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A Very Barnard-y Birthday in New York City

Student Perspective - Qingqing (Hilary) He

On the evening of this past Thursday, April 14th, my 2-week 19th birthday bash kicked off with the much anticipated Broadway show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliffe. As a fan of his Harry Potter role for almost a decade, I treated myself to this musical, and was utterly content to have had the chance to sit in an orchestra seat at such a spectacular Broadway production. It was one of the countless opportunities that I cherish to have access to, given my location in the lively New York City.

Later on Saturday, I worked at the Open House Program for Admitted Students by participating in the question-answering sessions during lunch time and at the dinner with alumnae. I proudly put on my bright yellow T-shirt which identified me as an Admissions Volunteer, and was more than willing to offer some insight on the academic and social life at Barnard to our lovely admitted students. Although the New York weather had not shown its favorable side over the past weekend, I was glad to witness the propelling enthusiasm that the admitted students showed throughout the program, while I joyfully shared my love for Barnard with them. At the alumnae dinner, I learned from many of our amazing Barnard alumnae about their enriching experience during their years at Barnard and later on in their rigorous and successful lives. It was indeed an extremely meaningful day for me.

I carried on with the passion to contribute to the Open House Program by continuing to work until 6pm on Sunday, when my friends started to come in for my birthday dinner. Thirteen friends of mine (from all four undergraduate colleges here at Columbia University) walked over with me to Columbia Cottage, my favorite Chinese restaurant near campus. It was my very first time to celebrate my birthday after coming to college. The happiness that I constantly felt that night was indescribable—it was absolutely wonderful to be with my new best friends who I just love to be around with. They have been and will continue to be crucial to me throughout my college years.

Indeed, I have had a very Barnard-y 19th birthday in New York City—I fully enjoyed the privileges of being in New York, worked passionately at the Open House Program for Admitted Students in hope to contribute to Barnard in my own ways, and spent one of the most unforgettable nights with my beloved friends at my birthday dinner. Tomorrow, I will hop on the train to Long Island for the final round of birthday retreat at a golf resort. I honestly cannot picture having a more memorable birthday than the one that I have just had in the last couple of weeks. Here is to Barnard College, for bringing in all the finest elements to my amazing college experience!