To me, Bryn Mawr is the PERFECT size! It's small enough that you see familiar faces throughout classes and you can form close relationships with other students in your major because the group is small enough that people can really connect with each other. Our small size also lends itself to close professor-student relationships. It's great to have that one-on-one attention with a professor. That kind of support is unparalleled. On the other end of the spectrum, Bryn Mawr is still big enough that I can walk into the dining hall or campus center and see someone I've never seen before. For those looking for the bigger collegiate experience, the consortium allows for students to take advantage of Haverford, Swarthmore and U-Penn's additional social and academic resources. Basically, Bryn Mawr gives its students the best of both worlds. The traditions at Bryn Mawr are certainly unique and memorable experiences. With four major traditions and several smaller ones, these campus wide events promote inter-class bonding and school spirit. I think most students are much more into the traditions than into athletics from a spirit standpoint. The most memorable experience I've had so far was the duck pond run, a part of a February tradition in which freshwomen run to Haverford's duck pond in the wee hours of the morning. My love of Bryn Mawr at the that times was as strong as it will ever be and I l will look forward to sharing that experience with the new freshwomen every year until I graduate. My favorite place on campus is my dorm room. Our dorms are really amazing and I feel so at home in my room. It's a haven where I can retreat when I need some quiet time or alone time.
The geology department is the best thing. I would change the logistics of how professors are hired (or unable to be hired to tenure track positions. my favorite professor has to leave this year because there is no tenure track position available for her. we are increasing the enrollment in my department, but they wont increase the number of tenure track positions. The size of the school is PERFECT. Some people know Bryn Mawr when i tell them, and others dont. The ones who know it, REALLLY know it, and are really impressed. I spend most of my time on campus in the science building. We have sort of a college town, which is nice, but then we have Philadelphia too! The biggest controversy on campus in recent time was when someone through a racially offensive themed party. There is a lot of school pride, but not in a sports team way. We are proud to be who we are in all aspects. if you are out in philadelphia, or anywhere in the world, and you run into a current student or alum, there's an instant bond. Bryn mawr is very unusual, we have a lot of opportunities and support from our professors, we are given lots of responsibilities and trust, we have an amazing honor code, they community is extremely accepting and enthusiastic, and we have very old traditions. One experience I will always remember is flying in a helicopter over a volcano and seeing lava flows on the Geology Departments Fall Break field trip to Hawaii in 2007. Student complaints are that there is too much work, the food sucks, and we're so stressed. But this is college, there is supposed to be a lot of work (you dont go to Bryn Mawr to party, you go to work your ass off) and the food is really delicious.
The college is a small well renowned liberal arts college... and it is all women. We do have a tri college consortium with Haverford and Swarthmore which opens up the college size, possibilities and yes, presence of the male sex. I love the housing on campus and our food is pretty good (especially the specialty dinners!). We are about 20 minutes from Philly which if you didn't know , belongs to College students! We're so many, we rule the place! Bryn Mawr town is really quite and a typical suburb so it's cool that you can easily make a get-a-way to Philly or even New York. The plus side of living in suburbia is the safety of the neighborhood. The college is really beautiful and a work of art... we live in castles (literally). We have a self government (the oldest one in the country) and it does work. There are however times when I want to strangle some people but the self-government association provides a forum to address issues that arise within the campus. Of course I can't go without mentioning the traditions! We have traditions all year round and they play an important role in bonding the students together. From Parade night, Lantern night, Hell Week and May Day there is no way that you can go through a year feeling left out (especially as a freshman). Also, another important aspect is the fact that if you are passionate about something you can be assured that you will have the opportunity to voice it. Everyone won't necessarily be on your side but you will get the chance to air your opinion. Whether it is about your political affiliations or religious beliefs, there is no need to conform!
The best thing about Bryn Mawr has to be either the campus in the springtime -- all the blossoming trees, it's beautiful -- or Hell Week, which is a real vibrant tradition, or the English House -- it's so cute and, well, perfect. I spend most of my time on campus writing and studying in either the library, campus center, English House or in Thomas Great Hall. With friends, I take walks around campus, watch movies in the dorm common rooms and hang out at Uncommon Grounds. I don't hang out in the town of Bryn Mawr very much because, it isn't much of a college town. But with the train to Philadelphia a less than five minute walk away and other campuses only a shuttle ride away, it doesn't really matter. Plus, there is a bookstore and a few grocery stores and a library and three sushi restaurants within walking distance. My big complaint about Bryn Mawr is probably that it feels too small and confining sometimes. Sometimes it feels like you've met everybody and are still not satisfied. But it's a small price to pay for such a caring faculty -- they know your name and treat you like an individual, but this is only possible because of the size of the school. I guess you can tell that I have some Bryn Mawr pride. It's an amazing institution. I love the faculty and the courses. I love the buildings and the traditions. I think that most Bryn Mawr women feel this way. My only warning is that the school is really small. And even though women come from all over the world, their isn't that much diversity in personalities and points of view.
I'd have to say that the best thing about Bryn Mawr is how it has helped me grow. The Bryn Mawr experience is unlike other college experiences in that it really forces many students to become extremely self-sufficient and outgoing. The Bryn Mawr experience is what you make of it. Granted, there are not a whole lot of social events going on, but if there were I would not have made all of the wonderful connections that I now have at Haverford, Swarthmore, and the University of Pennsylvania. The academics are incredible, challenging, and top notch. While there is a close and supportive community, individuality is still encouraged. A women's college is not a typical college experience, and it is not for everyone. Many people are taken aback when they discover that I attend a women's college and am not a lesbian, or sexually repressed and frustrated. While not everyone appreciates the Bryn Mawr experience, the majority certainly have a great deal of Bryn Mawr pride, I know that I do. The thing that I have found extremely telling is that the majority of girls that I know who chose to transfer away from Bryn Mawr ended up transferring back. They said that they had thought that they problems they had had socially and academically were because of the school, but once they were someplace else they realized how special Bryn Mawr was, and that perhaps the issues they'd had that had inspired them to transfer were not rooted in their college but rather themselves, and thus grew considerably from the experience.
