Staycation: Cool Things to do in NYC this Spring Break


By Sinead Hunt


Visit the Bronx Zoo

While most people assume that visiting the zoo is an activity better suited to the summer months, late winter/early spring is actually a great time to visit! Besides avoiding the crowds and the heat, the cold weather allows you to view some of the zoo’s cold climate creatures, such as bison, sea lions and brown bears, in their preferred weather conditions. In addition, many exhibits, such as “World of Reptiles” and “Mouse House,” are indoors, and therefore open year-round. Not to mention, general admission is FREE for NYC college students, so it’s definitely an option worth considering. 


Visit the Museum of the City of New York 

The Museum of the City of New York is, without a doubt, one of my personal favorites in New York. Located on the Upper East Side (103rd and Fifth Avenue), the museum is easily accessible via the M4 bus. While you’re there, you can learn more about the history of this great city via their ongoing “New York at Its Core” exhibition, which details over 400 years of NYC history! Other current exhibits include “King in New York,” which chronicles activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s connection to the city, and “Beyond Suffrage,” a history of NYC women’s political activism. Admission is free with your Barnard ID, so be sure to check it out!


Go for a Hike

There are plenty of ways for students to escape Manhattan and explore nature without breaking the bank. Located on the beautiful Hudson River Palisades, the Lamont-Doherty Campus is home to over thirty miles of hiking trails. Columbia University provides a FREE shuttle from Morningside to Lamont, which operates Mondays through Saturdays. In order to catch the shuttle, simply head on over to 120th street in front of Teacher’s College (by the guard booth). Bear in mind, however, that while the shuttle conducts multiple drop-offs/pick-ups on weekdays, the Saturday schedule is much more limited, so be sure to check out the schedule online before you go!  


See a film!

Since 1970, Film Forum, located at 209 West Houston Street, has been a New York City cultural landmark. Today, Film Forum is the only independent non-profit cinema in New York City, presenting a diverse array of films not usually offered by commercial cinemas. Offerings for the week of spring break include a documentary on race in the American South entitled, “Do You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?” as well as “Hitler’s Hollywood,” a compilation of over 1000 Nazi propaganda films produced from 1933-1945. Tickets are $15 for non-members. 




By Aziza Rahman

A lost soul.

Silent whisper.

A forgotten memory.


From the minds

Of those

Who don’t think

I’m missing.

Whether I choose to be memorable,

My existence,

Subconsciously forgotten.

As if to say,

I was never a thought

To begin with.

The value upon myself

Of me

Becomes me,

Shrinking myself down

To fit into a tiny box.

Set away in place

I know I’ll always remember

Yet unconsciously,

I’ll never remember again.

Until it becomes valuable.


Until I become valuable.


Not a Choice

9b0c275ec686a3f79085bf51bf655b77By Isabella Diaz

People believe mental illness is a choice.

They say

It’s just a phase.


being so dramatic.

The pills

Can heal.

But they don’t know

The pain

Of not seeing Color


At first,

There’s blurriness.

As time passes

Your eyes see

Less and,

less color

The world is,

black and white.

I am lost and,


Of myself.

I can’t

dream in color.

I am


In Black and White.

I have depression


social anxiety.

But they will say

It’s just a phase.


Being so dramatic.


When will



Quick and Easy Valentine’s Treats

682f8026f781f34b4fca84140cb6e1cfBy Collier Curran

With the winter holidays finished–and the cold here to stay–one’s mind tends to wander, searching for, quite frankly, something to be excited about. Spring break feels like ages away, so Valentine’s Day, conveniently located in the middle of February, tends to assuage the winter blues of even the most cynical students. I personally always look forward to Valentine’s Day (despite having spent the entirety of my life so far single) because it is a day to celebrate love in all of its forms. I think of my friends, both from my hometown and from the colleges I have attended, as well as my family members and pets. I even think of the foods, the places, and the experiences I have come to love. To me, Valentine’s Day closely resembles Thanksgiving, except the food of choice is chocolate and wearing pink and red together momentarily becomes okay.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I have compiled a list of quick and easy recipes perfect for a night in with a significant other, great friends, or just you and Netflix (I don’t judge!).

