Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Pagely Scholarship!

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Pagely is an amazing organization that strongly believes in higher education as a vehicle to improve and enrich individual lives, as well as our communities as a collective.

To that end, they are offering the Pagely Scholarship to a student that inspires them with their story and life goals!


First Prize: $1,500, Runner-up: $1,000.


You have to have been accepted to an accredited college/university, or you are currently enrolled as an undergraduate student.


The deadline to apply for the scholarship is August 6th, 2018. The winner will be announced by August 16th, 2018.

Application Requirements

  • An 800 to 1500 word essay about a personal story of how technology has impacted your life. Be real and authentic. What aspects of your life were affected? How specifically did technology play a role? How has it shaped your life today?
  •  A 5 minute video of yourself telling your story that you wrote about in your essay. In your video, explain what your essay was about and summarize it. Talk about the key points. Be honest - come from the heart. Typically one-take videos that are not rehearsed are the best.
  • Submit proof of enrollment or an acceptance letter in an accredited university that is listed on the official website of the U.S. Department of Education.

Submitting Your Application

Please complete the form at the bottom of their web page to submit your application.

The form must include:
  • Full name
  • Address
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Attached evidence that you are currently enrolled at a college. They will accept an acceptance letter or most recent tuition billing statement as proof of enrollment. (By applying for this scholarship, you give them express consent to confirm your admission and attendance by contacting the college or university)
  • Your written submission as a Google document via a shareable link. Essays in any other form will not be accepted.
  • Your video as a link. The video can be private and be shared with any service you like, such as YouTube, DropBox, Google Drive, Vimeo, or any other service. If you’d like to keep it private on YouTube, make it “unlisted” so that it is not public. Please title the video file with your full name. The video must exist and be shareable up until the winner announcement date.

More Details

The winning candidate will be selected based on the student’s essay and video by the co-founder of Pagely, Sally Strebel.

Any questions about the scholarship can be directed to:

The scholarship funds can be sent via check, PayPal, or other means.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Major Key Alert: Housing Applications

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Hi there!

Just as a reminder, your housing application is due TOMORROW, JUNE 7TH. These will not be accepted late, so if you want to have a roof over your head next year, please complete your application on time.
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Me when you tell me that you missed the deadline because I can do literally nothing to help you

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What's the deal with First-Year Writing and First-Year Seminar?

There are 3 required courses Barnard first-years must take, two of which are First-Year Writing (FYW) and First-Year Seminar (FYS) (The third is a physical education class). You’ll take a FYW class one semester and a FYS class the other semester during your First Year at Barnard. These 3 FY required courses (FYW, FYS, & PE) are collectively called "First-Year Experience" (FYE).

Let’s break these courses down.

First-Year Writing is a writing intensive course with two options offered:  First-Year Writing: Critical Conversations and First-Year Writing Workshop. So what’s the difference between these options?

First-Year Writing: Critical Conversations are small discussion-based writing courses that introduce students to academic writing in college. Students read challenging literary texts and critical scholarship, helping to develop fundamental skills in analysis and academic writing that allow them to take their place in vitally important scholarly conversations. Students choose one of three subjects – Legacy of the Mediterranean, Women and Culture, or The Americas – each of which explores and questions a particular literary tradition. The critical reading, discussion, and academic writing skills that First-Year Writing focuses on provides a foundation that crosses disciplinary boundaries and will help you in all of your courses.

First-Year Writing Workshop is similar to First-Year Writing: Critical Conversations as they share the same goals and almost the same syllabus, but there are a few differences. First-Year Writing Workshop is a writing course designed for students who would benefit from a more intensive support of their critical reading and academic writing skills. First-Year Writing Workshops are smaller Critical Conversations classes and meets 3 times a week instead of twice a week. First-Year Writing Workshop is only offered in the fall semester while Critical Conversations is offered both in the fall and spring semester.

First-Year Seminars are courses designed to help ease students into academic life at Barnard. These classes tend to be more discussion-based and have fewer writing assignments. First Year Seminars fall into two categories: Reacting to the Past and Special Topics. Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is a course designed by Barnard’s very own history professor Mark Carnes. In RTTP you’ll reenact historical events using pertinent texts. In RTTP, you may pose as an ancient Greek philosopher arguing about government, participate in the trial of Anne Hutchinson, or give a speech on labor laws as an activist in early 20th century America. Special topic courses are designed by individual professors and often taken an interdisciplinary approach to ideas like justice, ethics, and liberation. FYS courses are designed to help you think critically and articulate your ideas verbally, skills you’ll definitely need for the rest of your life.

