer's pictureThe Blue and White Magazine

The Columbia Blue Guide

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

Eight recommendations you actually should do

By Jasmine Park

Welcome to the Greatest University in the Greatest City in the World™! If your head is not spinning already, it will be soon, and if you are like some of us editors at The Blue and White, you’ll be an upperclassman before you realize that four years isn’t a very long time, and while you were busy “finding your niche,” you missed a huge portion of what this university and this city has to offer. All that said, here’s what we think you should check out before it’s too late.

Columbia Makerspace

While engineering students might find themselves here more often, the Makerspace has all sorts of equipment, from 3D printers to embroidery machines, available to all students. If you ever decide your New Yorker tote bag (look up their deal to get one!) needs extra pizzazz, check out the Makerspace! All users have to take a mandatory safety training session before utilizing the workshop.

Athena Film Festival

Each year Barnard hosts the Athena Film Festival to celebrate stories told by or about women. Student passes are equivalent to all-access passes but are approximately a fourth of the price. The ninth annual Athena Film Festival will be held Feb. 28 to March 3, 2019.

TIC/Show Ticket Discounts

The Ticket and Information Center is the on-campus box office of Columbia’s Arts Initiative, offering discount tickets to performances around the city and tickets to campus performances. Beyond the TIC, many performing arts groups in the city have discount tickets for students or the broader 18-24 age demographic.


Shallow or pragmatic, Columbia is very much a brand, and association with the university can open doors. Whether you’re looking for research opportunities or trying to network, tasteful cold emails with your school address can have surprising returns.

Museums in New York

Noted, this isn’t novel. You’ve seen pictures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, etc. But check if a museum offers free or discount tickets for students. Free admission to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art (with your student ID) is fairly well known, but even the Frick has deals for Art Hum students.

Barnard Clay Collective

Located in the basement of Plimpton Hall, the Barnard Clay Collective offers pottery classes for a fee to students each semester. After taking a class, you become a member and can make pottery whenever your want!

Random Lectures

Most academic departments, and many student groups, host lectures, panel discussions, movie screenings and more throughout the semester. Pay attention to all of the random flyers pinned up in the Hamilton stairwells or around Lerner, because these events are hidden gems.

Faculty House Restaurant

In between Wien and East Campus is a place called Faculty House, and you’ll probably never have to go there. But there is a restaurant on the top floor that is a nice campus spot to take visiting parents or grandparents, and if your professor ever hosts a luncheon there, don’t miss it. The food is decent, but the views are spectacular.


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