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Why Barnard?

MQDMQD 528 replies91 threads Member
edited July 2008 in Barnard College
Why would you recommend a young woman apply to a women's college and why Barnard? What did you come away with that you do not think you would have gained at a coed college? How did Barnard differ from your first impressions?

edited July 2008
3 replies
Post edited by MQD on
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Replies to: Why Barnard?

  • aube88aube88 308 replies49 threads Member
    Try looking through old threads....this has been discussed before. In short, I think Barnard has the best of many worlds. It has all the advantages of a small LAC - its own, charming, small campus, and an incredibly supportive advising and dean system since it's just undergrad (I am very close with my advisor,can drop by anytime...and he can get in touch with the deans in minutes). Yet, you have sooo many course options, so it's easier to make your schedule, switch classes, and find courses in specific subject matter... and of course, there's always NYC! Personally, I think this mixture is what makes Barnard a great - and truly unique - experience.

    As for the women's college experience, it really depends who you ask. Personally, I attended Barnard in spite of the fact that it was a women's college and not because. If that's your attitude, you can take classes and do ECs at Columbia and it's no problem to meet guys. Of course, you can also choose to take most of your classes at Barnard and do all of your ECs there, etc. Either way, I do think there are advantages to attending a women's college. The environment is very supportive and there's more focus on women's issues like inequality of pay and the reasons behind it. THere are also more women administrators and profs than at most co-ed schools, which makes for lots of great female role models. And we have some cute events like relaxation events with massages and nail painting that probably wouldnt fly at a co-ed school, but which everyone enjoys!
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  • mythmommythmom 8292 replies13 threads Senior Member
    My D is a Barnard rising senior. Her level of confidence is amazing. She doesn't have to compete with guys for plum positions -- right now she is assisting the chair of her dept. And she really does enjoy the women profs and feels a special support from them.

    Your question did not ask this, but NYC is such a partner in her education that Barnard was a very important choice for her. For example, today was her Dad's birthday. She is working in the city this summer and met us at the Met. She has gone often during her years there, sometimes as much as once a week.

    BTW: She is a feminist but very much enjoys guys. One of her best friends at school is a Columbia guy. She dated someone immediately her first semester, but hasn't dated any Columbia guys in a while because she has a long distance romantic relationship.
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  • churchmusicmomchurchmusicmom 3980 replies79 threads Senior Member
    My daughter is also a rising senior. Like mythmom said, her confidence level is high and she is very well prepared for what lies ahead. Her Barnard education in neuroscience has been thorough and she has had excellent opportunities to work in lab environments....and to do REAL work there as opposed to students in large Universities (including Columbia) whose lab experiences as undergrads are likely to mostly involve menial chores. Barnard requires a thesis for most majors and my daughter has been working this summer to help set up a lab, literally from the ground up, and to establish procedures, etc. Her senior thesis will be based upon conduct of original research, and grad schools she has talked with so far have been impressed that she is a Barnard student....they know what that means!

    Last summer she secured a position as a Columbia Amgen scholar, and she WAS in competition for this spot with all Columbia applicants...including males. There are guys in most Barnard classes and of course Barnard students can and do take class at Columbia, so the Barnard experience is by no means exclusively about being at a "women's" college in that regard. However, it is about being surrounded and uplifted by the presence of women....both in the present and those who have gone before...who have eagerly grasped every opportunity put before them to make a difference in the world.

    She has loved Barnard and, though I know she will miss Barnard terribly when she graduates, her experiences there have led her to the point where she is now eagerly anticipating what lies ahead in grad school. And she has the confidence and assurance that she will be successful there.
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