Report: 92% of First-Years Stuck in Awkward Texting Exchange with NSOP Acquaintance

Report: 92% of First-Years Stuck in Awkward Texting Exchange with NSOP Acquaintance

By Zoe Davidson, only has friends on GroupMe


Artwork by Mai Morsy

Artwork by Mai Morsy

According to a study done by The Federalist, nearly 92% of Columbia first-years have been intermittently texting an NSOP acquaintance for the past five months. Over 95% of students in these conversations reported that they had exhausted the “Where are you from?” question, 81% had exhausted the “What are you interested in studying?” question, and 74% had exhausted the “Are you living on campus?” question. On a scale of “This is pleasant” to “THIS IS THE MOST ANNOYING, AWKWARD CONVERSATION OF MY LIFE,” five-sixths chose the upper extreme.

“Help me! Somebody! Please!” wrote one student in a text box at the end of the survey. “This really nice kid in my NSOP group gave me his number, so I texted him, ‘Hey!! It’s Cameron from NSOP’ which started a quick back-and-forth about our majors. It turns out, he’s studying biomedical engineering and I’m interested in poetry. We have nothing in common! But neither of us know how to end the conversation!” The student reported that, typically, one of them will ask a question like “How were your finals?” and then the other will reply several weeks later, rendering the initial question irrelevant.

Another student wrote, “How do you break up with a texting acquaintance? You know how in relationships, you can say, ‘let’s just be friends?’ We need an equivalent for this situation. But instead it’s just like, ‘let’s not be friends.’”

Most respondents are hopeful that their texting exchanges will naturally die out as second semester work increases. But already, 73% of students have sent or received a “How was your winter break?” text, suggesting there are low chances of these conversations ending any time soon. The Federalist will conduct a follow-up survey in May.