I ran through Times Square, the rain pouring down, my new friend by my side. I couldn’t ask for anything better. It was the final night of my one week program at Barnard and I was heartbroken we were all leaving the next day. I spent a week studying modernism as part of the Liberal Arts Intensive put on by Barnard College in New York City. Before the class even started we were asked to read the book Manhattan Transfer. This sparked my interest in the material and the flame grew throughout the week. During the class we went on a walking tour of Harlem, an opportunity I hadn’t expected to ever get, discussed modernist topics and went to the Museum of Modern Art. During free time we were free to do as we pleased with Manhattan as our backdrop. I quickly made friends with a girl from across the country and we discovered the city together. We watched a Broadway show, shopped, saw a movie in Times Square, ate at Tom’s restaurant in Morningside Heights and generally explored the city. Barnard runs a number of different precollege programs for high school seniors over the summer. The Liberal Arts Intensive is a one week long course where students choose a class and study that topic with a professor throughout the week. Other programs include the four week Summer in the City Program, a Summer Science Seminar, and a dance program. All of these offer the opportunity to live on campus and experience college life during the length of the program. From the learning to the friendships to the college experience the Barnard Liberal Arts Intensive was a marvelous week and the highlight of my summer. One very valuable aspect I took away with me is the ability to write quickly. Essays that a year ago would have been arduous are now a breeze. I would highly suggest it to all students going into their junior or senior years in high school. If I wasn’t already graduating I would love to participate again. With the friendships formed I had the opportunity to visit my friend in Texas months later. While we are now far apart and time has past these friendships, lessons and memories will last forever.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.