Barnard College was my dream school when applying to colleges. I had made the decision to apply ED to Barnard after a month of going to campus and understanding the environment and community that I would be a part of if I was lucky enough to get accepted. December 12 was one of the best days of my life because it was the day I had finally known where I would be going for the next four years. My favorite about college and specifically my college, is the community and resources available to students like me. 

When applying to college, a large concern of mine was how I would be supported within the institution as a first generation, low income student. Having a support system was something that was a key part of my high school experience and I knew I wanted it to carry over in high school. What made Barnard stand out was that even though it is a part of the larger Columbia University community, I was able to find and connect with students who were passionate and empowering about Barnard but were not afraid to talk about their struggles of being FGLI and the changes they are making on a predominantly white campus to combat that. Hearing these student experiences ultimately contributed to my decision to apply early to Barnard. After receiving my acceptance and starting college, I knew I wanted to be the person that I sought to see on tours and all these admissions events while touring colleges during high school.]

As a Barnard Student Admissions Representative, I am constantly talking about my experiences of being FGLI. I am a part of Barnard’s Opportunity Program. Specifically, I am a HEOP scholar. Within this community, I can proudly say that I have the exact support system that I wanted coming into Barnard. From friends that I know will be in my life for a very long time to advisors who I can count on, I even receive some financial support from this program that covers some of my tuition and also covers my transportation fees as a commuter student. 

Outside of the Opportunity Program, there are so many events throughout the semester for the larger community of FGLI students. From bonding activities like movie screenings to more serious events like the conversation of the changes to campus policies, there are definitely a lot of opportunities to get to know other students who share these identities. One of the more recent initiatives Barnard has followed through on to support FGLI students during the pandemic is called Access Barnard. In partnership with the Opportunity Program at Barnard and the Dean of the College, this initiative has helped many of my friends and me financially to help with the transition to remote learning no matter what your circumstances are. From giving funds to help pay for books to gift cards for groceries or borrowing a laptop, Access Barnard has been a huge help for this community that is so close to my heart. 

I am constantly grateful for the opportunity to experience all of these things and it is just one of the things I love about college. 

I wish you all the best. Stay safe and good luck!

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