Barnard is a school that really cares about its students

Congratulations on Your Admission to a Wonderful College Experience at Barnard!

Dear Prospective Members of the Barnard Community,

As a first-year student who came all the way from China with the expectations of a satisfactory college life, I am extremely glad to say that I have enjoyed every moment while I am here at Barnard. I can not wait to share my experiences with you all, but first of all, let me recount the time when I was admitted to Barnard.

Hearing back from Barnard via email a few days earlier than everyone else is indeed the most precious privilege of international students, but I unfortunately did not fully enjoy that privilege—there was so much uncertainty that remained in my mind, since I applied to a fairly large number of schools in different parts of the world. It took me about two entire weeks to straighten out my thoughts as I consulted my family friends, school counselors, and almost all the sources that I could go to. I eventually arrived at the result that Barnard was the best fit for me.  Now as I recall, I definitely think that coming to Barnard was the best decision that I have ever made. Ever since the beginning of my college career at Barnard, I have gained so much valuable knowledge about the world from my peers—a group of amazing young women who come from a diverse variety of cultural background. Academically, I have found myself a more efficient reader and critical thinker as I keep taking on new challenges in my course of study. The abundant resources available in our community provide me with the opportunity to be wiser in organizing my college life and thus become more independent.

Here at Barnard, we have a tight-knit community in which students play important roles as do the helpful and friendly faculty members. The campus atmosphere is always full of dynamics—engaging student-run events continue to be held while long-standing traditions such as Midnight Breakfast are preserved. (Midnight Breakfast takes place the night before final exams every semester. In this student-run event, Deans and other faculty members come together to serve students a great deal of delicious treats) Our location in New York City provides vast space and resources for academic exploration, social activities and personal enrichment which all add to the diversity of our community.  In case you might be curious of what a normal weekend at Barnard looks like, here is my plan for next few days:

Thursday: (My weekends start on Thursday nights) Right after my Modern I dance class, I will go to the 2014 Class Dinner which is organized by The Student Government Association. Shortly after that, I will head downtown with my friends from an anthropology seminar class to attend our classmate Sam’s recital—this will be his New York debut as a composer and a classical pianist!

Friday: Housing selection for sophomores will take place. Hopefully my friends and I will get a 6-person suite on the 600s for next year! Then at 6pm, I will go to a karaoke event on campus with yummy Chinese food that aims to raise fund for the Japanese tsunami relief.

Saturday: Get started with the majority of my academic work. At dinner time, I will be downtown with a group of friends from Barnard to celebrate my friend Charlotte’s birthday at a cute restaurant.

Sunday: All day unplanned to get the rest of work done.  Most of the spare time gaps between my weekly events are usually spent on reading.

A few more thoughts on the recent events that I would like to share with you today:

Barnard is a school that really CARES about its students

1.      My advisor Dean Link, Associate Provost and the Dean of International Programs at Barnard, left me and the other advisees a heart-melting note before her maternal leave in mid-March, saying that she will be on campus in mid-April to give her crucial words of advice on our program filing plans for next semester, except this time she will have a baby in tow! I am genuinely thankful for her thoughtfulness and can not wait to see her in another two weeks.

2.      Last week over spring break, I had an awful rash due to an unknown allergy. A few days after consulting with a nurse at the health services center, I received a call from a physician who wanted to make sure I was getting better. I instantly felt a stronger sense of belonging to this place that I now consider my home away from home.

After reading some of my thoughts on what Barnard means to me, please take some time to think about this—what can Barnard mean to you?  Feel free to post any questions here and have fun celebrating the most thrilling stage of your high school careers upon hearing back from the schools that you applied to.

Best Wishes and Lots of Love,

Qingqing (Hilary)