Busy Bee at Barnard

By Aneeza Asif 

Barnard is a wonderful institution that includes students from all over the world. Each student brings their own unique identity and background to this welcoming campus, which enrich one’s undergraduate experience at Barnard. With such identities, one can escape the ever-increasing academic intensities and find their communities through the endless varieties of extracurricular activities available on and off campus. Extracurriculars can help students find new friends, relieve stress, and be a great addition to the undergraduate experience. The Barnumbia community includes many activities such as clubs which range from ethnic clubs to hobby-enriching clubs as well as community service related opportunities along with career oriented activities, to name a few.

As a first year at Barnard, navigating these limitless opportunities was difficult, to say the least. There were so many options, and I wanted to join every club that interested me. Unfortunately, many clubs to my interest required weekly time commitments as well as additional responsibilities. Furthermore, some clubs required applications to be more involved in the club which was based on selection. Through restrictions of applications and time commitments, I was able to narrow down my extracurricular involvement to two clubs: the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and Barnard’s Network of Pre-Med Students (NPMS). I was also able to contribute to the Barnard Bulletin as a writer. Currently, I am a sophomore at Barnard who intends on majoring in Biology with a concentration in Cell Biology while also pursuing the pre-med track. With such a handful of interests, it is important to me to also get the opportunity to explore extracurriculars as I have in my first year at Barnard.

As a member of the MSA, I was able to join a community of fellow Muslims where I was part of the Muslim Protagonist, a sub-committee of the MSA, which intends to educate people on the ways in which art, literature, and Islam come together to represent different themes present in the Muslim community (i.e. representation, modesty & society, etc.). The committee puts on an annual symposium highlighting that year’s theme filled with speakers, workshops, panels, and most importantly food! As a first-year, I helped organize the symposium by attending weekly meetings and completing tasks assigned to me. This year, I am one of three co-chairs for the committee, so it is up to us to curate this year’s symposium which should be exciting!

In addition to joining the MSA, I also joined NPMS, as a general member where I attended different events created by the student group to learn more information about being a pre-med student at Barnard. This year, I am on the executive board as the secretary where I assist in creating new event ideas and think about possible ways to increase the engagement of students while adhering to student needs by attending weekly meetings and occasional events.

I am also a writer for the Barnard Bulletin where I write articles based off of my interests and time availability. I love writing, as it is one of my hobbies and writing for the Barnard Bulletin allows me to express this creative side of myself that I am unable to do otherwise, for fun. All in all, the clubs that I have joined on campus help me to meet new people, form communities that I did not think I would be creating, and learn about the variety of activities that Barnard has to offer outside of its academics. Extracurriculars are another huge aspect of the Barnard experience and I would urge everyone to try out at least one extracurricular activity of their interest. It will help you in many ways, as it has for me, from avoiding a paper I have been dreading of doing to meeting new people and forming new bonds that you I would not have otherwise made, as well as hearing new ideas and sharing our creativities with one another.

Aneeza Asif