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Bryn Mawr College

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Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not at all. Although there are a higher number of GLBTQ students than on your average campus, we have the full spectrum of women. A huge number have boyfriends at other schools, and there are always guys on campus, especially in classes and at parties, because of Bryn Mawr's close relationship with Haverford and Swarthmore. Also, there's a great balance of drinkers and non-drinkers on campus. If you want to drink, there's always plenty around, but if it's not your scene there are enough non-drinkers that there's no pressure. As someone who doesn't drink much, I love the balance. Although the party scene doesn't last half the week like at other schools, most students go out one or both weekend nights. Again, I love the balance. I work very hard all week, and when the weekend comes I let loose. There isn't much of a party scene on campus, but most people go with their friends to Haverford or Swarthmore, or Villanova or UPenn for a bigger scene.

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I mean, they're stereotypes for a reason. Yes, our college DOES have a greater LGBTQ population than most. All of my friends are straight, though, and none of us hate men. Yes, there are radical feminists out there, but most people are just activits for womens' rights without being all in-your-face about it, and all of us are clean and neatly groomed. Yes, there is a significant population of private school graduates, but the college provides financial aid that even those not economically well-off can still attend. We're as catty as any other college with women can be, no better or worse. I actually like to think we're less catty because there isn't the same kind of competition for male attention.

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Although it is an all-women's college, we're not all feminists who are lesbians. Most of the times, far from it. Although there are lesbians on campus, it's not overwhelmingly prominent that I feel uncomfortable or anything. Academia IS very intense at Bryn Mawr. I have never worked harder in my life. As for partying and having a social life, it really is up to the person. I love my social life at Bryn Mawr. I don't think I have been deprived of meeting guys or unable to party much or so on. Although I never imagined myself at an all-women's college in High School, now that I am attending one, I can't imagine myself anywhere else.

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Let's see: Regarding (A), it is true that Bryn Mawr is a very diverse atmosphere. However, this does not mean that *everyone* is gay or bi. Many people are, many people aren't. Now, regarding the second stereotype, I would say that it's pretty true. As Mawrters we take our academics very seriously, sometimes too seriously. For me, I found a good balance in my freshman year of studying and socializing. However, some people do too much of one and not enough of the other. There have been plenty of times where I've been in the library on a Friday or Saturday night - something which you might not find at other schools.

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There are some students at Bryn Mawr who fall under what we are stereotyped, but with every stereotype, it can't be applied to everyone here as a whole. Most of the women here at Bryn Mawr are very friendly and caring...something our school has that most other schools don't is the camaderie that is often encouraged between freshmen and upperclassmen. The upperclassmen here really try to help out the freshmen in whatever ways they can. Students here are also very passionate when it comes to learning, whether it be in or outside of the classroom.

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Come to Bryn Mawr, and you will meet rugby players and others who might, at first glance at the back of the head, look like men, as well as extremely girls who only leave their dorm rooms and library to go to classes and eat. But most of the students here work hard, are at least a little odd (and I mean that in the best way possible), are extremely cool, and genuinely want to make a difference. I think that Bryn Mawr is extremely underestimated academically and socially.

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We are not all gay/lesbian, it sometimes seems like that because the gay/lesbian community is very vocal and visible, mainly because we feel safe to be so. However there are many straight and other sexualities present on campus and the vast majority are heterosexual. We do not all hate men, we just like our space, many people go to Haverford, Swarthmore or other local schools to socialize with men, or in the case of Swarthmore and Haverford to take classes.

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Mawrters take their studies seriously; one weekend on campus would be enough to prove that to anyone. We're more likely to be camped out in a secluded corner of the library come Saturday afternoon than roaming Philly. And while there are the exceptionally odd students (such as those who don capes or show off their fashion skills in the form of a shrek-esque headband), most are just incredibly bright, interesting, determined young women.

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There is a very visible queer presence on campus, but I doubt that the majority of the students are gay (I have to add that there would be nothing wrong with it if it were actually the case). As far as the other major stereotype, Bryn Mawr can be very high stress. However, the reality is more that people tend to talk a lot about the amount of work they have, thus giving the appearance that work is all we do, which is untrue.

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While academics are a priority at Bryn Mawr, it's not like we don't know how to have fun. I mean, if you're looking for the typical "college experience," Bryn Mawr is probably not your place. but if you want something a bit more fulfilling, Bryn Mawr is wonderful. As for the lesbian thing, there is a substantial gay population here, but certainly not a majority.

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