The Mighty TA


Discussion sections are relaxed and engaging…and sometimes happen outside on beautiful days! (The snapchat view of college life, as seen from the Barnard Library.)

Greetings, my friends!

I’m supposed to be researching Egbert Benson, Jr., Columbia College class of 1807, right now, but I’m at a tech rehearsal for Orchesis (the dance group), and alas—this kind of work requires a good deal more concentration than I have. So, what better way to spend my time than to write a blog post, right?

On the agenda tonight: the much-discussed Teacher’s Assistant (TA). TAs tend to be under-appreciated in the search for the perfect college, but today I stand before you as an avowed TA fan.

In all seriousness, though, I’ve had nothing but very positive experiences with my TAs. In a moment, I’ll give you a few examples of how awesome they can be, but first—the logistics. Barnard’s classes are all taught by professors who are experts in their fields and dedicated to teaching undergraduates. TAs are responsible for filling in all of the other spaces in the college’s academic structure: they lead the discussion sections and lab sections that accompany larger lectures, they hold extra office hours and help rooms, and they help grade assignments.

The thing is, though, that TAs are really cool. For one thing, with a few exceptions, they are upperclass Barnard students or Columbia graduate students in the field, so they really know what they are talking about. They are in the midst of independent research or preparing for oral exams and writing their dissertations, so they have lots of valuable ideas about how to be a student (how to find sources, how to read books efficiently) as well as strictly content-based ones. But perhaps most importantly, they are much closer than faculty to their undergraduate experiences, so they understand how we think sometimes better than profs do. We take a lot of classes on a very wide range of topics, we participate in lots of extracurricular activities, and we are young and (apparently) like to socialize on the weekends. Because TAs remember these things about being an undergrad, they are very practical and understanding: they are flexible about deadlines. They’ll actually discuss the concrete aspects of upcoming exams. And almost across the board they are passionate about their fields and about teaching.

So, now, here are two examples of awesome TAs I’ve had. I’m afraid they’re both from history classes, but I’ve also had really great Latin, physics, linguistics, and English TAs.

US Intellectual History. I had a TA for US Intellectual History my first semester here who absolutely changed the way I thought about history and the attitude with which I approached TA-led discussions. In leading discussions, he would just launch us on a topic and let us go. The conversation (or heated debate, depending on the day) would range over the multiple readings and lectures for the week and would draw upon past readings, with each student contributing thoughts, feelings, and passionate arguments as we felt moved to do. He never made us feel that we needed to please him or measure up to some arbitrary participation quota, so our weekly meetings felt more like an intellectual coffee break with brilliant friends than a required recitation session. I honestly can’t imagine what more he could have done.

This is my view as I write: the inside of Roone auditorium at Columbia. Graduate students don't just teach, they dance too!

This is my view as I write: the inside of Roone auditorium at Columbia. Graduate students don’t just teach, they dance too!

History of the South. So this one is hot off the presses: I have such an incredible TA for my History of the South class. She’s tough in that she knows her stuff and she is not going to tolerate sloppy work or half-completed readings. But we’re not going to college to not do work, so I frankly appreciate her seriousness. And equally impressive (and equally wonderful) is her willingness to work with each student to make sure that the class feels valuable. For example, at the beginning of the semester we were given an assignment for a final paper. I wrote the proposal for mine on a topic that fell slightly outside of the boundaries established by the prompt: I wanted to look at Faulkner as part of the history of the American South, so it fell more within the realm of intellectual history than the professor wanted. But instead of completely rejecting my idea, my TA suggested that we meet to discuss alternatives. She asked me about my ideas for life after college (graduate school in history) and my areas of interest (US cultural and intellectual history). She then proceeded to talk to her grad student friends who were interested in those fields, since she is a labor historian rather than a cultural one, and come up with a completely different assignment for me. We’ve been meeting weekly to discuss my (very challenging) project, and she has been nothing but help and enthusiasm. She is eager to share tips and discuss what a doctoral program is like and talk about my other classes. Plus, I am now armed with an essay that I feel to be genuinely important and can use in preparing to apply to graduate school. Like with the TA discussed above, I couldn’t ask for more.

Since my experiences with TAs so far have mostly been in Columbia classes, I also recommend checking out a post from last year’s blog, written by an alumna who actually got the chance to be a Barnard TA as an undergrad!

