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Bryn Mawr College

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The best thing about Bryn Mawr: I hate to have it be something so trivial, but I love the dining halls and the food. The thing I'd change is: I'd like to see an increase in interest and participation in athletics. The college just doesn't give a shit. The school's size is: perfectly fine, at least for me. I don't like being a number. When I say I go to Bryn Mawr, people say: Well, there are a number of reactions. Some don't say anything; they just give me a look and say, "Where?" Others say, "Isn't that the all-girl's school? God, I wouldn't be able to go there!" because of the awful stereotypes floating around. There are a number who say, "Really? You must be very intelligent!" If people recognize the name, and don't react in the negative way, they're impressed. I spend most of my time on campus in: the science building, in the Physics Lounge. All of Montgomery County is one large college town. The administration is: changing. We're undergoing a presidential search, and hopefully things will change for the better once we have our new president. Biggest recent controversy: Aside from the Barack/Clinton thing? Last year a member of the Student Government Association, through poor judgment, made some racist comments and people jumped on her--"she's a member of the student government, she, more than anyone, has to be impartial and not racist/sexist/abilist/etc." School Pride? Yeah, we have school pride. Not in the football sense, but I do think everyone feels strongly about our school. Bryn Mawr is unusual by: 1) Being a woman's college. 2) Having ties with Haverford, Swathmore, and UPenn. 3) Hell Week! The experience I'll always remember is: Hell Week, definitely. THe most common complaints are: Everyone's too fucking PC.

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Bryn Mawr is a women's college about 15 miles outside of Philadelphia. It is a small liberal arts college of about 1500 students, 400 graduate students, 100 post bacs and about 150 professors. We have a relationship with Haverford and Swarthmore colleges and we are capable of taking classes there, majoring there, having fun there and their students are allowed to do the same. We are steeped in tradition, the majority of which makes the experience really enjoyable and a lot of fun. Bryn Mawr is an intense environment, and no just academically. People who come here are passionate about SOMETHING. it may be a ridiculous something, it may be a political something, it may be an academic something or an athletic something, but they are indeed, passionate about it. It can be daunting, but Bryn Mawr certainly would not be, well, Bryn Mawr, without it. If nothing else, it gives us something to talk about (whether that be good or bad, well, that's for the individual to decide). Bryn Mawr is a small but strong community, brought together 4 times a year by major traditions, which break up the semesters, designate rites of passage and generally are a big welcome to the freshmen and a fun time for the upperclasswomen. Bryn Mawr is not a party school. Sorry kids, but it's not. If you want a crazy social life with parties thursday through sunday, you can...you just have to go a couple miles down the road to the other universities surrounding us. So, you can have that life, you might just have to work for it a little. We have dorms like palaces, food fit for kings (especially if you are a vegan king).

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One of the best things about Bryn Mawr is the great support system created by the professors and your fellow students. The professors are always willing and ready to help whatever the problem. Study groups are also a great way to better understand the materials and Peer Lead Instruction (PLI) and Teacher Assistant (TA) sessions are offered in almost all subjects. These additional meetings offer supplemental study information or time when students can get help with work or ask questions about topics they found confusing. One thing I would like to help change is the atmosphere surrounding racial issues. There is more racial tensions than need be and it is often hard for people to speak openly without feeling like they are offending others on the subject. The school is a good size. With several hundred graduate students and Post Baccalaureate students in addition to about 1300 undergrads, the campus is more widely integrated than most prospective students originally realize. Bryn Mawr is not really in a college town, but it is surrounded by several other towns that also have colleges and it is very close to Philadelphia. Bryn Mawr is also connected to Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. Bryn Mawr is full of traditions and school pride which makes students feel even more connected. I will always remember Hell Week, all the Step Sings, and May Day several of the more prominent traditions Bryn Mawr celebrates.

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Okay, this is a really broad topic to write about. There are are lot of "what to write about" suggestions, so I'll chose the two most interesting: "What was the biggest recent controversy" and "is there anything unusual about Bryn Mawr"? The first one first then. About Feburary of 2008, Bryn Mawr had its annual Religion on Campus week. It started smoothly, however soon there was minor vandalism to signs put up on campus, from ones for Muslim Clubs to my Atheist Club. The administration had to get involved and so forth. A second controversy was over our recent SGA elections, where there may or may not have been people working within SGA against a specific candidate. It appeared that someone in SGA was specifically targeting and obessively following a SGA presidential canditate in attempts to force her out of the election. This is an on coming controversy, which had gotten a lot of student upset and involved. The second question: What makes us unsual is our traditions, hands down. The main four are: Parade Night, Lantern Night, Hell Week and May Day. Oh yeah, and we're a women's college. I guess that's significant.

