Academic Support & Stress Management at Barnard

Academic Support & Stress Management at Barnard

Question: I'd imagine that some stress is inevitable at a top college like Barnard, but to what extent does it permeate campus life and academics? Do students have a competitive attitude towards grades? Are there certain academic policies that could potentially create a particularly high-stress environment?

Answer: This is such an important question to be asking! As you mentioned, academic rigor can sometimes provoke stress, especially around final exams. However, Barnard provides academic support in various ways.

First and foremost, Barnard professors are extremely dedicated to their students' success and will offer various office hours timeslots per week. Office hours are dedicated hours in which a professor accommodates drop-in and/or scheduled meetings in their office. Certain professors also offer review sessions before exams. I've personally always felt comfortable approaching my professor(s) if I needed help or felt stressed or nervous about my performance in their class.

Second, I believe that Barnard students are very supportive of each other. In practically every class I've taken, my peers and I have formed study groups, exchanged notes, and encouraged each other through each exam and difficult assignment. Barnard students are constantly challenging themselves and each other, in a positive and constructive way.

Finally, Barnard is supportive by offering free peer tutoring, resources like the Writing and Speaking Center and the Empirical Reasoning Center, personal librarians, and more. As long as you are willing to ask for help, and willing to take advantage of these many resources, it's possible to make what might be a stressful class or assignment feel more doable. In my opinion, Barnard's mission of educating and supporting women carries into how the Barnard institution and community is supportive in potentially stressful scenarios.

- Claire Burghard '19

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