  1. Chocolate Heart Peanut Butter Cookiesfe8a0d72-e1e1-4a2b-a65e-41cab1a62987.jpg

It is a confirmed fact that any candy in the shape of a heart tastes infinitely better than its run of the mill counterpart. In addition to binge-watching fuel, these candies can function perfectly as toppers for a basic cookie (or cupcake) recipe. Simply whip up a recipe of your choice, such as peanut butter cookies, and press a heart-shaped candy like Hershey’s hearts or Nestle Crunch hearts into the center of each cookie when they come out of the oven. For cupcakes, these hearts are adorable placed on top of the frosting. For my absolute favorite (Easy! Gluten free! Dairy free!) peanut butter cookie recipe, check out “Dairy Free Peanut Butter Cookies” from the blog Tastes Lovely. This specific recipe also makes a pretty small batch so it’s great if you’re not having too many guests.

  1. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries1371589312322

Chocolate strawberries are such a classic, but so many people forget about them when it comes to Valentine’s parties. Don’t worry about being too “extra” by showing up with a plate of these; not only will no one be able to mock you through mouths full of chocolate and fruit, but you can feel comfortable knowing that they are so quick and easy. Simply microwave semi-sweet chocolate (I suggest a block of chocolate over chips because chips don’t melt as smoothly) in increments of 15 seconds, stirring each time, until completely melted. Then, dip in your strawberries, place them on parchment paper to set and it’s that easy! To make these even more festive, you can drizzle white chocolate (possibly dyed pink or red) on top by cutting a small hole in the corner of a ziploc bag and filling it with melted chocolate like a tiny piping bag (I recently tried this method and it was SO EASY. Check out the photo of the strawberries I made in my own kitchen!). Valentine’s sprinkles are also always a good idea.

  1. Sweetheart Cinnamon Rollsfc1a5c01-9867-4cef-921c-4162b7fc3344

This recipe is the definition of simple. All it requires is a ready-made package of cinnamon rolls and a little patience and you can have an adorable–and tasty, of course–heart-shaped breakfast. Simply take out each cinnamon roll and uncoil it, leaving the middle bit still coiled. Then, form a heart shape by coiling the other end to be equal in size. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry! The blog Lady Behind the Curtain provides very specific instructions on this method as well as pictures guiding you every step of the way. Once the cinnamon rolls are all shaped, bake them according to package directions, cover in icing (dyed pink, perhaps?) and serve. I would also suggest throwing some sprinkles on these, because what says “I love you” more than red and pink clumps of sugar?

  1. Valentine’s Popcornperfectly-pink-valentines-day-popcorn-14

I think I can honestly say that this Valentine’s popcorn is one of the most festive things I’ve ever seen. With a combination of sprinkles, drizzled white chocolate, and pink and red M&Ms, this recipe is bound to make anyone believe in love again (or at the very least, want to sneak a handful or two out the door with them after the party). I am one of those people who always had to get both popcorn and Buncha Crunch at the movies growing up so I could get both sweet and salty in every bite. This popcorn channels that same flavor palette, utilizing melted white chocolate (or pink candy melts) to combat the saltiness of the buttery popcorn while also providing great sweetness. Additionally, M&Ms and cute sprinkles make the snack fun to eat and festive. One of the beauties of this concept is that you could throw in any Valentine’s candy you have lying around and the result will always be delicious.

No matter how you’re spending your V-Day (I must admit, I have a hot date with Ernest Hemingway set up by my American Literature professor), these recipes are bound to spice it up. I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with love for all of the important people, places, and things in your life, and I will see you with my next article!


Guy Love, That’s All It Is


By Sinead Hunt

To most of my peers, Scrubs represents an entirely forgettable, one-dimensional sitcom from the early 2000s. But given that it was the first sitcom I had ever laid my eyes upon, it’s no wonder that my pubescent self found the show invariably hilarious and the characters unwaveringly winning—after all, I had nothing to compare it to. Recently, for reasons relating entirely to indolence, I decided to go back and watch Scrubs in its entirety to see if it still holds up.

Interestingly enough, Scrubs is frequently praised by real-life doctors for its depictions of work and life in a hospital setting. Bill Lawrence, in an attempt to ground the show in reality, would send his writers out each week to interview practicing physicians. In fact, many of the scenes in the show are inspired by the lived experiences of doctors and other healthcare professionals.

