justina11: I can't really speak to math and science classes, but humanities classes do require a lot of writing. Most intro level survey classes will include at least one or two short papers (4-6 pages or so) throughout the semester. As classes get more advanced, papers get longer. Seminar classes require a seminar paper, up to 20 pages for the most part, although they don't have final exams. (Many non-seminar classes do have both finals and final papers.)
Language classes were also a little bit different, although my 4000-level Latin classes required final papers (in English) in addition to translation-based finals and midterms.
and, of course, Barnard requires a thesis during your senior year.
I'm not saying this to scare you off - I love research and reading but I've never really enjoyed writing term papers, and I survived.
also, Barnard does have a writing center: Writing Fellows | Writing Fellows
You make appointments with trained students and they'll help you as much as you'd like. I never actually used it, but one of my friends worked there and I know that it's a very good resource.
thegirlwhowaited (nice name, btw!), that question is kind of unanswerable, I think.
there ARE, of course, groups for every ethnicity and religion under the sun, so if you WANT to find people similar to you, you can. but nobody is forcing you to do that, and you're free to befriend whomever you would like.
I feel like you're suggesting a scenario in which, on the first day of orientation, people immediately form circles based on ethnicity and stay that way for the rest of college. of course that isn't true.
Cliques do happen. It's unavoidable no matter where you go. In my experience at Barnard, however, only people who genuinely prefer to form those sort of social communities are really affected by it. Both of my roommates hung out with people who they shared cultural traits and values with. For them, that was just what was comfortable.
My most "core" friend group, I suppose you can say, consists of people from a more diverse cultural/religious/academic interest background, but we were tied together by our love for geek culture and karaoke. Diversity in political ideology is far less common at Barnard, which can be a strength and a weakness depending on how you feel.
Hey girls! Thanks for being so magnificent and doing this for us hopefuls!
1) Would you recommend Barnard for a Pre-med major? (I understand it'll be difficult, but I'm wondering if it'll be worth it; like, are the professors/advisors knowledgeable and classes good?)
2) What steps did you take before/during senior year to decide you would apply ED? (I know figureskater sat in on a class; was there anything else to help you make the decision? I ask, because I'm extremely interested, and have visited once, but I really want to get to know the school well before making such a drastic decision.)
@ivwannabe I know that you asked this question towards the girls who came to Barnard through ED, but I plan on applying ED, so maybe the way that I made my decision may help you. For me, it was a difficult decision because financially there's no way I can afford even going to community college without taking out loans. I made my decision to apply ED to Barnard because they do meet full need, which is something I personally need in a school. I've visited Barnard many times. I went over the summer last year, during open house last year, and a few other times over the year. Sometimes I took a tour, other times I wandered through the campus while I was visiting the city. I wanted to be able to feel what it was like to be at Barnard. And, I really liked it. I liked mostly everything. I sat in on two classes, a First Year Seminar and a philosophy class. While my mind was blown the whole time during the philosophy class, I still felt the same way I did when I visited the FYS class-everyone wants everyone to succeed. I really liked the sense of community and whatnot that I felt. I was able to imagine myself sitting on the lawn, getting coffee at Liz's Place, going to class, and so on. I only got that feeling at one other college that I've visited thus far, but it was not nearly as strong. I've done a ton of research on Barnard. I feel like it would be the best place for me to spend my four years of college at, while learning to grow and work out my life in the city. That's my personal experience and why I've decided to apply ED. I've also talked to many, many girls on multiple social media sites and in person who have talked of their experiences at Barnard, and for the most part, it sounds like a community that I'd really like to be a part of.
Thanks for the advice--just bought a pair of rainboots! I'm an incoming freshman this fall, and I have a question about dorms! Is it possible for you and your roommate to each have their own mini fridge? Or do we have to share one/split the cost? How did you prep for moving in? I'm not sure what to buy, and what to wait for! Thanks!
I applied ED having visited Columbia once (during Winter Break, when campus was dead) and Barnard once (in late June, when campus was dead.) I talked to the Barnard/Columbia rep at every college fair and I read online as much as I possibly could. Mostly, though, I wanted to be in New York and out of the New York schools, Barnard fit me best. I was also determined to major in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, which is relatively rare. Even at Columbia, it's just a minor, not a major. So Barnard kind of checked all of my boxes. I knew that if I got into every college in the US, I'd still go there. So I applied ED.
Bubblefiller: I suppose you could each have your own mini-fridge, but space might be an issue. It depends how you arrange your room and what kind of configuration you end up in. My roommate and I had one, but we stored very little in there. With the unlimited meal plan, I ate almost exclusively in the dining hall. The fridge was mostly for takeout leftovers and keeping drinks cold. Honestly, I don't know why you'd want two. Unless you plan to cook a LOT for yourself, and that would be pretty tricky.
As for how to prep, I did some research online and pulled a bunch of dorm shopping lists and worked from there. When we got to my room, my parents and I realized that I had neither a bedside table, nor a bedside lamp. Luckily, there was a vendor fair on the lawn for precisely that reason - so we ran out and bought them! I believe there are also trips to Bed Bath and Beyond, in case you need to go. (And even if you miss those trips, BB&B is very easy to get to from Barnard. The doormen there will even hail a cab for you on the way back if what you're carrying is too clunky.) The Columbia bookstore also sells some basics, like towels and ethernet cords.
So if you forget anything, it shouldn't be a problem.
What sort of activities and events can a prospective student expect - ones that are unique to Barnard? For example, Swarthmore has 'Screw Your Roommate' which allows you to pair your roommate with a fellow co-year in complementary costumes (eg, sine-cosine, Joan of Arc-God, etc.) Vassar has it's own 'Muggle Quidditch Team'. I want to know about activities that'll draw students in.
What drew you to the school?
Also, where can I read some of the essays written by current students?
are you asking about Barnard's traditions? there are a few. I think the most popular would be Midnight Breakfast - the night before exams start, everybody gathers in the gym for breakfast served by the deans and members of the board of trustees. it's a big party and it always has a fun theme.
there's also Big Sub, which is a line of sandwiches that stretches from one end of campus to the other. it's gone pretty quickly!
and there are other things, like Spirit Day and the Greek Games.
honestly, none of these things drew me to Barnard. in my post above I've mentioned my reasons in greater detail, but I wanted to be in New York and I wanted to study medieval history and Barnard seemed like a comfortable place to do that.
as for essays, do you mean application essays? I know you can find former students' theses on department websites, but I'm not sure that you can read application essays anywhere.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, that pretty much covers what I was asking. As for essays, I did mean application essays. Some college websites have a page dedicated to 'Essays that worked' or something similar. While the Barnard website hasn't got anything of the sort, I was wondering if there's any site where students have posted their application essays so we can get an idea of what works and what doesn't. Or just draw some inspiration from - I'm still clueless about what I want my CommonApp essay to be on!