So which one should you take in the Fall?
Here’s the deal. Before it comes time to register for First-Year Experience classes the week of July 16th, you’ll be notified if you should register for First-Year Writing: Critical Conversations, First-Year Writing Workshop, or First-Year Seminar. This is done so students are evenly distributed across the 3 different courses and people can be in classes that best benefit them. If you want to start working on your writing skills right away, then you should request to take First-Year Writing Workshop or Critical Conversations in the fall. Otherwise, you can take either.

What do you need to do now?
1. If you feel like you would benefit from the intensive writing and support of First-Year Writing Workshop, please email to let us know that you’d prefer to be in First-Year Writing Workshop by June 15th.

2. If you’d prefer to take First-Year Writing: Critical Conversations this fall, you should also email by June 15th to let us know.

3. If you’d prefer to be in First-Year Seminar this fall, you don’t have to email anyone (yay!)

There are a few things to keep in mind when requesting to be placed in First-Year Writing Workshop or Critical Conversations:
First, when you request to be put in a writing course in the fall, you won’t be placed in a specific subject like The Americas, Legacy of the Mediterranean, or Women and Culture. Instead, if you receive notification that you’ll be in either First-Year Writing in the Fall, you’ll be able to pick your own section and subject to be in during the July 16 registration week. Second, a request to be placed into to First-Year Writing Workshop or First-Year Writing Critical Conversations is not a guarantee that you’ll be placed in that course. We’ll try our best to honor your request, but regardless of what course you take, there will be support available to strengthen your writing skills. Finally, emailing us to request placement in a writing course is not registering for the course. Registering for First-Year Writing and Seminar will take place in July and a ton more info about that process will be posted soon.

If you have any more questions, please email

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Student Side: Introducing Paige Moskowitz

You too will soon be studying outside
on campus with an iced coffee!

Hi Class of 2022!

My name is Paige Moskowitz and I’ll be working in the Dean of Studies office this summer to help y’all transition into your first year at Barnard. I’ll be answering your phone calls and emails as well as posting on the first-year blog about a wide variety of topics, along with Nathalie, the other Dean of Studies summer assistant.

I’m from Houston, Texas and I’m in the Double Degree program between Barnard and the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in the class of 2020. At Barnard, I’m majoring in American History and at JTS I’m studying Talmud, or Jewish law. Outside of class when I'm not sleeping, I work in the Office of Admissions as a Social Media Barnard Student Admissions Representative and I'm on the executive board of my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. You can also find me exploring the city for the best food, going to museums, and attempting to bake the world's best chocolate chip cookie.

Actual footage of how my friends watch me bake
 while they wait for the end result.

I’m so excited to help welcome y’all onto campus! Getting ready for your first semester is exciting and can be a little overwhelming, but the Dean of Studies Office is here to help! You can contact us at and 212-854-2024. Hope to hear from y'all soon!

The Self-Help Guru

Hi Everyone!

Now I LOVE being a resource for y'all to hit up, and just a friendly face y'all know at Barnard, but a big part of my job is to help y'all help yourselves. Especially during the times that I or Paige is not in the office so I cant get back to you (any time other than M-F 9am to 5pm). That being said, this post is all about connecting you to resources so that you can start navigating the college and your deadlines!
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New Student Checklist

Okay so the GOAT of this summer, besides yours truly, is going to be the New Student Checklist that you have on the home page of myBarnard. 

Now, once you click on the checklist, it brings you to a scrollable list of what you have to do this summer along with their deadlines and a brief description, with a very helpful panel of quick links to important offices and their forms/new student info on the right-hand side! Additionally, the checklist comes in a suuuuper useful printer friendly version right above the quick links panel so that you can cross things off as you go or tape it to your wall and check it obsessively like I did! 
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Actual footage of me explaining my deadline tracking system that used up all of our tape to my parents  

Office Guidelines/Checklists

There aren't many, but the ones we have are pretty useful! 

BURSAR: The bursar has an Understanding Your Bill page with an Avoiding Late Fees Checklist thats very thorough, and a Tuition and Fees section. Both of these are vital to understanding your financial aid and bills from the college, so make sure you go over these carefully and in detail! 

