Spectrum | Dec. 18 6:15 pm EST
Decisions, decisions

Thinking about an all-women’s school?

Mira (on the wall) / flickr

For the high-school seniors out there currently awaiting acceptance letters, needing reassurance you’ve made the right choice, or just pondering whether or not to attend Barnard, HerCampus has published an article you should read, written by Barnard senior Rachel Peck.

As a Barnard senior myself, I can relate to the dumbfounding questions Peck talks about in her article. Coming from a community not particularly supportive of “liberal” education, I remember being asked, “Isn’t it just lesbians who go to women’s schools?” A different individual told me to make sure I didn’t become a “she-woman man-hater.” “Wow,” was all I could say at the time.

Many of us who chose to go to Barnard have come to appreciate the pros and cons of attending a women’s school. Peck brings up a lot of good points as to why women’s colleges are a legitimate, worthwhile option to consider (that is, if you can check the box “female” on the application form). They offer an edge post-graduation, they provide you a fantastic education, and they surround you with young women who are as ambitious and smart as you are. True, they can be limiting socially. And if your primary goal in life is to get married, you might not graduate with your wildest dreams already fulfilled. Luckily for Barnard, we live across the street and are partnered with Columbia. Getting involved in campus-wide extra-curriculars is a very practical way to expand your friend circle, not to mention enrich your college experience as a whole.

There are those who feel differently than I do. There are some who, like me, feel Barnard can be a bit cheesy at times. And there are many others who have made a strong case for why women colleges should still exist, how women hold up Half the Sky, and how it’s still difficult for women to be successful, even in this country. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned from Barnard that I don’t have to be a she-woman man-hater to consider myself a feminist.

No, Barnard’s not the only place where you can work all these things out. But it’s a place to start.

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COMMENTS (15)

  1. anon • December 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm • Reply

    i don’t think its fair to sell barnard as a women’s college. there are men in your classes, in your clubs, at your events, even in your dorms. if a prospective student is really looking for a women’s college experience, they would be well served to go somewhere like Wellesley that is actually a women’s college.

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    • just to mention • December 19, 2011 at 6:26 am • Reply

      my sister went to Wellesley. She and her friends hook up with the MIT and Harvard guys. In fact, she told me they won’t “settle” for BU guys. Point being, there are men everywhere. Wellesley girls can take advantage of the resources at MIT and Harvard (and share the same extracurriculars) just like Barnard at Columbia, though it is slightly more difficult to do so, as Harvard/MIT are a good 45 min away.

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      • well • December 19, 2011 at 11:20 am •

        45 mins away is a big difference from being across the street, and *literally* sharing the same sports teams, extracurriculars, and having total cross-enrollment. I have to say I agree that Barnard isn’t really a full-on women’s college. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to a BC girl who hasn’t agreed. In fact, that seems to be their selling point when talking about Barnard to a prospie. I mean, sure you can say that Barnard College is itself a women’s college in the same way that CC is a co-ed college, but I would say the experience of actually going to Barnard is not that of a women’s college #ambiguityproblems

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  2. Barnard • December 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm • Reply

    is and will always will be a women’s college – providing the resources I need to grow into my role as a confident, upstanding female citizen who’s aware of the issues ahead that are gender-based but also ready and fully capable of handling those issues, as well as creating an everlasting network of other upstanding women. Barnard has given that to me; it is genuinely a women’s college. I don’t believe you understand what that truly means.

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    • anon • December 19, 2011 at 1:23 am • Reply

      “grow into my role as a confident, upstanding female citizen who’s aware of the issues ahead that are gender-based but also ready and fully capable of handling those issues, as well as creating an everlasting network of other upstanding women”

      all of that can and is done by good coed colleges and ivy league universities like columbia.

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      • Anonymous • December 19, 2011 at 2:40 am •

        And? Maybe just because something’s not right for you, that doesn’t mean that it’s not right for anyone.

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      • anon • December 19, 2011 at 4:25 am •

        yeah well just because you say something doesn’t make it so. barnard is a fake women’s college.

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  3. Anonymous • December 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm • Reply

    Barnard. Lawl.

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    • double • December 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm • Reply

      lawl

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      • triple • December 19, 2011 at 11:10 am •

        lol

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    • Anonymous • December 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm • Reply

      Omg! Super rude. JK, Barnard is so trololol

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  4. Anonymous • December 19, 2011 at 5:41 am • Reply

    @anon 4:25 am:

    Smartest comment EVER. You are clearly a champion debater. “Yeah well just because you say something doesn’t make it so. barnard is a fake women’s college.” You definitely belong here ate Columbia, as your ability to reason and discuss things is without peer.

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    • anon • December 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm • Reply

      *at, not ate

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