I suppose that that’s about it. I have papers to write and Virgil to translate! But please don’t hesitate to email me about TAs, history, or anything else! (You know how I love talking about them :)



Chloe Hawkey ’16

Athena Digital Design Agency: Empowering Women to Enter the Tech Field

imgresWhen I was in eighth grade, I was looking at specialized high school programs. I was very interested in a computer science program that was offered at a high school two towns over from me. However, when I showed my interest in the program, my teachers weren’t very supportive of me entering this male-dominated field. They passively tried to discourage me from applying to the program by saying, “Oh, that might be too difficult for you,” and, “Your friends will be at different high schools.” Not only was it unusual at my school to be a girl in computer science, the fact that I had a physical disability probably did not help my case either. At that age, because I felt very discouraged, I gave up on the idea of studying computer science and attended a regular public high school.

However, this did not make me give up on my interest in computer science and graphic design. I took a basic HTML & CSS class on my own time online and taught myself how to use Photoshop and video editors, such as Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. Even though I wasn’t a part of the computer science program, I took every opportunity to use my coding and graphic design skills on my class projects and flyers for the clubs I was involved in. This special touch definitely made my projects stand out, and I was able to enjoy creating them.

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 1.32.04 PMDuring my first semester at Barnard, I contemplated minoring in computer science but I realized that the computer science department did not offer what I was looking for. It was data structure-based, and I was more interested in the web development and design aspects of computer science. But then I found what I was looking for, the Athena Digital Design Agency (ADDA). ADDA was founded in 2013 by a group of Barnard students and their advisor. The mission of ADDA is to provide Barnard students with classes in coding (but not for academic credit), and then develop the students’ entrepreneurial skills by assigning them clients who need websites for their small businesses.

When I saw the flyers for the position around campus, I got really excited and applied immediately. I wanted to be a part of an organization that empowers young women to enter the tech sector. I first got involved with ADDA as a student advisory board member, and it has been an amazing learning experience and honor. The board manages all aspects of the agency, from creating the curricula for the classes to meeting with potential clients. Last year, I was in charge of public relations and marketing, and this year I am managing the upkeep of our website, And in the coming weeks, I will be graduating from the HTML/CSS class with a finished website.

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 1.35.31 PMAfter you have completed the HTML/CSS class, you can apply to be a part of the agency (making websites for clients and getting paid for it). The student advisory board will review the final project that you created in the class and decide whether or not to accept you into the agency. You can also further develop your coding skills by taking JavaScript, JQuery and Ruby classes.

It is very rewarding to be a part of an organization that empowers young women to enter a male-dominated field and be unafraid to explore their interests in technology, regardless of their majors. I am currently majoring in Political Economics with a minor in Women’s Studies, which both have nothing to do with coding, but I am still able to pursue my interest in web development and technology through ADDA. As a matter of fact, I will be the graphic design intern at the office of a New York City Council Member this summer. I will have the best of both worlds: helping to develop policies for the city (which relates to my major) and using my computer skills to promote those policies (which relates to ADDA).

As Anna Quindlen said, Barnard students certainly “major in unafraid.” If I went to any other college, I don’t know if I would have been able to pursue my interests in computer science and the technology field. I have an amazing support system through ADDA and other Barnardians to achieve my dreams. When I graduate from Barnard in two years, I know I will have many options to chose from, and having knowledge in coding will definitely be a plus!


Sarah Kim ’17

How to Handle the Demands of a Barnard Schedule

I remember in the summer before coming to Barnard, my mom would warn me that, when it comes to college, “getting in is the easy part.” In many respects, that’s true. Barnard women are constantly on the run between classes, studying, attending club meetings, and holding jobs, so it can become difficult to find free time for yourself. For example, on Tuesdays, I have class from 10 am to 7 pm, with an hour and a half break for lunch and some studying, and then a club meeting from 9-10 pm. Even though my schedule is packed, this is a rewarding part of the college experience. Through the task of juggling a GPA, extracurriculars, and a social life, I’ve proven to myself that I can handle the demanding schedule of a Barnard student. And I have no doubt in my mind that you can do the same! Here are some helpful tips for how to manage the busy Barnard schedule.


My bed, aka my favorite place.

