Why I Chose Barnard

When I was beginning my college search in high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. The only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted to go to school in the northeast. But beyond that, there was still a ton of options I needed to decide on. Did I want an urban or suburban school? Large or small? Liberal arts or more STEM-focused? 

High school junior me visiting   Barnard for the first time

High school junior me visiting   Barnard for the first time

During spring break of my junior year in high school, my dad and I toured schools all over the northeast from Massachusetts to Connecticut to New York. We listened to so many information sessions and went on so many tours I lost count. I felt like Goldilocks, trying to find that school that was just right, but none of them were. If I was in a small college town, I missed being in a city. When I visited a true city school, I wasn’t fond of the lack of campus. I wanted a school where I didn’t know basically everyone, but I also didn’t want to be one of 15,000 undergraduate students. I was searching for that balance, and that’s where Barnard came in.

One of the biggest factors that drew me to Barnard was that I felt like I didn’t have to compromise. Anything I wanted to find in a college, I found at Barnard. It has this unique competitive yet nurturing environment that allows students to be innovative while supported by friends and faculty. Students are pushed to be their best and have plenty of resources available to help them do so. Barnard at its core is a small liberal arts college, but it’s relationship with Columbia, a large research institution, gives Barnard students access to opportunities and resources that can be found nowhere else. Barnard is right in New York City, but its campus and location in Morningside Heights gives it more a traditional college feel than other city schools I visited. 

Barnard wasn’t initially on my college list. Truth is, I never heard of Barnard before visiting. My parents were the ones who suggested that I look into Barnard and visit while we were in New York. So we did and I fell in love with Barnard. It was a place that I could see myself living and thriving for four years, building relationships and knowledge that would last for much longer.

I visited Barnard during March of 2015. I knew it was the place for me, if I actually were Goldilocks, it was my “just right” school. I applied early decision and by December of that same year, I was accepted and set to attend Barnard. Since then, I could not be happier with my choice of Barnard. Here I get the best of both worlds: a slightly suburban campus in an urban setting and a small college that’s a part of a large university.

And who knows what I’ll major in – I definitely have no clue at the moment. But I know it doesn’t matter if I want to be a scientist, a writer, or revive my dance dream from childhood because Barnard will allow me to do anything I want. Here I don’t have to chose, or compromise, or give up one thing for anything because at Barnard I can have it all.

-Paige
pcm2126@barnard.edu


Photo credit to mywalkingpictures.blogspot.com

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