And that kids is the story of how I met…

I student-teach first grade and one of the biggest things we tried to drive home to the kids the first week of school is that they should try to be friends with everyone in the school. When you see someone sitting alone at recess, you should invite them to play. Of course this led one little boy to ask “But what if it’s a girl?”

Here at Barnard we don’t have any teachers to help us make friends. Yet somehow there is this pervasive idea that during your first week of college you are supposed to meet your best friend forever that will become your future suit mate and eventual god-parent to the children you didn’t even know you were planning on having. This idea often leads to friendships based on artificial commonalties. During NSOP I was briefly friends with a girl whose sole commonality with me was that we both came from states where it was illegal to pump your own gas (Shout out to NJ and Oregon!). While some people may be lucky enough to make their friends that quickly for many other people it could take weeks, months, even a few semesters before they find their friends. Eventually though you WILL find friends who share your interests, your values, your guilty pleasures, and eventually some future life experiences. Below a few peer-eds share how they met some of their closest college friends.

“I met all of my best friends at an academic summer camp that we all went to from 6/7th grade up to 12th grade. So we’ve literally known each other since we were 11 and 12. I met two of them in class and one of them while playing flag football.” -Kyara

“I didn’t really get settled in my friend group until my sophomore year. I’d met one of them in our FemSex section the spring of our first year, and we liked each other so much that we started cooking brunch in the Barnard Quad kitchens every Sunday morning before FemSex (and then would often debrief after FemSex). During our sophomore year, she introduced me to my other two best friends, one of whom had been in my First-Year English class and one of whom I’d never encountered. It all just fell together slowly, without our realizing it was happening, but by the end of sophomore year, we were a group — and now we live in the same suite.”- Caroline

“I met a few of my closest friends on my freshman hall (although we didn’t bond til second semester), and some others through well woman (not even peer eds, just sitting in the office and hanging out!). Maybe I’m not particularly outgoing… That’s mostly how it happened!”- Lily

“I met my best friend on the Dems campaign trip! Lots of bonding time” – Michaela

“I met mine in Reacting to the Past and it turned out she lived on my floor. It led to many nights in character as French citizens during the Revolution.” – Rachel Katz

As you can tell, very few people met their best friends the first week of school. People made friends in classes, in clubs, and even by just seeing someone in the same place. Go to places that you like to be- that’s where you will find people like you. How did you meet your friends in college? Comment below!

Event Tonight!!!!

Come to an event we are doing with the FYF RAs tonight called “Build Your Cunt-fidence!” from 7-8:30 in Sulz Parlor (3rd Floor Barnard Hall). Get ready for snacks, prizes, and everything you want to know about vaginas whether you have one, were born from one, or are just a fan of them!

Shoulding All Over Myself

It’s September – the time of year when everything is in flux and there is inevitably so much going on. It’s exciting and stimulating but can also be seriously overwhelming. I often find that when I’m going through periods of busy change in my life, my internal dialogue changes from a usually even-keeled calm voice of pretty reasonable reason to a one sided conversation of SHOULD. Instead of doing what I want to be doing, I find myself fixating on what I should be doing. For example: while I might prefer to take a night in to myself to recharge, relax with roommates and cook myself a delicious dinner, I instead should myself into going out to a social engagement that I’m not that excited to be at. Instead of trusting my gut and only taking on four courses and one or two extracurricular commitments, I should myself into taking on a fifth class plus a dance class and a lab and a third, fourth, fifth out of school commitment. I may not want to be living the day-to-day realities of these choices but I tell myself that it’s what I should be doing.

I end up shoulding alllll over myself.

The truth is, it’s so easy to only do what you think you SHOULD be doing. Whether it’s what our peers, parents, partners, or professors are telling us, everyone has an opinion about what we should be doing and sometimes it feels easier to just do what others say we should do – it presents a path of less resistance. Although there may be occasional ease in following the currents of should, I challenge myself during this time of new beginnings and seasonal change to instead reorient to the want. I’m trying to ask myself what do I want to be doing rather than giving in to the chorus of what I should be doing. Sometimes this results in a rather confusing internal dialogue but that’s ok. Other times, I may not be able to just do what I want – I have to do what it is I should be doing and that is ok too. Just the exercise of acknowledging the difference between should and want is a simple change that has shifted my perspective greatly. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Fitness and Menstrual Health

I read this really interesting article the other day about the relationship between physical activity and menstruation. It does a really good job of explaining a lot of complicated science in a very digestible way. Just to preface the article, however, it is important to know that many people have irregular periods, and that does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong! As the article mentions, periods can change based on a lot of different factors. I think it’s good to be aware of when changes in patterns are not concerning and when they can become a problem.

Please leave any questions or comments you’d like to share!




A feminist with a Brazilian?

Recently, pubic hair has been the talk of my suite. Brazilian? Bikini Wax? Just a trim here and there? Au naturale? On the surface these conversations may seem like a women’s college cliqué, but they’ve led to deeper thought and conversation about the nature of our grooming.

For me, life past puberty has included a lot of time and money spent removing hair. I got frequent brazilians for years. I put little thought into my first one; every girl past a certain age that I knew was striving to be completely bare, so why not let a professional take care of it? Once a month, I payed a woman $40 to $60 to rip the hair from the most sensitive part of my body without a second thought.