Sleep is a girl’s best friend. College students are inherently sleepy. It’s in our DNA. But of course we’re always tired because, like I mentioned above, Barnard women have so much happening on any given day that it’s hard to feel well rested. Now for me, I’m an early to bed, early to rise type of person and need 6+ hours minimum of sleep in order to get me through the next day. Interestingly enough, I didn’t realize this about myself until this semester (and I’m a second semester sophomore!). Now, I know that I can’t be very productive while studying past 10:30 pm, so I wake up at 6:30 am instead to do my homework. Plus, if I’m feeling really tired one week, there’s always the weekends to catch up on sleep!

Food is arguably a girl’s best friend too. If there’s one thing that’s true about me, it’s that no matter what, I will never, under any circumstances, skip a meal. If I skip a meal, my entire day is thrown off. I’m not really sure if it has to do with the fact that I just love food, or more with the fact that I’ve built a strict 3-meal regimen into my daily schedule, but either way mealtime helps me handle my busy schedule. There’s something about eating a meal that brings me back down to Earth. I think it’s because I’m a terrible multi-tasker and I can’t eat and study at the same time, so I’m forced to take a breather and enjoy my sandwich for ten minutes. Also, food helps to refuel your brain, which is really important when you have still have 2 more classes and a club meeting to go to!


A friend and me playing our ukeleles on Low Steps!

Take up a hobby or find a quiet activity. I bought a ukulele this past summer, and it’s been one of the best additions to my college life so far. Before, I had no experience with any string instruments and had stopped playing piano in eighth grade, so I forgot how to read music. Luckily, we live in the age of the Internet, so I’ve slowly been able to teach myself how to play. If I get the chance to play for 15 minutes before bed or for a few minutes on the weekend, my ukulele becomes such an important tool for stress relief. A couple of my friends also play ukulele, and since the weather is getting nicer we’ve been taking our ukes out on Columbia’s Low Steps and playing around on them. Admittedly I can only play the basic notes and a couple of tunes, but finding this activity has really helped me to manage my schedule. Another activity I enjoy doing is walking in Riverside Park. While it’s usually only about a 30 minute walk or so, it really helps to get my endorphins pumping and allow me to collect my thoughts. Doing something like playing an instrument, painting (my next ambitious hobby to take up!), or finding a walking path you enjoy, getting yourself into a routine with these activities can really help ease the demands of a Barnard schedule.


Walks through Riverside Park (pictured here) can be so therapeutic.

Seek help when you need it. Something really special about Barnard is the countless support resources available if you need them. Our schedules are so busy and I would be surprised if someone told me they have never felt overwhelmed while here. The Rosemary Furman Counseling Center (we call it Furman) is a wonderful resource for students who feel that they need guidance from a trained counselor. Another option is called Nightline: Barnard-Columbia Peer Listening, where you can make an anonymous phone call to a Barnard or Columbia undergraduate student who is trained to talk you through whatever you need. Another great resource is Well Woman, our health and wellness center. Well Woman offers a variety of programs to help promote students’ overall well-being (they have a running club every Thursday and a craft club every Wednesday!), and they also have a team of peer educators available to chat about anything from good sleep habits to healthy relationships. Even going to your Resident Advisor (RA) can be helpful and is usually just the trick to help you get back on track with your demanding Barnard schedule. Barnard has such great resources to help you navigate a busy schedule and any overwhelming feelings!

Barnard is a demanding school and you will inevitably have a busy schedule, but I don’t know one Barnard woman who doesn’t love what they do here. If you have any questions or comments about how I manage my schedule, or just what it’s like to be a Barnard student in general, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at

As always, enjoy the warm spring weather!


Hannah Spierer ’17

Program Filing: What Classes Are You Taking Next Semester?

It’s program filing season here in Barnard! Everyone’s aflutter with talk of their next semester: what classes they’re taking with which professors, the excitement (and anxiety) of an entirely new schedule, and of course, the pain of L course sign-ups. Thankfully, the madness ended this week, since April 20th was the deadline to submit our advance programs for the upcoming fall semester.

Yes, I did keep mine from the mail last year.

What exactly is program filing? How exactly does one go about filing a program? What does the “L” in “L course” stand for, exactly? (This question, unfortunately, is not a rhetorical one, because that “L” is still a mystery to me.)

