The Barnard Feeling
On March 27, 2015, an email notification popped up on my phone. It was addressed from Barnard and it held my college fate. Yelping, I ran to the kitchen, where my parents stood, confused and immediately anxious once informed. I clicked on the email and it opened to a drawing of the blue and black college gates, a congratulations immersed in the paragraph of my acceptance letter. Jumping up and down, my family and I rejoiced, relieved to know I would be going to college somewhere I truly loved.
Soon it was time for admitted student visits, and my grandfather dropped me off in the Barnard quad, pillow pet in tow. Happy and confident young women surrounded me and welcomed me to campus, genuinely excited to meet and see us, the future class of 2019. The weekend was a unique experience, a perfect melding of exploring the city, taking my first night-time tour of Columbia, and hearing Debora Spar describe our admitted class in the now-transformed Barnard gymnasium.
I left that weekend with all the information in mind, but it was the feeling that made me fall in love. It was the impressions in the winding staircases of Milbank Hall, feeling my feet sink where the steps of so many Barnard women literally molded the campus with their ambition. It was the ivy-covered brick walls in contrast with the incredible light, glass architecture of the Diana Center. It was the opportunity to study math while talking unparalleled literature and dance classes. And above all, it was the community. Everywhere I turned, there was a strong woman who I wanted to be like, befriend, and learn from. The opportunity to become a bold Barnard woman, in addition to studying at a prestigious college, was one I simply could not pass up.
Each morning, I wake up to the beautiful cacophony of taxis and city sounds, I walk to campus in the sunlight and I am reassured that there is no place like Barnard. I can’t help but smile.