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To be completely honest, I am astounded at the amount of positive reviews listed. During my time at Barnard, I heard a lot of dissatisfaction and frustration with the school and I don't think that's a product of who I chose to surround myself with. That said, I don't believe Barnard is a terrible place. I believe Barnard is an incredible school for a very specific type of person. From my observations, if you fit at least three of the following descriptors, Barnard might be a good fit for you: introverted, interested in pursuing social justice as a career or at least looking to invest a significant amount of time in activism, very liberal, LGBTQ, have a significant amount of money that can be put towards socializing, have that sort of artistic/"indie"/offbeat aesthetic, and jewish. Barnard offers a really strong sense of community to those who fit the school's character (see list above)- but it offers almost nothing in the way of community to those who don't.The social life on campus is NONEXISTENT- I remember hearing this and taking it with a grain of salt and I regret that. All socializing occurs at Columbia but in order to enter into a Columbia dorm you need a Columbia student to sign you in- this is a small detail that affects the socializing culture STRONGLY. Additionally, the social life in Barnard dorms is truly truly non-existent (I have never heard of a party in a Barnard dorm). If you want a social life you NEED a fake I.D. and enough cash to regularly attend bars and events. I'm not a huge party person by any means and I felt like the social situation wasn't enough for me. Just like Columbia, Barnard is a fairly serious place. This is not a particularly laid-back school - you won't see people playing frisbee or hanging out on the lawn (I only saw this once during my time there). There isn't much community in the dorm- you dont just "pop" into people's rooms to say hello and there is no socializing in the halls. It is also definitely worth mentioning that stress culture is a problem at Barnard/Columbia. During my time there, there were 6+ suicides (and I believe there might have been more than that but some deaths were ruled more of a grey area.) The environment is highly competitive and talking about stress is easily the most common form of socializing. Academically, I thought Barnard was great. My professors were engaging and I loved my seminars. It was engaging without being backbreaking (that said, my course load was never unruly). The students are mostly passionate and everything about the classroom setting (even some lectures) was intimate. There are a lot of career resources available to both Barnard and Columbia students which is a major plus as well. I'm not going to lie, the facilities are super depressing. With Columbia across the street, you really have to fight not feeling like a second class citizen. The gym and the dining hall are underground in a sort of damp cement basement. The pool has been "under construction" for ages. The dorms are pretty OK- a little sterile but they get the job done. I chose to transfer from Barnard my sophomore year. I don't think Barnard is a bad school- it just isn't for a lot of people. I also think it is NOT a very flexible school- in that, if it isn't for you, it's not an easy place to "make it work." Furthermore, I felt like a lot of people weren't quite happy with it, I was constantly coming into contact with people who were planning on transferring or juniors and seniors who regretted not transferring.