"Hi! (Different anon than the one before, but I'm curious-) Do you think Barnard takes into consideration freshman year highly? I didn't do too great in 9th grade, and I'm worried that will affect my chances. (Sorry if this is annoying- you must get a lot of asks about this college!)"

hi there! not annoying at all, i’m glad that people feel like they can come to me for advice!

i really don’t think your 9th grade scores will matter that much to the admissions committee. they want to see growth and improvement! as long as you’ve shown that, you should be okay. how badly do you think that year affected your current GPA? if you’re still within the range, i don’t think you should worry.

PS: for some reason, not a lot of people know that colleges have these documents called common data sets that are totally open to the public (seriously, search any college and you’ll find one). section C has information about undergraduate admissions, but what most people are curious about is this chart:


here’s the most recent one for barnard:

"do you have any idea of barnard's average gpa of accepted applicants? i have a 3.7 unweighted (4.01 weighted) and i just can't help thinking im not good enough for most of the schools i'd love to go to, u feel?"

the stats for last year’s class are available here:

you’re definitely within the range! just keep working on rounding out your application!

best wishes. x

all i really want in life is a barnard college camelbak but they don’t sell them in the store and i can’t get it printed anywhere online unless i buy like 100 of them at a time.

screaming internally because we had marching band leadership auditions today and THE KIDS IN MY SECTION GOT MAJOR LEADERSHIP ROLES (one drum major and two field captains!).  i’m so proud of them so so so so proud. i feel a lot better about leaving them next year.

"Would it be rude to ask for your gpa and sat scores that got you into barnard?"

i understand that you’re curious, but you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to other applicants based solely on scores (or at all. i mean, you do you)! as i’ve said before, barnard looks at their applications holistically, meaning there’s any number of factors that would make the admissions committee want to accept you.

i can tell you that i’m in the top 10% of my grade, and that my SAT and ACT scores were both above barnard’s average. that being said, i didn’t get perfect scores on either test, and i also didn’t get straight A+’s in all of my classes.

i don’t think you understand how nice it would be to have longer books published in small, 100-page or so sections so that you can put it in your purse and read on the go without having to lug around a thousand page copy of infinite jest. could you imagine this right now sweet jesus. you can read in bed without your arms getting tired from holding a heavy book. you can read on the subway with one hand
life would be really nice tbh

i painted my bike today and it’s super messy but it’s cute sigh

"how the fuk did you get into barnard u lil genius u"

thank you?????

i had a strong, well-rounded application???

"Hi! This isn't an assumption (really sorry about that)- but I was wondering... What do you think was the thing that mostly got you into Barnard? I can tell you're absolutely thrilled to go there, and it seems like a really awesome school that I've been thinking about for a while. I'm only a sophomore, so I've got time, but gotta start thinking about it. What do you think got you in, and/or what can I do to get myself in? (God, that sounds awful, but I'm genuinely curious! :)"

Hi there! I’m so glad that you’re interested in Barnard! Come off of anon so I can talk to you properly!

I think the biggest thing is passion. What I love about Barnard admissions is that they want to know more about who you are than how high your stats are. Barnard prides itself on its intelligent, bold, and unique students. If you can show them how much you care about your role in the world around you, the admissions officers will appreciate your application that much more. They’ve seen plenty of applications from students with perfect SAT scores and high GPAs. Scores do not define your application. A school like Barnard is looking for spirit and genuine passion. Barnard relies on a holistic application process, meaning there’s no score that would make or break your application. One of the strongest parts of my application was my leadership. I was Field Captain/Section leader of the marching band (senior year), Head Stage Manager of the musical (junior/senior year), Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook (junior/senior year), and 4-year officer of the Japan Club. I stayed with each of those clubs for all 4 years, and also ran PR and design work for all of those clubs and the GSA. That being said, you shouldn’t join clubs just because you think they’ll look good on your college application. Freshperson year, I joined a bunch of clubs, and then chose the ones I knew I would love and stick with for the next 3 years. Colleges know you can’t do everything at once. I was lucky in that my biggest commitments were seasonal (marching band in the fall, musical in the winter). What’s most important for you and your mental well-being is making sure you’re doing something because you love it and not because you want to get into college. After my leadership audition for marching band, the graduating drum major sent me some of the kindest messages of encouragement I’ve ever received, and I’ve never forgotten them. This is important.


So, I encourage you to make connections with people. Your teachers included. I’ve formed some very close bonds with a few of my teachers and mentors over the years and it’s going to make leaving high school a little bit harder. Two of my most beloved teachers wrote my recommendations and I have no doubt that they wrote anything less than kind. [more on the recommendations below]

I had 4 in total, a required recommendation from my guidance counselor, one from my junior honors math teacher (because my two primary recommendations needed to be from core subject teachers, and my original choice for the second recommendation was my wind symphony director), one from my junior year AP lang & comp teacher (who I’ve known since freshperson year, and who’s been like a mother to me), and one from my wind symphony director (I wasn’t applying for any music programs, but he’s probably known me the best out of all my teachers because of 4 years of band, 3 years of jazz band, 4 years of marching band, and 4 years of musical).

Take your remaining years of high school to start trying to find yourself (I know it sounds cheesy but that’s what I did, without even realizing I was doing it. By junior year I’d built up quite the resumé, but again, it was filled with things I love, not things I want other people to be impressed with). How would you describe yourself to someone who’s never met you? What kinds of things do you love? What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?

And as a final note, please don’t feel like you need to shell out thousands of dollars for tutors, SAT classes, and college counselors. I promise you I never did any of that and I turned out just fine. My SAT and ACT books were handed down to me from older friends, so I never had to spend much on prep anyways (to be honest I hardly picked up those books at all, but shhhhh). If you can afford it, and if you think it will really benefit you, then go ahead and take those classes! You do you. If you don’t have the time or the resources, that’s okay. 

Please don’t be afraid to ask more questions! I’m very happy to help. 

Best wishes,


the fact that “teen suspended for asking miss america to prom” is the number one trending topic on facebook right now

and korea isn’t mentioned on any of the current trending lists

i give up

i’m done

this does not sound like the prom i know.

our senior class officers are ridiculous and didn’t do enough fundraising so instead of $100 like last year it’s $125 per person.
w h y

prom bids got hella expensive this year and i also have to pay for my prom date


send help

i’m trying to keep myself updated on the recent disaster in south korea, but i have no words. all i feel is overwhelming sadness. please stay strong.

"do you speak any foreign languages! if so do you like learning them/ are they fun or which is your favorite :) do you want to learn any new ones!"

i speak mandarin chinese! i can also do a bit of conversational japanese, since that’s what i studied in high school.
i’m hoping to take on german or french as my next language.

"wait, so are you joining choir now?"

no, i play the euphonium in wind symphony but the choir director and i really get along because i was the head stage manager for the musical (which she produces). she’s letting me sing sweeney todd with the choir for my final concert because we actually went to see the nyphilharmonic performance with emma thompson!