Owls in College: Ava Morouse’ 19

As recent Laguna alumni approach the end of their freshman year in college, they have discovered a bigger world as well as their new identities. Let’s listen to what two graduates think of their first year of college life.

Ava Morouse '19

Ziqian (Violet) Zhou

Ava Morouse ’19

Ziqian (Violet) Zhou, A&E Editor

Ava Morouse’ 19 Barnard College

Major: Art History & Visual Arts

Minor: Women’s/Gender Studies & Psychology

Q: What are your suggestions on choosing the “right” college for current Laguna seniors? Has your perception of your college changed since when you made the decision to attend it last year?

A: I think my main advice for the entire college process is to follow your intuition and trust yourself. As soon as I walked onto Barnard campus for the first time, I got that feeling that people talk about when visiting colleges, but I didn’t realize this until I visited 10 other colleges over the course of that week and didn’t feel anything even slightly equivalent. That being said though, I only found out Barnard existed the second semester of my junior year! So it was all very new, but I felt like it was so right, and felt so comfortable and was a place I was so excited about.

Being a part of such specialized classes—like my freshman seminar “Intimate Partnerships,” six-hour painting studio classes, or my current favorite class, “Religion & The History of Hip Hop in the United States”— constantly remind me how much I love to learn, and the incredible amount of access to knowledge college gives you the chance to access.

I have grown to love Barnard more and more since I’ve been here. Because I found it so late in my senior year, I definitely had so much more to learn, and I have loved becoming integrated on campus and in this amazing city! I didn’t know very much about it before I came, but I am so so proud to be a part of this community of strong, empowered, incredibly inspiring women here. I’ve also grown to love the connection between Barnard and Columbia, and now feel a part of both schools and having the best of both worlds on these two campuses and their resources. I’m so happy to be here and find myself finding new opportunities and adventures every single day.

Q: Are you involved in any new extracurricular activities you’ve never done before? What are the cool things you’ve done so far (can be either academic or extracurricular)?

A: I’ve loved getting involved on campus. I’m currently in a dance group called Orchesis, which is the largest student-run arts group at Columbia. I’ve loved getting to know so many people, dancing, and, this semester, I’m a board member for the club.

I’m also involved with arts groups on campus, including Columbia’s Ratrock​ art magazine, and Postcrypt Coffeehouse, a performance venue under a church on Columbia’s campus that hosts open mics on the weekends, and Barnard Zine Club.

One of the coolest experiences I have was seeing a pre-screening of “Little Women,” which was directed by Barnard alumna Greta Gerwig. Barnard rented a theater and offered free tickets to students a couple weeks before the movie came out! Very cool experience, and so fun to watch with a whole theater full of Barnard students!