A brief reminder for/from Financial Aid: CHECK YOUR EMAILS AND DATES. Seriously, whenever I've checked the financial aid portal and I suddenly owe a ridiculous amount of money, it's because I wasn't on top of it and missed a deadline or wasn't reading the college-wide emails they send as reminders for important dates.   

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PRIMARY CARE HEALTH SERVICES: PCHS has an Incoming Students page that features links to your necessary forms, a step-by-step checklist, and FAQs. Note: this is very important because if you dont get all of these forms in, you cannot register for classes!!! 

First-Year Deadlines Calendar

A resource so nice, we're gonna tell you twice. You need to manually add this calendar to your gBear by logging in to myBarnard. I have some basic steps below, but the above section heading links to the blog post with more in-depth instructions and pictures!  


1. Log into myBarnard and open your gBear calendar.

2. Copy and paste the entire link below into the box labelled "Add a coworker's calendar" on the left-hand sidebar under the month-at-a-glace box and press enter:

3. Add the calendar and set up notifications however you wish! 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Advising Questionnaire link FIXED (and reminder of email address if you have Qs)

Thanks to the speedy problem-solvers in Barnard's Institutional Research Dept, the glitch that was causing some students to receive a "survey expired" error when clicking the Advising Questionnaire link is now FIXED.  

Please fill out this questionnaire at your convenience.

And a reminder: the email address to write to if you have questions is (or call us at 212-854-2024).

Error when you try to click on Adviser Questionnaire -- we are working on it!

Thank you to those who have reported receiving an error when you try to click on the Adviser Questionnaire link you received 

We are aware of this error and will update the FY Blog when it's fixed.  We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Your Very Own Academic Adviser!

Hey everyone!

So you will be getting the link to the Adviser Questionnaire (due June 15!) very soon -- check your Barnard email after 10 a.m. Eastern Time on June 1 for an email from the First-Year Dean's Office with a unique link for you!

This blog post  is a bit of advice about filling out this questionnaire and what your academic advising relationship will be like for the first two years!

The Adviser

Your adviser is an amazing resource to have during your time here. For the first two years, you will have a pre-major adviser, and once you declare a major you will get a major adviser! I'll be calling these two PMA and MA for time-saving purposes. 
Your PMA is there to help you find information and resources each semester, and help you ultimately think about your academic development and making decisions based on your short and long term goals! They will also have a general knowledge of the Barnard curriculum and campus - but for more nuanced inquiries there's a whole network of deans, professors, faculty, and offices that your adviser can point you in the right direction to! Because of this widespread pursuit, your PMA can be faculty from any major (even ones you don't think you are interested in) and still be an amazing asset to your time here. While it is a possibility to be matched with an adviser in the academic discipline you are interested in, this is not crucial!     

Adviser Questionnaire

This serves as a way to match you with your PMA and help them know a little more about you before you meet in the fall semester. The questionnaire is fairly simple to understand and complete, but requires care and attention when doing so! 

Don't feel like you need to have your entire future mapped out to answer these questions, they only serve as a baseline of what your interests are and we know that these may change! And don't worry about impressing the deans or your future adviser -- your honest answers are most important!  And definitely pay special attention to the open-ended questions. These are often the main basis of your pairing! If you want to think about your answers to questions in advance, FYI the main open-ended Qs on the advising questionnaire are:

  • What qualities are most important to you in working with an adviser?
  • How would you describe your decision-making style? 
  • What is your greatest concern about college?
  • What do you hope to learn this year?
  • Is there anything else you would like your adviser to know about you?

If you feel particularly strongly about having a PMA nearer to your desired major (say if you wanted to be pre-med so you really want someone who knows what that would entail) you can indicate so in the qualities you are looking for section -- no guarantees, but it helps to know what you're thinking.

What on Earth Do I Do With An Adviser? 

 Its very important to have an active role in your advising relationship! Make sure to ask to meet with them (at least twice a semester), talk frankly about challenges and concerns you have, and come with any questions you may have about policies, procedures, deadlines, courses, or whatever else may be on your mind.
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They will be your point person for these first two years, so make sure you use them to your benefit! Be open and honest about any difficulties you have, and make sure to ask if you need help! Most importantly, read and follow up on their emails! They send out information about deadlines and required paperwork often, so skipping over these may have disastrous responses.   

