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Life > Academics

Welcome Barnard Class of 2028!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

WELCOME BABY BEARS! Barnard couldn’t be more excited to welcome you, the amazing and accomplished Class of 2028, to campus in just a few short months. Although it feels like a long time away, your first day of college will be here before you know it. You can prepare for the best four years to come starting this summer—so follow along for some advice, trips, and information about the exciting journey you’re about to embark on! 

The Summer Before…

To ensure the best freshman experience at Barnard, start preparing as early as you can. Check your email often and attend the many information sessions Barnard hosts throughout the summer. All of these resources will help you not only feel more confident about the year ahead, but will also connect you with fellow classmates, potential professors, and important resources/points of contact on campus related to your major

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, NSOP! 

Your big Barnard welcome will be here soon… NSOP, aka New Student Orientation Program! During this week long program that aims to orient you with all things Barnard—from dining to safety—you will meet your classmates, partake in fun activities such as Roaree’s Tailgate (a fun four-school event on the lawns at Columbia), and attend information sessions to equip you with the knowledge you need about various on-campus resources. My biggest advice for this week is to get out of your comfort zone and attend every event you can. Yes, it will be hot outside—and in your dorm for those of you living in non-AC halls—and days can feel long since programming runs from as early as 7am to as late as 10pm, but this will be the best time to meet your peers and have fun without the worry of academics and other responsibilities on your plate. 

Planning Your Courses…

Starting in June/July, you will receive information from Barnard about Fall 2024 Class Registration. Do not stress! During various online information sessions and in emails, Barnard will teach you how to register for classes, show you what classes you can/should take either for your potential major (if you know what you want to do) and for the Foundations Requirements, and more. Don’t be disheartened if you do not get your top class choices, you will have more time to change your schedule once you arrive on campus and feel your classes out during the Shopping Period—the two week period at the beginning of each semester where you can add/drop classes and there is lots of movement in course rosters, as nothing is finalized. 

Dorm, Sweet Dorm

To some, dorming is the best part of college. And to others, this is one of the most dreaded… dorm life. During the summer before moving in, you will be assigned a dorm in the Quad—Reid, Sulzberger, Hewitt, and Brooks Halls make up the Quad. One of the best parts of freshman year is living within 30 seconds of all of your classmates, as every freshman lives in the Quad. This allows you to connect with others easier and build a strong sense of community. The 4 halls are different—whether it be access to AC or the dorm room and bathroom configurations—but all offer something unique and homey. I recommend reaching out to your roommate(s) before moving in to solidify who is going to bring what (a mini fridge, lighting, etc), how move day is going to go, etc. Also, know that dorm life gets easier as time goes on. Sure, sharing a space with someone else or showering in a communal bathroom might feel odd at first, but you get used to it as time goes on. 

Take a Bite out of the Big Apple

Take advantage of New York City…especially during your first few weeks in the city! During NSOP, you will have many opportunities to go on excursions in the city with NSOP leaders and your new classmates—whether it be to museums, parks, and even shopping places. These excursions will teach you how to navigate the city on foot and by train, familiarizing yourself with Morningside Heights and New York City as a whole. During your free time, go out into the city and explore! There is so much to do and see—even on a budget—and surrounding yourself with all the amazing places NYC has to offer will start your four years at Barnard off on the right foot.

Only Bring the Necessities…

Move in day can be long and hectic, so make it easy on yourself and only bring the necessities! I recommend making a checklist of things you know you will need starting day 1 of NSOP (shower shoes, shower caddy, towels, summer clothing, hangers, essential toiletries and cosmetic products, bedding, etc.) and buying the rest when you get to NYC if you need it. The mailroom is not far from the Quad, so you can ship anything here roughly a week prior to move in and throughout the year. In addition, Barnard/Columbia is very close to a CVS, Duane Reade, and many grocery stores in case you need to pick up some small items once you arrive. Again, reach out to your roommate(s) about what they are bringing and try not to bring an item if you both can share one (ex: mini fridge, carpet, air purifier, fans, etc)

Chow Down on Campus

Although Barnard/Columbia students have mixed reviews about on-campus dining options, it is safe to say there is something for everyone here—as there are over 10 dining halls across Barnard/Columbia. During NSOP, you will primarily eat at Hewitt Dining Hall and Diana in a buffet style fashion—which is not how dining usually is once the semester starts…so, if you are not feeling the dining the first week, do not worry! Starting the first week of classes, all dining halls open and you can begin to explore the many options. 

Here are some recommendations/go-to’s at a few of the dining halls:

  • Diana Center Cafe: Personal pizza and burrito bowls
  • Hewitt Dining Hall: Best for indecisive eaters/people who want lots of options
  • Liz’s Place: Coffee, tea, and pastries; as well as grab and go options
  • Ferris Dining Hall:  Lots of options
  • John Jay Dining Hall: Again, LOTS of options during each meal time

Dealing with Homesickness

Coming from somewhere far from NYC, I can personally attest to what it is like to not be able to drive home for the weekend and have to take a plane home instead. While you might feel a little unnerved about being far from home and away from family/friends in the beginning, just know that those feelings will fade away eventually. You are just a call/FaceTime/text/WhatsApp away from your loved ones. Also, you will be so busy with activities and fun during NSOP that you won’t even think about missing home—trust me. And, in the meantime, you can always plan trips home so you have something to look forward to. 

Finding Your Community

I cannot stress this enough…go to the club fair at the beginning of the school year and join clubs! While some clubs are competitive to get into, many are not and want to welcome as many people to join as they can. Whether you want to stick to an extracurricular you did in high school like journalism or sports, or want to try something new, Barnard/Columbia has it all. Clubs are a great way to fill your free time and meet a great community of like-minded peers on campus. 

You BELONG Here!

Bottom Line: YOU belong at Barnard! Do not think for a second you are not smart enough or worthy of being here because the Admissions Team chose YOU to attend this college. You are brilliant and bold, and will find your place at Barnard—I promise :)

Claire Cenovic

Columbia Barnard '27

Claire Cenovic is a First Year at Barnard College who loves photography, cooking, and volleyball. She is looking forward to exploring New York City and college life as a whole, and can't wait to write about her experiences along the way.