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.