Bryn Mawr College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Kate

The style here is much more varied than I expected: At most women's colleges one assumes every girl will be wearing sweatpants and going bra-less to class, but every Bryn Mawr girl has a certain style--sporty, indie, preppy, boho--everyone stands out just a little bit. At bi-co parties, you can always point out the Bryn Mawr girl--the girl who isn't wearing one brand head to toe, the girl who is put together with a certain twist.

Sarah

Despite being all women, Bryn Mawr has a really diverse student body. There are the prep school kids, the partiers, the stoners, the loud and proud lesbains, and everything else in between. I would say there is a lot of interaction between all types of students, though there is a bit of racial self segregation. I wouldn't say that racial self segregation is really prominent on campus, just that it exists. I really believe that you can find any kind of woman here.

Katie

I came to Bryn Mawr as a conservative Christian. I am leaving Bryn Mawr as a radical Christian. That is, Bryn Mawr has taught me a lot about my faith. I've learned so much about people I had never had the opportunity to interact with before, and about how they show love. I have learned to love people who are so different from myself and I love that about this school. I think almost anyone who comes to Bryn Mawr will feel out of place at one time or another, and that is a great thing. Economically, Bryn Mawr is a wealthier environment because liberal arts education is so expensive these days and it's a private school. At the same time, it offers more financial aid than most private colleges and that makes for a great environment. Different types of students have several opportunities to interact, although I would say that deep friendships are more often than not with people who are similar to one another. Most Bryn Mawr students are from the North East, though there are students from all over the world here. I would love to say that students are very politically active, but I'll admit that there's a huge level of apathy here. I think students get their acts together just in time for a big election, but other than that the political scene is pretty quiet. Bryn Mawr students are overwhelmingly left-winged. Although Bryn Mawr students say they're accepting of anyone and anything, that acceptance seems to come a quick halt when it comes to conservative ideas of any kind. It was a sad day for my Republican friends when Bush was reelected my freshman year.

Leah

Of course, Bryn Mawr is very LGBTQ-friendly. I would also say that we're fairly diverse in where we're from (throughout the US and international) and religion. Besides that, Bryn Mawr purports to be diverse in race and socio-economic status, but the truth is that we are a predominantly rich, white campus. Or, at least, one of the problems Bryn Mawr has been facing is that most students fall into groups of friends that are all of one race or one class, which is sad but true. We are also fairly liberal. At the same time, people who don't fit the mold should never feel out of place at Bryn Mawr. I consider us to be a very accepting and caring community. In fact, varied backgrounds makes Bryn Mawr what it is.

Sarah

It is really diverse here. I feel like there are still many issues with diversity though

Emily

There is a lot of diversity at bryn mawr, and there is no stereotypical Bryn Mawr student. We have a huge variety of people, and they don't clique. People are very open, and mix a lot.

Jessica

The Bryn Mawr student body is extremely diverse. I came from a high school of relatively little to none diversity and Bryn Mawr really opened my eyes to the world. There are many international students of all different backgrounds and religions. I find it fascinating that we have so many students not just from all over the United States including Hawaii but all over the world. I think the only student that might feel out of place at Bryn Mawr would be an extremly conservative student with very right winged beliefs. However as long as the student was open to new ideas than I think they too would even be okay at Bryn Mawr. Students are very politically active and tend to be predominately left. Students do not really talk about how much they will earn one day, it is really about what students aspire to do and hwo they wish to change the world. I really have no idea what financial backgrounds are most prevelant as again we do not talk much about those sorts of things. There are many students that are involved in the Work Study program in order to pay for college but then again there is a fair amount of stu dents that are not so I really am not sure how many students are on financial aid or what not. Students really are from all over the country but of course the east coast is most prevelant but not overwhelmingly so.

Harper

My experiences with the student body are varied and unique. It's easy to talk to anyone, as long as one does the usual, like staying away from politics and religion unless you want to get into a heated debate. My experiences with all the different religious, LGBT, socio-economic, and other groups tends to be positive. No-one tries to force themselves on me, except for the Communist Paper that shows up in front of the Campus Center once a semester. I think the only student that would feel out of place is an extreme right-wing, bible-thumping Republican. Then again, why anyone with that kind of background they would go to a college anywhere in the Philadelphia area would be beyond me. Most students wear whatever they want to. Those without specific religious requirements, at least. I've seen the spectrum from "extreme punk" to "$500 jeans and shoes twice as expensive". No-one really cares, as long as you're clean. Yes, all types of students interact. Um...that's a hard question to answer. We have 3 dining halls, and each tends to attract its own group of people. BROADLY generalizing, Rhoads gets all the sports teams(since it's open late), Haffner gets the eco-conscious onces(it has a large salad bar and a Vegan bar), and Erdman gets whoever's left (just kidding). I tend to eat at Rhoads because it's closest to my dorm. Most Bryn Mawr students are from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern area of the US, though I have met someone from the Southeast Asia. Financial backgrounds vary, but a significant amount of people don't need financial aid, if you get my drift. God, you can't escape politics on campus. Left and center are the general leanings of the populace. Everyone I've ever spoken to is ignoring Real Life for the time being. The "Bryn Mawr Bubble" is nice, at least for now.

