Being a Student at Barnard: “These Will Not Be The Best Years of Your Lives”
Written by Bwog Staff
Filed by Katheryn Thayer, BC ’14, from the Being a Student at Barnard event last night. Want to write for Bwog? [email protected]!
Early yesterday morning, hundreds of groggy Barnardians filed into LeFrak to discover what it means to be a Barnard woman.
The deans gathered to welcome incoming students and make them feel comfortable asking questions, seeking guidance, and working at their own pace in their new environment. Dean Blank encouraged girls to greet each other in the elevators and make eye contact in the hallways. But it wasn’t all feel-good-summercampy—she also very bluntly stated that “these will not be the best years of your lives”, and explained that there is a huge amount of adjustment and growth ahead.
Despite the misleading event title, this was not so much a girls’ finishing school lecture as it was an introduction to the supportive community BC students have available to them. Dean Young commented that Barnard is focused on individual attention and advising, and also hopes that students realize how many people are involved in helping them reach their full academic potential. Dean Hollibaugh assured nervous fresh-women that everyone is on their own timeline (ladies, thank God we don’t have to do the Core) and that no one should expect to fully embody the ideal Barnard Woman. She eloquently explained that there is no perfect Barnard prototype student; instead we work as a group to collectively represent a community of women with wide ranging talents and interests.
And this is about where the meeting could have ended.
In what is rapidly proving to be the NSOP standard procedure, all important information was cushioned by about 75% mundane droning. Today, this included a reenactment of a typical student-advisor meeting, a discussion with a panel of current BC students on their advisor experiences, and the same tired don’t plagiarize lecture we heard every fall in high school. To whoever is planning the deathly boring orientation meetings—cut it in half?