There’s nothing more Columbia than having no idea what courses you’ll be taking after the semester has already started….welcome, first-years! This “reading period” will be the two most humiliating weeks of your life, and we’re here to help you double down on that. Here are five tips on how you can beg, mooch, and dickride in the most efficient way possible. (Spot in class not guaranteed)
1. Buy a copy of your professor’s latest book and coincidentally read it across from their office
Guaranteed to spark a conversation, your professor will be flattered! They might question your intellectual capacity to understand their studies (they’re a leader in their field), but you can sneak in some comments about how interested you are in their work and WOULD BE HONORED to be a student of theirs. Bonus points if you print out their latest New York Times Op-Ed and bring it to their office hours.
2. Compliment something they’ve never been complimented on before
Leave your professor thinking about you for hours by giving them the most unique compliment possible. Tell them they have the most moisturized ankles you’ve ever seen. Or that you’ve never seen a notebook quite as red as theirs. Send your zaniest flatteries via email before mentioning your waitlist spot.
3. Play hard to get
Don’t show up on Day 1—that’s for desperate losers. You want the professor to want YOU. Besides, the first day of class is an overview of the syllabus. You’ll need an intimate and intellectual bond with your professor to get off the waitlist, not stupid syllabus analyses. Besides, who needs to know the grade breakdown, you’re sure to get an A regardless.
4. Interrupt lecture to assert your dominance
Once again, you want the professor to want YOU! Show off what that little Columbia noggin is capable of. Make sure to include that you’ve already learned this content in your accelerated middle school classes, so you can basically teach the class yourself. Point out an error in your professor’s introduction to show how much research you’ve done outside of class. The professor will appreciate having someone else in class that’s equally as passionate about the subject matter.
5. Don’t let them leave
A common mistake students make is making a quick introduction to the professor after class and then leaving. Keep talking until the professor realizes your brilliance and decides to manually move you off the waitlist. If they try to get away, lean against the door frame casually in front of them, ensuring to bar the whole exit. Remember, you’re going for a good impression and won’t take no for an answer.