Regan

Bryn Mawr is really small. So you'd think it would be a really intimate and supportive environment. But I have found that relationships here are cold, artificial, and surface level. People are so busy that they rarely stop to say Hi and talk to you. Another thing you should know. People don't really hang out at Bryn Mawr. If you go to the Lusty Cup or the Uncommon Grounds...you will not usually find a large group chilling, chatting, laughing....guess what...they are studying. Many are socially awkward and don't know how to relate to people other than other socially awkward people. There is a group of girls called the "Capies" who walk around in capes. People are obsessed with Harry Potter and often compare Bryn Mawr to Hogwarts (I don't really see it though...I mean Harry was a boy...so he couldn't go here...we hate men: wizard and muggle alike). One great thing about BMC is that no one here is mean (in fact its a violation of the "Honor Code" which is a nice idea but sometimes ends up feeling like a police state that limits free speech etc.) and for the most part people are accepted for who they are. BMC is full of PC hounds, be careful of what you say or they will getcha! Bryn Mawr is pretty racially diverse and there is a good deal of interaction between everybody. There are a lot of African, East Asian, and South East Asian students. The African American community is smaller, and the Latina community is even smaller. What is really lacking is a diversity of ideas and personalities! Many girls have lived very sheltered lives and had overbearing parents. Think about it, what girl would really choose to go to an all women's college?

Dorrie

We actually had a huge blow out last year when our SGA treasurer made a racial slur on Facebook. She had to step down from her post and a huge series of "town hall" meetings ensued, in which all the students came together and discussed how they felt about racial and discrimination issues on campus. Our campus is very liberal and very aware of diversity issues and politically correct language, which is a dispute in itself since not everyone here likes to be "PC". Different types of students definitely interact. People dress in a whole medley of ways but I guess if I had to chose a specific style I'd say preppy-casual. Students are politically aware and active. I have never discussed what I will one day earn with a Bryn Mawr student, but thats not to say that it never happens.

Carolyn

The cultural groups on campus are active and have yearly culture shows. There is a special program for incoming students of color. Most Bryn Mawr students are Democrats and feminists, so a Republican student with conservative values might feel uncomfortable. Students of various backgrounds interact. Students wear whatever they prefer. Many students are from the Northeast, though there is diversity in place of origin, and most students are middle-class or upper-class.

Meagan

I think a straight, white, upper-middle class girl with a closed mind would be incredibly uncomfortable here. I think that most students keep to their own groups, the same at larger institutions; however, I do believe that there is far more interaction here because it is such a small school. When I was a freshman, most women wore pajamas to class--that has gradually changed and I think today's seniors look much better than they did four years ago. I have friends from a myriad of backgrounds- racial and economic - however, there is a general consensus that more students have more money than they used to. Students are pretty liberal but apathetic in many ways. Because of our policy of not talking about grades, money sort of goes along with that. I don't think any of us make such broad claims about the future.

Genevieve

I feel that for the most part, everybody interacts with people based on personality and not on race or religion or sexuality. From what I can tell everybody is accepted. I feel that I talk about race and religion, but very rarely about class and financial standing. I know some people's background with that, but only because they are my best friends. I feel that generally it's not an issue, Also, a lot of people work in the dining halls but it's not a reason for anybody to judge them, especially because a Bryn Mawr education is a lot to pay for no matter where you come from, and so there's no stereotyping of those that do work-study. Politically, the general student body is very liberal but people differ in how active they are with politics. I think it's a major topic of discussion, especially with the upcoming election, but not everybody is actively involved. However, I think that most students agree with each other politically.

Rachel

They are vocal and visible? A square. Sweatpants. Yes. What qualities do they all share?--fat? The Mid-Atlantic. I don't know. Aware, yes, active, no. Centrists. Students talk about how broke they will be for the rest of their lives, yes.

Andy

No one would feel out of place here at Bryn Mawr. We're not about cliques or popularity.

Katie

There is tension on campus, and a lot of groups gravitate toward each other. People don't talk much about religion here, because the majority of people are so liberal and automatically bash any sort of conservatism. I haven't really noticed any strain between socio-economic classes, but honestly? I think the majority of people here are pretty well-off back at home. Like I said, most racial groups befriend each other and kind of put a barrier between themselves and the rest of the campus. LGBT stick together as well, but as a straight girl, I still have tons of friends who are lesbians--it's not completely unheard of. Yet, different groups really don't interact that much. Let's say we're in the dining hall. One table will be brimming with loud, crazy rugby girls. The next will be half full, and have some nondescript girls eating and having a quiet conversation. The third will have a few pretty girls and a sprinkling of guys from Haverford. The fourth will be occupied by two girls, both with their noses buried in books. The dining hall can be awkward--I tend to get take-out and bring it back to my room to eat while I work or watch a movie. Students who are outspoken about their political activity are overwhelmingly liberal. It's easy to start a conversation about politics and just assume that everyone around you is going to agree with your liberal statements--you really have to catch yourself, because people with conservative views generally don't speak up about them.

Emily

I feel like Bryn Mawr really represents an interesting mix of cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds. That's one of the reasons I was attracted tot his school. The student body really runs the spectrum from those girls who would have been in sororities to those who chose to wear capes daily.

Madison

We're all over the board, and everyone is accepting of everyone else. The best thing I can say about Bryn Mawr is that we attract every type of person from every type of background. Admittedly, the type of school we are means that a lot of people here come from relatively affluent backgrounds and you won't find people who are just at college to pass four years of their lives, but you can find almost anyone here. We mix and match, and everyone respects everyone else. It's a great environment.

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