For instance, there is a scene in the pilot in which JD attempts to perform a paracentesis on his patient. The procedure goes horribly awry when JD is unable to stop the excess fluid from spurting from the oblivious patient’s distended belly. The physical comedy of this scene is heightened by the knowledge that it was inspired by the real-life experiences of Dr. Paul Pirralgia. Dr. Pirralgia attended Brown Medical School with creator Bill Lawrence’s best friend, Dr. Johnathan Doris (As a brief side note, Dr. Johnathan Doris served as medical advisor to the show, and accordingly Zack Braff, his nickname on set was “The Real JD”). If you manage to look past the cartoonish dream sequences, you will find a depiction of medical residency that is notably prosaic. While other shows may capture the heroism of doctors saving lives amidst an unrelenting onslaught of tragedy and calamity (cough Grey’s Anatomy), Scrubs finds levity in the day-to-day lives of doctors and nurses.

Given that Scrubs was inspired by the real-life friendship between Bill Lawrence and Dr. Johnathan, it is no wonder that Turk and JD’s friendship is so emotionally resonant. Part of what was revolutionary about Scrubs was its unabashed celebration of male friendship and camaraderie. Anyone who has watched the show can tell that J.D’s transient romantic relationships take a back seat to the preeminence of his friendship with Turk. In fact, one might argue that male friendship is the focal point of the show.

Turk and JD’s friendship is so central to the premise of the show that it is frequently used to measure the passage of time. The physicality of their friendship is particularly noteworthy. Turk and JD are never afraid to express their platonic affection for one another through physical touch, whether it be a pat on the shoulder or a comforting hug. This is particularly laudable for a time in which men refrained from any physical expression of affection, lest they be branded as “gay.” In a decade where the public understood masculinity through a heteronormative matrix, Scrub’s depiction of affectionate and emotionally nuanced male friendship belied many preconceived notions about the very definition of manhood.

However, as I continued to watch, I realized that running throughout the show is an insidious undercurrent of homophobic hyper-masculinity. JD is emotionally expressive, and as a result, is often pejoratively called girls’ names. Turk, however, embodies the ideal of “hyper masculine stoicism,” repressing his emotions and coping with stress through expressions of physical violence and domination, particularly in the arena of sports. Moreover, JD and Turk are frequently subject to intense speculation about the nature of their friendship, implying that two men cannot be friends without having their heterosexuality called into question. As much as Scrubs is revolutionary in its portrayal of male friendship, it also reinforces harmful and prohibitive gender stereotypes.

Senior Anxiety: An Interview


By Ruby Samuels

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short article about senior anxiety and how to deal with it. It’s a big world out there, outside this all-inclusive, vitamin bubble called college, and I want the seniors reading this to know that they are not alone in their terror.

So, I found two anonymous seniors at Columbia University, both women in long term relationships, to give The Barnard Voice their perspective on the impending roller coaster that is adulthood.


What are you most worried about in terms of leaving college and entering the “real world”?

A: I’m definitely most worried about housing. I’m used to supporting myself with my job for the most part, but haven’t had to pay rent which is a major change. I can’t imagine an additional $1000 bill each month with the job I have and I need three years experience to get a better one. Not to mention, just the logistics of finding a place in my budget, that is hopefully within an hour of my workplace by train, is a challenge. There’s also just a lot of unfamiliar territory there like wtf is a broker’s fee? That sort of thing.

B: In the “real world” there is no structure–no one guiding you or looking out for you along the way. I’m scared about losing control over my career because there are no “due dates” anymore.

What sort of conversations with your partner or inner monologues with yourself have you had about how graduating and trying to find a job will impact your relationship?

A: We’ve talked about how post-grad life will affect our relationship a lot actually. The main thing we are negotiating now is a difference in graduation dates. I’m graduating early, and she’s graduating late creating this weird space where she is tied to NYC, and I can’t afford to live in NYC without living with her mom (which I really don’t want to do). As it is, she lives in Queens, and I’m ridiculously busy with school and work, so we’ve figured out how to make things work when things get hectic on the emotional front. Right now we are more concerned with the practical logistics. We’ve talked about temporarily moving back to my hometown to save money and take care of my sisters, but the weird year/year and a half before she graduates will most likely be the hardest part. Does she meet me in MI? Do I work/live here until she can come with me? I’m confident we’ll figure it out when the time comes.