Program filing is when students register for the classes they would like to take in their next semester. Literally, this involves entering the classes they want to take on myBarnard, the e-platform which serves as, among thousands of other things, as an academic record for Barnard students. Sounds easy, right? You’d be surprised at the nuances of program filing; since it really is an attempt to balance personal interests and academic exploration with logistical concerns, like that of scheduling itself, and fulfilling General Education, and/or major requirements. With that said, it’s no wonder that program filing always makes for interesting dining hall conversation, since how one approaches program filing is telling of their academic interests, and perhaps their personalities. I’d even say that program filing is somewhat of an art, rather than a mere administrative task.

When I had to register for my first classes in Barnard, I was bewildered by the procedure of program filing, with all its rules, quirks, and technical jargon. Upon receiving “Academic Guide to Your First Year at Barnard College,” I remember flipping through it and feeling awed by the sheer quantity and variety of Barnard classes — then putting off the actual task of program filing until I was finally motivated by the many e-mails I received about its encroaching deadline.

My Fall 2015 schedule-- it's a lot less complicated than it looks

My Fall 2015 schedule, as seen on MyBarnard

The way I approach program filing now is a lot more thoughtful — or so I’d like to think — since I’m more accustomed to the entire process. My strategy for my first year was to try to fulfill as many of the Nine Ways of Knowing requirements as possible. Looking back, I think it’s a pretty effective strategy, since it exposed me to a wide range of college disciplines and revealed which ones I’m most suited to. My upcoming schedule for my sophomore year (how time flies…!) is slightly more focused on my potential major, Philosophy, and includes classes I’m personally interested in, like Linguistics and Japanese. Something to keep in mind as well is that this is an advance program, meaning that we can change anything about it when we start the semester next year. There is a 2-week period, known as the “shopping period,” where we can try out as many classes as we’d like, and refine our program as we get a clearer idea of what we’d like to embark on for the rest of the semester.

Professor Wolfe (aka Loren), my academic advisor!

Of course, each student’s academic advisor is an important figure in the program filing process. Advisors are assigned based on a student’s academic interests, and by Barnard’s magical clairvoyance in all its matchmaking processes (like that of the roommate selection process, which Deena blogged about!), these assignments always work out. Loren, my advisor, has been so reassuring in guiding me along my first-year here in Barnard. She always emphasizes that I stay open to taking different classes, instead of latching onto a certain academic path with a certain major in mind. After all, exploration is the hallmark of a liberal arts education!

Feel free to leave comments below! As always, you can e-mail me if you’ve questions about your program filing, or anything Barnard-related at all, at

– Erin

Erin Low ’18

Open House, Round Two

Barnard Hall all dolled up for Open House!

Barnard Hall all dolled up for Open House!

After a great hosting experience last weekend, I was definitely looking forward to meeting and speaking with more admitted students. Once the students checked in on Saturday morning, I was able to attend their lunch in Barnard Hall, which involved delicious food, great conversation with admitted students from all over the world, and welcoming speeches from Dean Fondiller and the admissions counselors. After the admissions counselors introduced themselves, many admitted students were able to meet the counselor who had reviewed and accepted their application; it was amazing to watch the waves of recognition come over the counselors’ faces when they met the students whose work they had reviewed so thoroughly. After some discussion amongst ourselves about the Barnard experience, Dean Fondiller gave a warm welcome in which she commended the accepted students on their accomplishments, elaborated on Barnard’s diversity, and even read excerpts from students’ recommendation letters. Hearing how accomplished the Class of 2019 already is and hearing quotes from recommendation letters along the lines of “She makes me remember why I began teaching,” reminded me of how lucky I am to have such brilliant and passionate students as my peers.

2015-04-18 13.22.03

Enjoying lunch with admitted students.

While the admitted students were at their activities, I took advantage of the beautiful weather by studying in the quad, eating dinner outside, and walking through Riverside Park. After the admitted students toured some of the city (including our campus and Morningside Heights), and had dinner with alumnae, I met up with the student I was hosting and headed up to my dorm room. As she and I talked more, I learned that she is originally from Pennsylvania but currently lives in Australia. And she and my roommate bonded over their mutual interest in neuroscience! Because it was her first time visiting campus, we walked around the Barnard quad and crossed the street to visit Low Beach (AKA Low Steps), since it offers  such a great view. Afterwards, some of my friends came with us to Tom’s, which is the famous diner you might recognize from Seinfeld. Their milkshakes are a favorite late-night snack for Barnard/Columbia students, so, naturally, we had to stop there.


Showing the admitted student that I hosted around campus.