The best thing about Bryn Mawr is the community atmosphere created by so many amazing women living and studying together. Traditions definitely help with this, and they are a wonderful part of the year for many students. There's Parade Night to welcome frosh the first week, Lantern Night when frosh get their lanterns with the class color, Hell Week when frosh are truly initiated, and May Day at the end as a celebration of spring and the start of finals. My best experience at Bryn Mawr was the Duck Pond Run freshman year during Hell Week, which is an experience that I will cherish for my entire life. Students are usually very proud of their school, partly because of our unique experiences, and have a strong sense of camaraderie. Bryn Mawr the town is small but nice. There's a small, independent movie theater that plays the non-blockbuster-type movies, and it's really nice. A lot of students spend time at the adjoining Milkboy Cafe or Starbucks which are nearby. There's a post office, Bank of America, Rite Aid, supermarket and an organic grocery store, restaurants, and some small shops within walking distance. The train station is also right by the campus, about a five minute walk, and it goes straight to Philly and the airport. However, there are a lot of activities on campus as well, and I know people who spend a lot of time going off-campus to either Philly or other colleges and people who spend most time on-campus.
The community. I know everyone here. I would like the students to stop stressing and start communicating with one another. It's the perfect size but I would like more people of color and more class difference. People usually have never heard of the school--which I sort of like. I spend a lot of time in the Campus Center. There is no real town of Bryn Mawr--there are some restaurants and a Starbucks. But Philly is only 20 minutes away by train. A lot more students are starting to live in the city and commute. The administration is incredibly understanding and caring. If you ask, they will deliver. The biggest recent controversy centered around a racial issue that seemingly got blown out of proportion. I think a student-lead initiative will hopefully lessen some of the racial tension evident at points on campus. I think Bryn Mawr is the school you love to hate while you are actually attending but there is definitely a bond out there in the real world among Mawrters. I will always remember the friends I made here. We have some weird students--which is actually great, because they feel comfortable expressing themselves--except for when they play Quidditch in an open field with broomsticks. It's a little strange. Also, my favorite quote from a friend, "Bryn Mawr has taught me the joys of platonic communal nudity". I think that sums it up.
Bryn Mawr is a very unique environment. It's first of all a women's college, and even though they tell you that you will interact with boys in the Tri-Co, this is rarer than you would expect. First, of all Haverford and Swarthmore boys have Haverford and Swarthmore girls that they are involved with and the Havergirls and the female Swatties definitely resent Bryn Mawr girls and their desperation for male contact. Second, Haverboys are notoriously awkward, unwashed, and undeservedly full of themselves (mostly due to the ridiculously high female to male ratio in the Tri-Co). So not so much in the romance department, unless of course you happen to be gay. The best part about Bryn Mawr is definitely the food. It's absolutely fabulous and the dining halls put a lot of effort into it. The dorms are really nice too, they are clean and quiet and most people get singles. The campus is very beautiful in a gothic, eerie sort of way. Another great thing about Bryn Mawr is the opportunities that one can take part of: there are tons of funded internships, externships, study abroad programs etc. basically anything you want to do Bryn Mawr can help make it happen. In addition, Bryn Mawr has an extensive alum network that is very supportive. The name Bryn Mawr will open doors.
Bryn Mawr really is a great place, and I honestly love it with all my heart. I get all the time, "OMG Whyyyy are you at a women's college?!?!" but it really doesn't phase me. One of the greatest things about Bryn Mawr is its relationship with nearby Haverford. Granted, the schools were closer before Haverford started admitting females, but they still share a lot of academic programs, and most social offerings on the campuses are open to all students. I always try to explain how great it is living with women. Honestly, my guy friends who live at Haverford are FILTHY! I love them to death, but I would HATEEEE their mess. Bryn Mawr is just WAY cleaner. And have you checked out our dorms? There is NO way to go wrong...you will ALWAYS live in a castle...with its own cleaning people! My housekeeper last year actually found us bowls to mix Jello in (for Jello shots, although I'm not sure she knew that) The staff, faculty, and administration are GREAT, and go above and beyond for us. President Vickers (the now-retired President from last year) and I had a great relationship...she frequently commented on how much she loved my ballet flats. Its such a small school that you CAN have relationships like that, even with the College President!
There are so many things that go on at Bryn Mawr that only the Mawrters know about. I LOVE that. Bryn Mawr is very focused on diversity... which is great. But it is shoved down your throat the whole first year you are there. It gets to be annoying. The size of Bryn Mawr is great. Sometimes it gets to be claustrophobic, but there are many ways to avoid that. It's nice because you can ALWAYS get off campus at ANY time. There are many schools around and Philly is a twenty minute (or less) train ride. Tip: Make local friends OFF campus too. The only people who react to the name of Bryn Mawr are those who NEED to know (aka those who will be hiring you in the future). Some have never heard of Bryn Mawr, but those who have will rant and rave and congratulate you. During the week, my time is spent in the classroom and the library.. (and hopefully the gym too). On nice days, everyone studies outside. BM is not truly a college town but Haverford is right down the street and Villa Nova is a little further. Plus, Philly is home to many schools. So there are plenty of college students in close reach. Everyone (for the most part) is proud to be.. Bryn Mawr.