I roll out from underneath the guy sharing my twin extra long, careful not to wake him. As I am returning to my suite 20 minutes later, I bump into him letting himself out. Whether because of fear of rejection, or just because of strings of bad luck, it seems that the majority of Columbia students fall into one of two categories: those who forgo romance in the name of class work, and those who look for love beyond the borders of Morningside Heights.
But these best and brightest are still college kids. Columbia produces Nobel Prize winners and captains of industry. In order for individuals to distinguish themselves academically and professionally, they may need to make sacrifices in their social and emotional lives. This is a campus where ambition thrives, and relationships can take a backseat to networking and GPAs. In the course of writing this article, I spoke to dozens of students about their love lives at Columbia, and I kept hearing the same complaint—that Columbians struggle mightily to find romantic success (even of the single-night variety) here in Morningside.
When ambition is the focal point of college life, it’s difficult to devote yourself to another person.
“People aren’t really looking to get together,” says Nora Hirshman, a sophomore at Barnard.
“They are in their own little world.” For most, it is a world whose center moves from papers to exams to applications for internships and fellowships—there’s rarely time to build intimate relationships.
This work-till-you-drop mentality, a defining characteristic of life in New York, is a pervasive malady at pressure-cooking Columbia.
Time to develop romantic relationships must be fit in amid class time, work time, club meeting time, dinner time, sleep time, and more work time.
If the population at large participates in this workaholic culture, even those who would rather play find the surroundings hostile.