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On 116th and Broadway, a small campus is glowing with brick and ivy - seemingly out of place for New York City. But within the 6 main buildings, a quiet calm surrounds the 2000+ young women who revel in its serenity. Barnard College is the be-all and end-all of all-girls schools in the U.S. One of the original Seven Sister schools (Barnard, Smith, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, Vassar, Mount Holyoke, and Radcliffe,) Barnard is tied into Columbia University. Its students have the benefits of being at a single-sex, studious, urban, small college, while at the same time, being a part of a huge university and having the perks that go along with it.

So why don't more girls apply to schools like Barnard? Surely, they aren't afraid of the amount of emotional support the College gives to its students? And they can't be so close-minded as to believe that everyone must be a (gasp!) lesbian. After all, we're an all-girls school, right? Wrong. That is the exact kind of reputation that lures the best and brightest away from a College that should be somewhere at the top of the U.S. News Top 100 schools. To be realistic, of course there are lesbians at all-girl schools. But aren't there also at coeds?

It is my belief that it takes a certain type of woman to succeed in a setting like this. It takes a certain attitude and confidence to be able to comprehend the amount of "stuff" that one learns here in just four short years. I'm not just talking about classes - I'm talking about how to live, love, learn... And it takes a hell of a lot of control to make yourself study, instead of going out into the urban paradise that awaits you at another stop on the 1/9 subway. (Lincoln Center, Zabar's, Times Square, the Village... to name a few.)

And so I send this cosmic challenge into the void and to all the young women who need somewhere that is more about them and not about the traditional do-nothing-but-drink-and-party-your-way-through-college. The courage to put yourself into an unknown far outweighs the cowardice of staying at a place that only inhibits the full weight of your identity.

It's all about you here. And that, my friend, is a definite good thing.

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