Eventually, I got too fed up and stopped going to the waxing salon. I proudly proclaimed, I was too feminist to wax. How could I, a proud Barnard woman, pay another person to act so violently to my body? And all to look like a prepubescent girl, fueling society’s obsession with the infantilization of women? Nope, not anymore.

However, this ra-ra feminist attitude I was harboring was challenged by a friend when she made me consider how I got to where I was. I stopped waxing as a rebellion to the idea that I should, so it became a proclamation of my feminist spirit.

My friend, on the other hand, gets Brazilians and loves them. She’s also a feminist. But she grew up in the epicenter of feminist hippy culture in America. Waxing to her is a choice, even a rebellion against the norm in her town. It is an act of self care, making her feel sexy and happy.

So if waxing/shaving hurts or feels like a chore for someone else, then stop (or don’t start in the first place)! If it’s a treat you give to yourself, then by all means, shave or wax away! Hairless or full bushed, feminists can unite for one idea: the hair you have down there should be your choice and only your choice.

How do you feel about your pubic hair?

kolaches, y’all

There are few things I miss about Texas; kolaches are one of them. For the uninitiated, kolaches are savory pastries of Czech origin that resemble large pigs in a blanket. Kolaches have a rich history in Texas. According to Edible Austin:

These tasty morsels arrived in Texas along with the tens of thousands of Czech immigrants who came through the port of Galveston in the 1850s through the early 1900s. Determined to farm, these new Texans settled mainly in the coastal plain and rich blackland areas of Central Texas, setting up the churches and fraternal organizations that ended up doing such a good job of preserving their heritage. By the latter half of the 20th century, celebrations of Czech culture and the kolache—among them Westfest, in West, and the Caldwell’s Kolache Festival—had become popular annual events.

These days, you can find kolaches in any Texan bakery. Feeling inspired by a friend who made her own kolaches, I decided to bake some one night. To save time, I opted for a can of Pillsbury Crescents, but you can certainly make your own dough. Here’s the recipe I used (makes 8 kolaches):

1 can of Pillsbury Butter Flake Crescents
1 pack of Nathan’s mini hot dogs (any sausage or meat substitute will do!)
1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup of sliced jalopeños

1. Roll out pre-made dough and cut into 8 equal rectangles on a baking pan, lined with parchment paper
2. Sprinkle each piece of dough with cheese
3. Place 1-2 mini hot dogs on each piece
4. Pop on a jalopeño slice or two per kolache
5. Fold over and knead the dough to seal up the pastry
6. Bake according to the instructions on your premade dough can

Kolaches make for excellent breakfasts on-the-go and fulfilling midnight snacks!

be well,

Wanna decorate your skin? Quick advice for tattoos & piercings!

Of course, body adornment in the form of piercings and tattoos is a centuries-old practice in many cultures, but it seems to be having a particular *moment* with our generation right now. Big or small, greyscale or in color, tattoos and piercings (t/p) can decorate any skin, and luckily for us, there’s tons of options in New York City for places to get embellished. BUT, before we get to some recommendations from Peer Eds + friends, here’s a short list of things to consider when researching a t/p shop:

  • make sure you’re comfortable in the space! If that requires going to visit before you actually get your t/p, go visit! In the same vein, if you step inside and something feels off, it may be worth coming back another day or trying a different shop all together.
  • ask any and all questions you may have! Of course, tattoos are generally more permanent than piercings, but any respectable and professional t/p artist will be more than happy to answer your questions. You’re marking your body and should feel in complete control of the situation. If after getting your questions answered, you feel unsure about something, take a moment to consider if you still want to go through with the t/p that day.
  • take a friend with you! This is clearly not a requirement, but bringing a good friend along (whose taste you trust) can help with those judgement calls and lingering questions you may forget if you’re feeling a bit anxious about going through with the t/p.
  • especially for tattoos, don’t be afraid to ask them to re-place the trace more than once! Once they lay the design on you, take as long as you want to check it out from different angles in the mirror — if you don’t like it, tell them why and ask if they’ll try again!
  • follow after-care instructions (with some caveats)! Every body is different and will respond to different modes of care, but generally if you go to a reputable shop, their recommendations for how to care for your t/p in the weeks following your appointment will be pretty on-point. Also, ask friends with similar t/p placements what did or did not work for them.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a piercing or tattoo since coming to Barnard, you’ve probably heard of the infamous St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. Although there are certainly some skeevy t/p establishments to be found on St. Mark’s, there are also quite a few respectable spots. Keep in mind that many reputable t/p shops will be a bit pricier, especially in New York, so consider what kind of investment you’re willing to make for the t/p you’ve chosen, and you’ll likely receive the care you pay for.

Here are the names of a few shops recommended by Peer Eds and friends of Well-Woman:

Jewels 32 — St. Mark’s

Sacred Tattoo — Soho

The End is Near — Park Slope (Brooklyn)

NY Adorned — East Village

This post is by no means exhaustive in terms of information on safe t/p, “best” t/p shops in New York, or what to do when your grandmother asks what that blob on your arm is, but rather is intended to give ideas on what to keep in mind when planning for a new t/p! If you have a t/p, new or old, that is giving you problems or seems infected, take a visit to Primary Care and have someone look at it or call your tattoo/piercer for advice. As always, Peer Eds are available to answer questions and help you track down resources, we want you to be decorated well!



P.S. Here‘s a tumblr from the Association of Professional Piercers featuring tons beautiful and safe piercings.