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The best thing about Bryn Mawr? TRADITIONS! HELL WEEK! YEAHHH, babyyy! Uhh...ahem. It's a liberal arts school, so it's definitely a lot smaller than most universities and colleges. However, that also provides for a more intimate space for our students, making it easier for us to get to know each other. I wouldn't say the environment here is stifling either, but rather, it's a comfortable size for those who are sick of being the little fish swimming in a big pond. There's definitely a feeling of personal space on campus. There is definitely a lot of Bryn Mawr pride (especially when it comes to our rugby team) on campus, but I think a lot of it has to do with the bubble that we live in at Bryn Mawr. Bryn Mawr is quite different from the outside world, in that there is a social and academic honor code that we all try to live by. There is usually a lot of trust on campus - you can leave your stuff lying around and nobody touches it because of the honor code. And then there's Hell Week, which is probably an experience that I will never forget. There really are no words to describe what fun I had during Hell Week <3 <3

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Bryn Mawr is a tiny school. At one point you'll feel like you know everyone. This can be a good and a bad thing at the same time. It can be hard to find yourself in that little community for a long time so breaks are always awesome. There isn't a lot to do around Bryn Mawr-there are some restaurants and a cinema. We are only 25 minutes away from Philly, which is cool but expensive. There are always activities in the school or in the TriCo. However, don't be fooled by this whole TriCo thing. In general, Bryn Mawr girls are disliked by the TriCo. There are almost no parties on our campus, so we have to go to the other schools to have a fun night...but it can be no fun to have to take the Blue Bus. I guess that we pretty much try to make our social life out of our campus and I can see how that would piss off students from the other schools. But afterall, if you come to Bryn Mawr, you need to be really serious about studying and maybe even coming thinking that you will have to give up an intense social life, I mean, some girls do get out there and network, but as social as you may be...it can be f*** hard!

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Bryn Mawr's size is fairly small for a liberal arts college, however having a Tri-College Consortium both adds to and takes away from the perks of the size of Bryn Mawr's student body. The close academic and social relationship with Haverford is something that I have truly valued during my time at Bryn Mawr and I wish that I had remained more involved in the Bi-College community aside from athletics. I'm always fairly surprised when East Coast people haven't heard of Bryn Mawr. I can understand someone from the West Coast having never heard of a small liberal arts college for women, but I find it hard to believe that there are college-aged people from the East Coast who have NEVER heard of Bryn Mawr. A big controversy right now is Transgendered students and their place at Bryn Mawr. I will always remember Hell Week, but that's all I can say about it! Frequent stndent complaints are by far the amount of work and time put into classes in and outside of scheduled class times. This holds particularly true for science majors, who balance lab and class time.

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There are many things that I love about Bryn Mawr. It has a wonderfully small and tight knit community, cool traditions, and plenty of interesting individuals. Bryn Mawr is a college town, it has some nice coffee shops and a small movie theatre. It also has some great restaurants. When the weather is warm enough I like to hang out either in Taft garden or on the lawn behind Rhoads, but when it is cold the coffee shops and the lusty cup (on campus) are wonderful. The administration is really caring and helpful. Whenever I tell people I go to Bryn Mawr I get one of 2 reactions. Either they say, "where is that? I have never heard or that school." Or they say, "Wow! That's great! That is a really good school." The most frequent complaints are usually about being tired of the food, weather, or a specific class. There is a lot of school pride...mostly involved in the traditions. There are lots of experiences with my friends and hallmates involving tradtions that I will always cherish.

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The school is just right for me. Not too big and not too small. On campus, I spend a lot of time either in my room (my friends' rooms) or the library. The rooms are very nice, so I'm not complaining- and we have three libraries to choose from, which is great when you need a change of environment (when studying). There are many schools in the area (Haverford, Villanova, Swarthmore) and in the city, about 20 minutes away, University of Pennsylvania. Ofcourse there are a lot of other colleges as well, but not as close (relationship wise) to Bryn Mawr. Compared to the high school I went to, there isn't much school pride at Bryn Mawr, but that's in relations to sports. In general, I love Bryn Mawr! A precious part of the BM experience are the many school traditions. Although they are assets to the school's student experiences, it can also be something unusual about us, because many of the traditions are very exclusive and something only a Mawrter would understand.

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When I tell people under the age of 50 that I am going to Bryn Mawr they say either of two things: "where is that again?" or "that's still all girls isn't it?" When I tell people over the age of 50 that I am going to Bryn Mawr they say some variation of: "oh, wow. That's a wonderful women's college. You must be a good student." It is sometimes hard to be proud when people ask you where you go and they don't recognized the name, but it feels really good to have the respect of adults who in their generation knew many women who graduated from Bryn Mawr or may have attended another women's college. I was in a department store over the summer and my sister was wearing a BMC sweatshirt. The sales clerk bounded over and I heard her ask my sister if she went to Bryn Mawr. My sister said no, but I did (pointing in my direction). The girl ran over to me, gave me a hug, yelled "women's college pride! I go to Smith" and bounded off again.

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