With Sunday came the arrival of over one hundred more admitted students, more tours and panels, dinner at restaurants around Morningside Heights, and a comedy show featuring Barnard’s own beloved improv group, Control Top. Overall, this weekend was a formative experience for admitted students, whether they were already set on attending Barnard or were making a decision between Barnard and other colleges. The admitted student that I hosted told me that this weekend allowed her to get a sense of the Barnard community and meet great, diverse people. And from a first-year BSAR’s perspective, this weekend reminded me of how fortunate I am to attend Barnard.

As always, feel free to comment or e-mail with any questions and/or general excitement about Barnard!


Deena Cohen

My Favorite Spots at Barnard

photo 4We all have those days when we feel tired, overwhelmed, or stressed. One of the greatest things about being in the city is that you can re-energize yourself by seeing a Broadway show or visiting a museum. But what if you really don’t have the energy or motivation to go off-campus?

My solution: trying to find the relaxing places at Barnard…because there are a lot of them. (It may seem like a small campus but, trust me, it is way bigger than you think!) And today, I am going to talk about two of my favorite spots at Barnard where I go to motivate myself.

I am currently drawing this carnivorous plant species (Nepenthes distillatoria) aka the Pitcher plant.

I am currently drawing this carnivorous plant species (Nepenthes distillatoria) aka the Pitcher plant.

#1. The Greenhouse
Personally, I find spending time in nature a super motivational and encouraging activity. Plus, I have recently discovered an interest in drawing, thanks to the drawing class that I am taking and, of course, to Barnard’s visual art requirement, without which I probably would not have taken any art classes at all.

At Barnard you can experience a combination of both art and nature simply by visiting a very special place on the roof of Milbank Hall: The Arthur Ross Greenhouse. 

Last Wednesday I spent nearly four hours drawing the plants in the greenhouse with the rest of my art class. Then, with the permission of the instructor, I spent an extra hour of drawing. It truly was an incredible experience. I felt as if I were an artist and botanist on a field trip in a tropical forest. Even though I am a determined economics major, this place secretly makes me want to study botany.

photo 1

Yes, they also have many different species of fly traps!

The greenhouse is home to many research projects that are run by Barnard’s Biology department. If you take a biology class with a lab component, it is highly likely that you will, at some point, have to visit the greenhouse for your class assignments. There are hundreds of different plant species, each categorized and placed in different locations in the greenhouse depending on their familia and genus.

The greenhouse is open to students on Wednesdays from 1pm-3pm. So feel free to visit and enjoy your time at this amazing micro tropical environment!

Photo on 4-13-15 at 8.25 PM

My attempt in drawing plant roots.

#2. Lehman Lawn
But sometimes too much solitude feels a little isolating. I also like to enjoy some nature outside on Barnard’s campus, and the best place for this is Lehman Lawn.

Lehman Lawn in spring is one of the best places to study, hang out and enjoy the fresh air at Barnard — especially when our beloved magnolia tree is in bloom. When the weather permits, students do yoga, exercise, or sit outside with a book and a cup of tea from Liz’s Place. Especially during Spirit Week, there’s no place better than Lehman Lawn.

magnolia sena 2

Recently, under the magnolia tree.

Sometimes, no matter how well things are going, I just feel that my body is negatively charged. During those days, I go to Lehman Lawn to take my shoes off and walk on the grass, take a deep breath and recharge. It’s a great place to meditate.

When you visit Barnard, you will see that there are so many interesting places to spend time on campus. The greenhouse and the Lehman Lawn are only two of them. For instance, I have recently learned that the Biology department is running an experiment on honey bees. The department is keeping the bee hives on the roof of Barnard Hall! (Unfortunately, it’s not open to students!) Barnard is, as always, full of surprises!

To be continued…

Sena Oztosun

Class of 2017


Why I Chose Barnard

Our beautiful magnolia tree is in bloom right now!

Our beautiful magnolia tree is in bloom right now!

I could go on for hours about what I love about Barnard. When my friends talk about what brought us to Barnard, we all have different stories to share about what our first impressions were. My story begins a little earlier than usual, when I was probably 12 or 13 years old and my older brother was visiting Columbia. Being the little sister of two brothers, I was always dragged along to these things and I had walked on more college campuses than I’d like to admit, so I wasn’t that fazed by the grandness of Columbia. But as we walked around campus, I looked around at the buildings and people and something sparked inside me (I apologize for the cheesiness, but it’s true). My mom specifically wanted me to see the Barnard campus, so we walked over and I said to her: “I could see myself here.” A short time later, we got a postcard in the mail that had a beautiful picture of Columbia’s campus and I hung it up on my desk (it’s still there to this day). Who would have known I would be moving into my first year dorm 5 years later as the newest addition to the Barnard community? There were four main reasons as to why I ultimately chose Barnard.