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Nathalie's experience with advising (AKA learn from Nathalie's mistakes)

So I came into Barnard all guns blazing and was DEAD SET on being pre-med, then had the luck of getting a biology professor as my adviser! Professor McGuire was really great - she was super on it about communication with me and was also very approachable. Nevertheless, I was/have always been super hardheaded about telling others when I'm struggling, so she wasn't immediately informed when I started having difficulties with the massive course load I took my first semester (advanced bio & lab, calculus, FY seminar, and Latin - aka many hard classes stacked on top of each other. Which she also tried to warn me about btw).

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Me sitting at my desk Freshman year wondering what I ever did to deserve this struggle while knowing perfectly well that I'm the one who did this to myself

By the time I did finally reach out to her and express my worries about this, it was already past the drop and P/D/F deadlines (Drop: when you can leave a class you're in without it showing on a transcript. P/D/F: electing to hide a grade or your transcript. It will instead indicate if you passed it, passed it with a D, or failed the class), so she had to tell me that I just had to ride out the rest of the semester hoping for the best. What she was able to to, was guide me towards the First-Year Dean, who was more than happy to set me up with tutors - making the best of a bad situation that I alone was responsible for getting myself into.
Moral of the story: If I had only talked to my adviser when I first saw a problem arise, I would not have ended up being massively stressed out or with a D on my transcript my first semester here.

I cannot impress enough how important it is to be open with any sort of difficulties you are having. It may seem discouraging or embarrassing to admit that you're struggling, but this is your first year at college - you cant expect yourself to be an expert right of the bat!   

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

FREE Courses @ Athena Digital Design Agency

Have you ever wanted to become more proficient in coding or web development? Or just wanna figure out what exactly is is going on with this complicated and maddening machine that they call a computer? Well have we got news for you!

The Athena Digital Design Agency is offering free web development courses for Fall 2018! 

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They are an on-campus startup dedicated to championing and inspiring Barnard women on their journey into coding literacy through web development. Participants will begin by learning the fundamentals of web design so they can be competitive in the new economy. Learning web development is great for any students with majors from biology to computer science because it encourages students to learn another technical language and to ultimately use it or even make learning another programming tool easier.

1. HTML/CSS Course: 

This class is perfect for students who would like to learn the basics of web development! Students will have successfully completed several websites by the completion of this course. NO CODING EXPERIENCE or computer science background will be required for enrollment and applications will be open to only Barnard students.


2. JavaScript Course:

This class is for students to learn to develop their own interactive games and web applications. This class is recommended for students who have already taken the ADDA HTML/CSS course, or have equivalent coding experience. Python and other functional programming languages are not required, and will not be taught.


Key Deadlines:
Regular deadline: May 26, 2018
Special deadline for incoming students: June 9, 2018
For any questions, please email Tiffany Ming

Get your Shuri on and sign up ASAP! 

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Dorm Sweet Dorm

Im sure you all know by now that your housing application is due June 7th, so I'm here to give you tips about the process and info about dorms at Barnard!

The Selection Process: 

Barnard hand picks your roommate(s) based on all of your responses on your application, which is more or less unheard of in this day and age. But because of this, you now have an increased pressure on knowing your comfort zone and properly and clearly expressing that. It is in your best interest to be as honest as you can. You know yourself. You don't need to be nice, and say that you CAN live with a night owl even though you know that you like to wake up at the crack of dawn. Having this sort of leniency may result in Housing placing you in situations that you aren't happy with, and you'd only have yourself to blame. (I would know, as I was muuuuch too lenient and ended up living in a Sulz quad, which I will define a little further down, with people that had opposite schedules and habits to mine.) 

And because of this, my recommendation is that you go through the application. I know you might prefer the certainty of choosing your roommate based off of people you find via facebook, or other places, but that has additional complications too: most people are nicer when talking to you. Yes, your prospective roommate can say that they have no problem with noise in the room, but even they may not realize that they're being more generous just to not offend you. And you'll both realize that it's an actual problem quickly.

My recommendation: let ResLife do its thing. They are seasoned professionals at this. If you definitely want to choose your roommate(s): make sure that you all vet each other very well - with at least more questions than what housing asks you on the app.