B: My partner and I have talked about the possibility of breaking up post-graduation due to physical distance and practicality. It is something we are still trying to work through and figure out, and obviously things may change as we figure out what jobs we will get/where we will be.

If you have any sort of self-doubt about your ability to find a job and be otherwise “successful” after college, what does that doubt look and feel like?

you-is-tired-you-is-broke-you-is-adulting-14526940A:  Boy oh boy yeah, there’s a lot of self-doubt, honestly. Imposter syndrome is so real. At the same time, I do generally feel competent to perform a lot of jobs, but constantly not meeting the minimum qualifications is very frustrating. I remember job hunting last year and being so discouraged because here I am getting this great education, feeling pretty on my shit, but I couldn’t even get interviews in food service or retail. These days, it’s manifested in very methodical planning and taking an “everything will work out in the end” attitude. I’m not particularly positive what the space between where I am and where I want to be will or should look like, but I’m hoping if I just follow some formula the pieces will fall into place. It’s this weird combination of “I have control of my own destiny” and “no point stressing about what I can’t control” that doesn’t leave much room for self-doubt. That not stressing part is definitely the harder part.

B: My concern is about getting into medical school after college. While part of me is happy about graduating from a school like Columbia, another part of me is scared that I was not provided the proper social experiences at the school that are necessary for becoming a doctor, this is likely due to the high academic stress level and the competitive nature that is inherent in many STEM classes here.

How does being at an Ivy League school influence your senior stress level?

A: Huh. I think the fact that I’m in between class years has helped me a lot, because my friends aren’t set in their post-grad plans yet, so there is less for me to compare myself to. That being said, being surrounded with thousands of excruciatingly competent and intelligent people does bring on some very capitalistic anxiety, like, “oh shit, this is my competition”. When I look at everyone else and then back at my painfully bare resume, with no internships or many extracurriculars, I panic a little bit. The atmosphere of constantly trying to make comparison without knowing their full context just breeds stressed and *nudge nudge * alienation.

B: There are definitely higher expectations because I will be graduating from an Ivy League, both from family and friends outside of Columbia and friends within Columbia. Everyone expects more of you, there is a higher standard of “success” at Columbia.

What do you think will be most important for you to be fulfilled and happy after graduation?

A: Honestly I think I’m going to be happy as long as I can make enough where I don’t have to pinch every penny, and I am able to support myself fully. I think moving back home, like in my parents’ house, would feel like a failure to me, even though I know it’s normal. I think being in the Midwest effects that a lot though. In NYC, I know tons of people who live with their parents both because of different cultures and the skyhigh rent. In Michigan, it’s more common to just move out as soon as possible, often right after high school. Rent is dirt cheap though, so it would be easy for me to rent an entire 2 bedroom apartment on my relatively low paying (by NYC standards) 15 hrs a week job.

Generally I don’t think it’ll take much to feel fulfilled. I just don’t want to be stuck barely getting by.

B: I would like a stable gap year job and hopefully during that year get into a good medical school 🙂

Have you burned all the bridges or do you feel confident in the network that you have for finding jobs?taken-linkedin-meme-duncan1

A: I think networking – or lack thereof – is one of my other major anxieties. I still don’t really get what that means? Can you just meet successful people, add them on LinkedIn, and get a job from them 5 years later? I’m banking on sheer force of will and my dazzling charisma to get jobs.

B: I think one of the things that Columbia is very good at providing is a good social network, and I hope that will come in handy in the near future.

What would you tell other seniors who are similarly stressed?


A: It’s easier said than done, but basically just try not to dwell on the future too much. Yes, you need a plan, but once you have that plan, come back to the present and take it step by step, knowing the pieces will fall into place as you go. Get a credit card to build credit. Scope out which schools you wanna apply for, if that’s your thing, and write down important dates like when apps open and are due. Figure out how the fuck student loans work.

Also, you might not feel all that spectacular in comparison to your peers here, but I guarantee businesses will think you are. In my opinion, the most dangerous part of Columbia stress culture is the constant feeling that you aren’t doing enough. You are. I promise. Get some sleep please.

B: Everyone has their own definition of “success” so don’t worry if your view of it does not match up with the view of your friends or fellow peers. I am fully confident that we will all be successful in our own way, and just don’t give up on getting there!