Tag Archives: campus confidential

Campus Confidential: Advice For Next Year’s College Freshman

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Fear Of Failure
campus confidential
Why Julie had to get over her fear of messing up. Read More »

There was a moment sometime during the weekend before finals week that I looked up from the copious U.N.-related documents assigned by my Intro to Human Rights professor that I had somehow failed to read during the semester and realized: “Holy shit my first year of college is basically over.”

I thought back to about a year before and tried to remember what I thought finishing my freshman year would feel like. I guess I thought I’d be far more sophisticated, secure and grown up in general. In reality — at least at that moment at time —I just felt a hell of a lot more stressed. But the truth is, I learned a lot over the past year, even if that transformation manifested in a number of small ways rather than one grand overhaul of my childish naivete.

So here are just a few pieces of advice for rising freshmen from somebody who just finished being one. Keep reading »

College Confidential: Facing My Fear Of Failure

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For years, I’ve mostly defined myself in terms of my almost single-minded focus on my ambitions and goals. However, I wasn’t always like that. I don’t know when (probably sometime in middle school or early high school) but, at some point, I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to achieve all of the goals that plenty of people seemed to enjoy telling me were unachievable, I would have to be completely devoted to making those dreams a reality, especially as a woman. Admittedly, I never felt discriminated against at school based on my gender or felt denied anything because I’m a girl. Yet it always seemed to me that boys were taken more seriously than girls. Toughness came easily to them; it was expected of them. As a girl, I had to choose between being seen as sweet and funny or smart and driven. I felt like an either/or situation, despite my identification with aspects of both. I knowingly chose to try to achieve my goals, academic and otherwise, which, in my opinion, left me appearing “serious” and unfeminine.

I spent the first semester of college carrying on this persona. In a sense it paid off: I got great grades. And yet, in order to achieve those grades, I felt I had completely blocked myself off from other important college experiences. I realized that I should be happier about my academic accomplishment. Instead, I just felt hollow, like I was missing out on something more. Keep reading »

Campus Confidential: A Feminist Rushes A Sorority

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When I thought about what my college experience would be like as a high schooler, I never for a second even slightly entertained the faintest thought of joining a sorority. As a self-identified feminist, as someone who thought Chapstick was a full face of makeup, and as someone who had about as much interest in enduring mosh pits of grinding frat boys as she did in microbial taxonomy (read: none) I had zero interest in what I, frankly, saw as an antiquated, possibly even anti-feminist and insulting tradition. Which is why when I pressed “send” on my Columbia University sorority recruitment application last December, nobody was more surprised than I was.  Keep reading »

Campus Confidential: On Attending A Women-Only College

campus confidential

When I initially began the college application process, I had absolutely no interest in attending a single sex institution. In fact, I knew exactly what I wanted in a school. I wanted to go to a small liberal arts college in New York City that was full of intelligent, impassioned and driven students; dedicated professors who would take a personal interest in their students rather than put them on the backburner in favor of their own research or hand them over to TAs; an amazing alumni network with plentiful internship opportunities; an excellent women’s studies department; and an emphasis on writing across the board.  And that school is Barnard College — a school that also happens to be single sex.  Keep reading »

Campus Confidential: Finals And The Curse Of The Perfect Girl

The number one question my high school friends ask me when we chat now is, “So are you sick of being around all those girls yet?” Despite the fact that I have attempted to explain my decision to attend a women’s college a seemingly infinite amount of times, I always answer  ”no.” Being around women has been a really supportive experience, a nice change of pace and a really beneficial academic experience so far.

Or at least that was my answer up until finals.  Keep reading »

Campus Confidential: Thanksgiving Break Means Showering Without Shower Shoes

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The Roommate
Campus Confidential
Believe me, I was prepared for the worst. Read More »

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt anything quite like the relief I experienced after my last class before Thanksgiving break. It was noon on Wednesday – the day before Thanksgiving itself – and it seemed like everybody else had left except for me. I swear I saw Western-style dust balls blowing across my urban campus as I practically sprinted back from class, ready to pack my things and head out. 

It’s not that I was dying to leave school; for all intents and purposes, I think of school as my home, my box of a dorm room as my very own.  But I was so ready to eat copious, borderline disgustingly indulgent amounts of home-cooked food. I daydreamed of taking a shower without shower shoes. And then, there was the prospect of seeing my high school friends – people with whom I could move past basic conversational topics, people who already knew all my stories because they were in them.  Keep reading »

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