Dorms at Barnard:

All first-years, unless they commute, live in the Quad - which consists of Hewitt, Sulzberger, Brooks, and Reid, and will have a roommate or even roommates. Rooms come in 2, 3, and 4 person setups, with many of the "multiple occupancy" (meaning over 2 people) rooms being in Sulz or Brooks. And you will be sharing bathrooms with people on your floor, but there's 4/5 per floor, so don't fret! Most places have fairly normal big room type setups, but Brooks has walk-through rooms as well:

For the double (meaning a room with for 2 people), you see that there is only a door to one room, so you'd pass through your roommates room to get to your own or vice versa. For the quad (meaning a room for 4 people), there is one common room that attaches two rooms that each have two people living in them. The Sulz quads (like what I lived in) have a different setup with four people living in the same room. Also pictured is a Sulz triple! 

As for furniture in these layouts, triples have a bunk bed and a lofted bed (essentially a bunk bed with no bottom bunk).  Quads and doubles normally have individual beds, but many of these beds also have the capacity to become bunk beds - so if you wanna save a little space, hit up facilities and request that they do it for you!

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Every floor has a lounge in Sulz near the elevators, that includes a tv, tables and chairs, and a small kitchen set up that consists of a couple of cabinets, a sink, a microwave, and an oven. Barnard normally doesn't provide you with a microwave, so enjoy it while it lasts. These are pretty common meeting spaces for some clubs, and you will probably be having lots of hall activities with your RAs there!

When you find out your roommates(s): 

So adjusting to dorm life is hard. But good news! You'll have a whole class of people going through the same thing! One of the greatest resources to help you vent is going to be your fated roommate(s), which you will find out Saturday, August 4th!
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Its a hard (dorm) life
No matter what number of roommates or dorm you get, try to be open and accepting through the entire process, while clearly communicating what you are and are not comfortable with. All of you have most likely never gone through this, so make sure to be cognizant of learning curves or comfort levels! Another important key: you do NOT have to be best friends with your roommate(s). ResLife isn't matching y'all based on potentiality of becoming life-long friends, but  rather how you would get along living together. They don't foresee you to finding the Thelma to your Louise out of this, and neither should you! In fact, the majority of people that I know are only in contact with their roommates through being Facebook friends, LinkedIn connects, or the slight smiles/head nods that they exchange if they happen to cross paths.

What's MOST important in this entire process is that you be a respectful, responsible, and communicative person to live with! You and your roommate(s) will have the chance to sit down and discuss your living preferences and what you are or aren't comfortable with when you sign your roommate contract after your first floor meeting, so make sure to pay attention to what they say and also make sure your voice is heard!

ResLife has a lot more advice and input than me, so check them out! They have a super useful list of what to bring (and what to leave at home), and they also have the floor plans and information for all of the residence halls (where I got the pics of room layouts), and many other resources.

If you want to hear more about my experiences, or still have some lingering questions, dont hesitate to hit me up at or at 212-854-2024!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

"Barnard First-Year Deadlines" Google Calendar

Never miss a deadline!  Add "Barnard First-Year Deadlines" to your gBear calendar to stay on top of key administrative deadlines.  Please note all times indicated are Eastern Time.

To add "Barnard First-Year Deadlines" to your gBear calendar:

1. Log into myBarnard and open your gBear calendar.

2. On the left-hand sidebar, under the current month-at-a-glace box, locate the "Add a coworker's calendar" box (you may need to click on the three-horizontal-line "Main Menu" button in the upper left corner to make the sidebar appear.

3. Copy and paste the entire link below into the box (this will only work in gBear; the calendar cannot be added to other gmail accounts) and press enter: 

4. A calendar called "Barnard First-Year Deadlines" should now appear under "Other calendars"

5. Hover your mouse over the righthand side of this, and a grey box with white text will appear, and above this box you'll see an X and three tiny dots in a vertical line.

6. Click on the three tiny dots, and a menu of items will appear. From this menu, select "Settings"

7. This page will enable you to create customized notifications and add "Barnard First-Year Deadlines" to a smartphone. All items in this calendar will are formatted as all-day events, and the default setting is "no notification." 
Recommended setting: "1 day before each all-day event at 9:00 a.m."  

NOTE: Dates and times come from the Barnard College Academic Calendar and the New Student Checklist.

Know a deadline that has changed, or something that should be in "Barnard First-Year Deadlines" but isn't?  We are still beta-testing this calendar, so please email if you have suggestions.