“I’m going to catch up on tiddle de winks, ping pong and parchesi,” student A.M.T. shared in the Barnard Bulletin on December 20, 1935 (left), when asked “How will you spend your Christmas vacation?” Now, more than 80 years later, students will soon return from winter recess after spending time away in only slightly different ways. With international students making up 12% of Barnard’s first-year class, more students than ever in the College’s history had plans that were as diverse as they are. Whether they were roasting a pig, dancing at a club, or crafting a year-end family slideshow, eight students enjoyed a well-deserved break from the College and shared how they spent time over the holidays.
Syeda Anjum ’21
Hometown: Queens, New York
What were your holiday plans, and how did you celebrate?
“I visited friends for holiday parties, as we all went back home for winter break. I didn’t do anything super festive, though my friends and family got together to make food and spend time together. [Our family holiday traditions are] baking, watching shows in the theatre district, and seeing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. [For the new year, I’m looking forward to being with] my extended family in Asia, writing more screenplays, [and] getting involved in psychology research.”
Tina Barrios Inocencio ’21
Majors: Economics and Social History, Spanish and Latin American Cultures
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Do you have any family holiday traditions?
“I celebrate Catholic holidays because my family are all from Cuba. On Christmas Eve, we did Nochebuena, which is when different family members cook, go to one house, have dinner, and go to midnight Mass. [Our special tradition] is caja China, which literally translates to ‘Chinese box.’ It’s when you put a whole pig in a box over a [roasting] pit and cook it for dinner.”
Sophie Cabanis ’22
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Paris, France
Where were you for the holiday?
“I went to France to see my family. On December 24, we went to church and had dinner, then opened gifts. As a Visiting International Student, I’ll come back to New York for the spring semester, then return to France. I hope to enjoy New York and my time at Barnard. I still haven’t seen the Statue of Liberty!”
Connie Cai ’22
Hometown: Fuzhou, Fujian, China
What were your holiday plans? Any New Year’s resolutions?
“I went back to China and visited my friends and family for winter break. Unfortunately, I won’t be there for the Spring Festival since it’s later in January.
My New Year’s resolution is to be more organized, be on top of my schedule, and get more involved on campus since I’m a transfer student and this was my first semester here.”
Isa Gerondelis ’22
Major: Film Studies
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
What did you look forward to most over the holidays?
“[Being] back home in Decatur, Georgia, and having a family dinner on Christmas Eve. We went to a church service, decorated a tree, and had hot chocolate. We also collected all our photos from the year and did a year-in-review slideshow video [to celebrate] the new year. [The photos were] anything from traveling to [them] dropping me off at school.”
Bella Pechaty ’23
Major: Creative Writing and Film
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
How did you celebrate the holidays? Any plans for 2020?
“My family’s Christmas Day tradition is eating a pile of homemade crepes made by my dad and watching The Great British Baking Show. For New Year’s, I went to an old club in my city, Minneapolis, that throws ’80s-themed dance parties; last New Year’s, they played Bohemian Rhapsody at midnight.
“I’m exactly where I want to be, here at Barnard and NYC, so I’m open to just about anything for 2020. I’ll probably just enjoy my last year of being a teenager.”
Angela Tran ’22
Major: Comparative Literature
Hometown: Roslyn, Long Island
What were your 2019 holiday plans?
“This year there was gift-giving to and from family and friends. We got together for a meal [and] went to a winter wonderland exhibit at a nearby park in Long Island, where I’m from.”
Lillian Zhang ’21
Hometown: New Haven, Connecticut
What are you looking forward to most in the new year?
“I’m excited to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family! For Chinese New Year in 2020, we will make homemade dumplings, and they’re my absolute favorite.”
—SARAH PATAFIO ’20