Small liberal arts college. This was my one absolute, no exceptions, requirement for college. I wanted a school that had fewer than 3,000 students and also exposed students to both STEM and the humanities. Barnard was both of those things. With a student body of 2,400 students, it was the perfect size for me. Coming from a small high school, I knew that a small student body meant that I would get individual attention from professors and would enjoy small class sizes. I remember on my first tour of Barnard, the tour guide explained to us the Nine Ways Of Knowing, Barnard’s signature liberal arts curriculum. She explained how every woman is exposed to subjects outside of her major, and how these general education requirements achieve that. As she began explaining what classes she took to fulfill the requirements, such as psychology and French, I was gaining the impression that Barnard women became very well-rounded academically. While I knew I wanted to study Environmental Science when I came to college, I still wanted a school that would allow me to broaden my academic horizons, and Barnard had just that.

I took this photo of the George Washington Bridge while I was on an environmental science lab trip on the Hudson River.

I took this photo of the George Washington Bridge while I was on an environmental science lab trip on the Hudson River.

New York City. Ah, the Big Apple. It’s one of the most exciting but most intimidating aspects of Barnard. To put my experience in perspective, I come from a small town in New Hampshire. There’s more more trees than people and my town just got a Starbucks, no joke, a year ago. In New York City, there’s more people than you know what to do with and there’s a Starbucks every five blocks. So NYC is fundamentally the opposite of my hometown, and it’s undoubtedly daunting. But this is what intrigued me the most about the city. My family had visited the city a few times before I first looked at Barnard, and I remember during one of those visits walking through the Upper West Side on a sunny summer day. We came across a street fair that took up all of Amsterdam Avenue for about ten blocks. I didn’t understand how this was possible, how they could just shut down a busy street for the people to mindlessly peruse the area. But I quickly came to realize that NYC has such a distinct culture that I didn’t get at home. I wanted so desperately to be a part of this, and the city was a big deciding factor in ultimately choosing Barnard.

Columbia University. My main motivation for choosing Barnard was not Columbia. Rather, I chose Barnard knowing in the back of my mind that Columbia was simply an added perk to the Barnard experience. I picked Barnard for Barnard, which happens to include access to Columbia. In fact, I didn’t even realize how much time I would actually be spending on Columbia’s campus until I got here (I’m writing this blog post in Butler, Columbia’s main library!). When I chose to apply to Barnard I was still a bit shaky on the relationship, and to be completely honest I still cannot fully articulate the connection between the two schools because it’s so unique to each Barnard woman. In this respect the main appeal to Barnard was that I got the small, liberal arts college I had to have, but with access to a larger university. If anything, I knew that I had the entire University behind me and if I wanted to take advantage of the resources, I could. During my time here, I’ve decided to take full advantage of the University and am continuing to find news way to become more involved in the greater community.

Columbia's College Walk in winter.

Columbia’s College Walk in winter.

With a Barnard friend in Pennsylvania for a geology trip.

With a Barnard friend in Pennsylvania for a geology trip.

All-Women’s College. This is a tricky subject. Honestly, the all-women’s aspect of Barnard initially made me scrunch my nose and say “no, thank you.” Before giving Barnard a chance, I had a very stereotypical perspective of all-women’s colleges and when I told friends at school I was considering applying to a women’s college, I could feel the judgment quietly seeping into the conversation. But in the three times I visited Barnard before deciding to apply, I noticed something unique about the women I watched speaking on panels, giving tours, and answering my questions. These women were articulate and confident, but also spoke so highly of Barnard and I wanted to be just like that. I realized that being at a women’s college would give me the role models I needed to become the sophisticated women I saw.

My wisdom for prospective students trying to decide between Barnard and other schools is that you will feel it in your gut if Barnard is right for you. And with that, I need to get back to my geology lab due tomorrow. Please feel free to email me with any questions at Making the decision about where to attend college is no easy task, but I have faith that you’ll end up in the right place!

All the best,


Hannah Spierer ’17