Why A Women's College?
Before coming to Barnard, I went to an all-girl’s middle and high school, and for a long time, I was set on never going to an all-women’s college. In fact, I wanted to go a massive co-ed school.
As I got older, though, I started to realize why I loved the school I went to--the unique supportive environment, the thought-provoking discussions I had every day, and that one of the most valuable skills I learned in school was how to braid hair in every way imaginable. (Just kidding. Kind of.) Those traits, among others, were what made me consider the possibility of an all-women’s college.
So, why did I pick a women’s college? Because of the environment that a women’s college breeds. One of unwavering support, progressive thought, and tight-knit community. A place where my voice, as a woman, is not only taken seriously, but matters. It’s the kind of place I thrive in.
I think it’s hard to compare Barnard with other women’s colleges because Barnard is truly a unique place. Many women’s colleges are in small rural towns without another college within walking distance, while Barnard is in New York City and Columbia is just across the street. These two factors make Barnard an incredibly unique school, and they’re part of the reason I ultimately chose Barnard.
My experience in middle and high school also had an immense influence on my decision. When I considered leaving behind the kind of community that I had at my high school, there was this sad, sinking feeling inside of me. I desperately wanted a similarly supportive, loving, and fun place, and Barnard was the place I could find that.
One of the places I found that environment was in my First-Year Writing class on Women & Culture. A class that essentially studies the female canon, dissecting how the female gender has reached the point it is at today. Taking a class like this at a women's college is an experience you could never have at any other school. You could never have the same kind of brutally real and honest discussions, while simultaneously cracking jokes and learning how to write strong research papers. This class has given me new friends, a professor I strongly admire, and a new way of looking at literature and at the world around me--it’s a perfect example of why Barnard is truly an amazing place to be.
I chose Barnard because it’s a place that makes me happy, pushes me, and makes me think about the world in a different way. It has made me a more socially aware person, given me a passion for politics that I didn’t have before, and made me work harder. It’s shaped me into a better version of myself, and one that makes me proud every day I walk across campus.
Why a women’s college?
Because, as cheesy as it sounds, it'll change your life.
Thumbnail photo: Scott Wenig-AP