Your First-Year Residential Life at Barnard

Your First-Year Residential Life at Barnard

Residential life is an important part of a college experience, and for many first-years, it can be a brand-new adventure living away from home and sharing a space with roommate(s) and hall-mates. What will your residential life be like as a first-year student at Barnard? I will introduce you to first-year housing at Barnard, sharing my personal experiences and some interviews from other students and RAs!

First-year students at Barnard live in the Quad, specifically in Brooks, Reid, or Sulzberger Halls. Students are assigned to double-, triple-, or quad-occupancy rooms—which means you are guaranteed with at least one roommate! All three first-year residence halls - plus Hewitt Hall - are connected, so you can easily visit your friends and the student services offices located in each of these buildings.

This year I live in a double room in Brooks Hall, which was built in 1907 as Barnard’s first residence hall. Our study lounge is located on the first floor, and it’s my favorite studying place at Barnard—who doesn’t want to study in one of the oldest places on campus with a cozy and quiet environment! The Primary Care Health Services is also located on the lower level of Brooks, and it was extremely convenient since I could just take the elevator to get help (in my pajamas!) when I was sick.

All first-year students live with roommate(s) at Barnard, and I personally love living with mine. Sharing personal space with another person can be difficult for many people, but it is always great when you are new to the campus to have someone there as a companion to your college adventure. Here are some reflections on living with roommates from fellow first-year students:

“I live in Sulzberger Hall. My roommate is also my best friend. As an international student coming to the U.S. for the first time, I went through countless difficulties, but after I met my roommate, everything started to get better. At the end of the day, we shared funny stories and cheered each other up. I am so thankful to that she invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family which was the happiest time for me since I came to America. Over the break, we helped her parents cook a turkey, and even baked pies and bread by ourselves. We ate Chinese dumplings for lunch on Thanksgiving Day which really made me feel at home. She and her family gave me a great insight into American culture and a sense of belonging.”

— Tiange Zhao ‘22

“This year, I decided to ‘go random’ for the roommate selection process, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made! My roommate and I have very similar living habits, which has been amazing, but we've also become one of each other's closest friends at Barnard. I love coming home at the end of every day and having someone to talk to about anything and everything, and I'm incredibly lucky to have her in my life.” — Jennie Yu ‘22

Beyond roommates, every student is assigned to an RA (Resident Assistant) based on their floor. RA’s will not only keep everyone safe, but also help new students transition into their college life. I love to have Marika as my RA this year because she set up a caring residential environment for all of us. For example, on every Sunday night, Marika opens her door at the end of the hall and welcomes everyone to join her enjoyable office hour when we talk about stress, home, and lots of funny stories. Here’s her understanding of being an RA for first-years:

“I chose to be an RA for first-years because I love working with incoming students and helping them transition into their new positions as first-years at Barnard. I hope to be a role model and help them work through the challenges that accompany going through significant life changes, such as going to college. My responsibilities include keeping the residence halls safe, giving advice to residents when they need it, and building a community.” —Marika Chrisanthopoulos

If you wish to learn more about housing at Barnard, please visit this website for more information and FAQs. You also can follow @barnardreslife on Twitter to see what events of residential life are going on at Barnard!

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