dorms are nice here. that's a fact. i met my closest friends through dorm life and through the orientation group but also in classes. sororities are pretty prevalent but i avoid those so i don't know much about them. people party plenty but get enough studying done at the same time. there are a lot of jazz clubs around which is a nice thing to do when you don't want to get wasted. the steps and the grassy spots on columbia campus are beautiful hang out spots in the summer time.
There is a diversity of student activities at Barnard, but the temptations of the city steals the college activity board's thunder. There is definitely something for everyone on campus, but New York City proves too tempting for most to stick around long enough to find an on campus passion. As for your social life .. you can try to have one, but at Barnard, it more about getting ahead and getting the good grade than it is about getting drunk and going to parties to have fun.
Despite being in the middle of New York City, most students pursue drinking and drugs rather than culture; it's quite difficult to find a companion to go to the theatre or opera, and you'll probably come back to find your roommate smoking pot in your room. Musicians-- don't count on being able to find a practice room or especially a piano remotely in tune, even if it is a Steinway. Hillel, at least, is very active and welcoming.
BANGHRA! I love them. I would watch them every day. Social life is okay, although I wouldn't call Barnard a "party" school by any means. But personally I like knowing that I have the option to go to different lectures, concerts, etc. on any given night as opposed to a variety of frat parties.
It can sometimes be hard to get involved. I joined a sorority and my social life has definitly benefited.
Barnard students, especially the freshmans, party alot.
many various appealing events
Barnard students definitely subsribe to the belief that "busyness is happiness." Most everyone here is juggling at least her courseload, a job, and a club, and that's at the very least. People just want to do everything! Surprisingly, the women here are really on top of their stuff- they get their work done, go to their activities, and have social lives, and even sometimes get sleep (sleep is usually the first thing to go among these things). Write a book if you get through four years here without pulling an all-nighter - I'll buy it! I'll pay you a million dollars for it! I've had great experiences getting involved in performance groups on campus. My freshman year I was in an a cappella group, and first semester of my sophomore year I was in the CU Musical Theatre Society's production of Into the Woods. Columbia theatre is a ton of fun with many traditions of student run/created productions. I meet most of my friends through my activities, where I live, and my classes- I know how shocking that must sound! I think it's important to always branch out and try new things in college- your spare time is so precious, and you have to really discriminate who and what you give it to. It's not like high school where you had to feel married to a club for four years- you can dabble around in a lot of different things and everyone will still love you. As for dating, a legitimate concern for prospective students who don't aspire to be nuns: the opportunities are there, even though it's a women's college. All the clubs and activities are mixed with Columbia, so there are always strapping young men around (and by strapping young men I mean, well, at least a pre-screened dating pool... at least you know they're smart!) Do not blame the school for your love life- or do, if it's convenient and your mom is continually reminding you that she met your father in college. It completely depends on your personality. If you liked dating boys in high school and are comfortable with yourself, that won't suddenly change when you get to Barnard. However, if you find yourself tempted to block out relationships and their complications, it is all too easy to do that here. This can be good and bad, depending on your state of mind. But if you want to meet someone, it's not that different from being at a co-ed school- the first thing you have to do is leave your room. And finally, the weekends. I want to start this by saying I only wanted to go to college in a city, because I was absolutely positively certain I did not want to be in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but get drunk (beer guts don't become me). So, problem solved, I'm in New York. There are always a million things to do, for free or for a lot of money. You can go downtown and get student rush tickets to a Broadway show, hit up a museum (for free with your student ID), attend one of the many special events in the city- read Time Out New York to see what's going on! There are always events on campus on the weekends- parties, performances, you name it- so if community is what you crave, fear not. The nice thing about Barnard is that while you are allowed to have parties in off-campus suites (not really in the quad, but you wouldn't want to in your little room), most of the parties are at Columbia, so you can go have your fun and then return to the quiet sanctity of your room.
There are so many student groups on campus – but the most popular include the comedy and a cappella groups. CU Bhangra, however, is probably the most-loved group by the campus. While this Indian dance group might seem a random choice to outsiders, it makes sense that on a campus where everyone works really hard, almost unceasingly, people would enjoy watching a group of their peers having a ball jumping around and making crazy faces – all in perfect unison – on stage. Community Impact, Columbia’s umbrella volunteer/community service organization, is also quite popular with several different tutoring, mentoring, and other community service groups such as Habitat for Humanity. Lots of people are involved in the Columbia Daily Spectator, the Columbia University daily newspaper, as well. After freshman year, students generally do not leave their doors open. However, in the corridor-style living areas, people are quite friendly to neighbors who they may not have previously known. Athletic events – although men’s basketball sometimes draws a decent turnout, Columbia sports are largely understood as a joke. The dating scene is tough going, especially if you’re a heterosexual girl – there are just too many of us. Many Barnard students seem to be in long-distance relationships. My closest friends are the people who I lived with my first year, which I think is pretty common for everyone. Either because we love free stuff or we just love to eat, the most popular Barnard traditions revolve around food. Every fall, the McAc committee holds Big Sub, an event where they line up tables stretching from the north to the south end of campus (about 4 city blocks) with sub sandwiches. My first year, an upperclassman (woman) practically shoved me out of the way so she could grab about 2 feet of sub to take back (presumably) to her suite. However, this year the scene was not quite as aggressive. The other favorite Barnard event is Midnight Breakfast, where all the head honchos of the administration, including the president, deans, trustees and other faculty members serve students a smorgasbord of pancakes, eggs, waffles, ice cream, bagels, doughnuts – basically everything you could ever want – at midnight the night before the first final exam each semester. Barnard students also take part in Columbia traditions such as Orgo Night – also the night before the first final exam – when the Columbia marching band marches through campus playing tunes and puts on a special routine in the Butler Library. As far as things to do to have fun, you’re in New York City. There’s always plenty to do, you just have to go out and find it.
Barnard Social scene can seem a little difficult to break into at first. You know it's there but it is hard to make friends past the acquaintance point because everyone is so busy. It is New York City, after all. As for the party scene? Nonexistent at Barnard. But that doesn't mean that Barnard girls don't party! It's just that most would rather not hang out and party in an all-girls dorm where the alcohol policy is really strict. All the partying takes place on Columbia campus or at local bars and clubs. Which is nice really, it means it's never outside your door when you're trying to sleep or study. And because of the sheer amount of schools in New York City, the dating scene at Barnard is certainly alive. Some people call us the most coed women's college around. You probably wouldn't know it's a women's college just by checking in the cafeteria on a usual weekday. There are so many possibilities here for the weekends. There's clubs and bars downtown, there's parties on campus and if you don't want to party, then that is perfectly fine too! There are lots of non-partiers on campus who feel just fine at home here. There's movie nights on certain floors, and lectures and shows on campus all weekend, every weekend. Besides all that, it is New York City after all, you can basically do anything you want on a weekend! My closest friends live on my floor, and we do a variety of things. We're all good students and study all week, nobody goes out on weekdays here! Last weekend, my friend and I went down to a club friday night, and had a movie night on Saturday night. There is a distinct difference between the bar hoppers from Barnard/Columbia though. We are always smart about how we party. While a lot of girls from other schools might get wasted and go crazy on the dance floor, there is a certain level of maturity expected from Barnard students that is always maintained. Everything in moderation.