Bryn Mawr College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Cassie

Overall, I adore my school. I think that the best thing here is that everyone comes to BMC because they are incredibly passionate about learning. This creates an environment of supportive, interesting people who all value their education. The campus is gorgeous, making this a wonderful place to live. The dorms are also great. The school creates awesome dorm life because we have a great DLT (dorm leadership team) that makes dorm life fun. The only thing I hate here is the food. The dining services budget has been cut recently, making the food quality absolutely abismal.It's essentially disgusting.

Cant

Here, you'll find some of the nicest people in the world, as well as some of the brightest. Bryn Mawr students know that they attend a top school and they're proud of it, though not to an annoying degree. Moreover, the school's Honor Code permeates -- and in a very positive way -- almost every aspect of campus life. With those things said, Bryn Mawr is only a great school for anyone for whom it is the right fit. For this college, I would do extensive research and, if possible, a visit.

Marta

Bryn Mawr is well known for its traditions, and I truly enjoy them. I must admit that at first I was a bit skeptical about a few, but after experiencing them I really felt like a member of a community. The school is small, but as small as it seems it very easy to venture off into different paths. One can go a week without seeing a friend. Benefits of going to a small school is that we have lots of resources available and more one-on-one meeting times with faculty and staff. People are often shocked when I inform them that I attend Bryn Mawr, because it's an all-womens college. I reassure them that it's not what it seems, we are a member of a Tri-Co as well as the Quaker Consortium. This allows students to take classes at Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and University of Pennsylvania. We also reside within minutes of Harcum College, Rosemont College, and Villanova University. I love that Bryn Mawr is in a beautiful college town, and only a train ride away from Philly.

Rachel

I find Bryn Mawr to be too small, and lacking in economic and cultural diversity, though full of sexual diversity. It's also in a very safe but boring suburb. The academic are great except for the science program which is small.

Emily

I fell in love with Bryn Mawr upon first arriving on campus. I applied to no other all-female schools, and wasn't really interested in feminism before getting in. The experience has been a magical one; I haven't regretted my college choice in my four years here. I am graduating in May and going to Bryn Mawr was the best decision I've ever made. I enjoy the small community here, recognizing most of the women around me even if I haven't been introduced to them yet. Girls here are quirky, and I never feel like I have to be anyone else to fit in.

Megan

Bryn Mawr is a unique place, and being outside of Bryn Mawr and trying to explain why it is so great is hard. Then I come back to Bryn Mawr and feel a great sense of relief because people here understand. They get me. And so saying that, as much as I love Bryn Mawr, it's not for everyone.

Alex

the traditions are definately the best thing about bryn mawr. i love the consortium... take tons of classes at haverford (and swarthmore and upenn)- they all get you off campus, and could be your leads to meeting new interesting people and your lead to parties and dating, if you so choose.

Emily

Freshman year Bryn Mawr felt like the perfect size. By Sophomore year it felt too small. By Junior year I left to study abroad for both semesters. I spend most of my time on campus either in my room or in the library, generally studying. A lot. When I tell people I go to Bryn Mawr, I get a genuine mixture of reactions. I live in California, so more often than not people in my home town haven't heard of it. But in the wider world of academics, I get met with quite a few "oohs" and "ahs", followed often by questions about it being all women.

Alex

small, welcoming place with liberating studies, but some academic and social issues that can be difficult to overcome, kind of like a "you're with us, or against us" attitude.

Lorie

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!

Cameron

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.

Dale

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.

Jordan

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!

Harper

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!

Mawter

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.

Stephanie

I would change the apathy towards social justice issues on campus.

Aarthi

Bryn Mawr is a great place, but prospective students should know that the community is unique and not for everyone. People often overlook basic information about the college and complain about it later. For example...I often find myself grumbling about the lack of boys on campus or at social events, before remembering I'm at a women's college. It sounds petty and obvious, but it's easy to forget silly facts in a stressful academic environment. On the same note, it's not uncommon to hear people complaining about seeing the same faces every day (yes, it's a small campus!) or about the general PMS that strikes the student population during particularly stressful times. It's important to remember that Bryn Mawr is designed for women to grow into free-thinking, socially conscious, and scholastically well-rounded individuals. I try to focus on these ideas, and I find I don't actually have anything substantive to complain about.

Alia

Nothing in particular I like about the school. The admin is pretty unaccomodating except for a few people. Theres absolutely NO college town. Its not that easy to go to Philadelphia since its pretty expensive for a college student- $8 round trip. There are a lot of race issues on campus. People are definitely not as open minded as they may pretend. SGA is a farce and is an exclusive club. People are very unaccepting of different religions and beliefs. I am appalled by how little people know about the world. Very ignorant. The biggest recent controversy was not letting a student run for SGA president because of non-existent reasons that the current SGA made up (the real reason is because she was of a very contested and debated faith). There are scary traditions that one should be weary of. Life is very mundane and secluded in that school- Its horrible if you are very outgoing.

Louisa

After two years, Bryn Mawr has me entirely torn. On one hand, I feel that the academics are challenging and rewarding, and that I have had the opportunity to meet a number of bright, dynamic, interesting people in my peer group. However, I dislike the competitive nature of the school (Despite whatever the literature says about our honor code, etc eliminating competition, it seems like everyone is pushing for the best grade, and even to seem as if they are under the most pressure), and I have found that a great number of my peers, while highly intelligent and good-natured, are rather immature and closed-minded. The social opportunities are also lacking; I've often told friends at home that I feel that I am not having the normal college experience, and I mean that in a negative sense.

Quinn

The academics here are wonderful, and the campus is unbelievably gorgeous, especially in the spring. There's very little partying, but for the few parties there are, like May Day, the whole campus usually turns out. The fact that there are no sororities masks the fact that Bryn Mawr is one giant sorority (crossed with a pagan cult), including all the silly trials required for "joining" (Lantern Night, Hell Week). The traditions here are very strong. There's a good community feeling and even if you don't know everyone personally, it's pretty easy to recognize faces. Bryn Mawr as a town is pretty nice. There's a grocery store, a Borders, and an artsy theater. Unfortunately many of the restaurants are pretty expensive, but it's easy to take the train to Philly or any of the other suburbs, so you can pretty much find anything you could possibly want.

Maggie

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.

Nico

The best thing about Bryn Mawr is that it can be as small or as big of a community as you want it to be. Philadelphia is an amazing city to be near, and the amount of schools surrounding Bryn Mawr is daunting. There are endless opportunities to meet people, go out, and have fun. People who complain that Bryn Mawr is too sheltered and isolated are plain WRONG and have not taken the time to explore the area. Most people who hear that I went to Bryn Mawr crack jokes about lesbians. This gets very old, especially since it's not exactly true. It just shows how closed-minded people can be. Bryn Mawr has amazing traditions which you can read about on the website. But here's one that isn't up there, for example: I just walked during graduation wearing regalia (cap, gown, and hood) that belongs to the school. It felt awesome to know that tons of other Mawrtyrs before me had done the same, and the 150 year old rabbit fur on the hood was definitely something that other schools don't have! There's also a fur free option now :)

Nico

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.

Meg

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.

Shelby

Going to college was scary for me at first, as I'm sure it is for most people. As soon as I got to bryn mawr I fell right into everything, like a fish in water. The customs group (the freshman who live on your hall led by the 'customs people' who act like your big sisters for whatever you need) was really nice because you immediately had friends (or at least people to go to dinner with). The traditions make bryn mawr an incredibly special place and it brings the whole school together. My most touching moments have been while working for reunion weekend seeing old old old ladies coming back with their lanterns, excited to see how the college has changed, but mostly to see how is has stayed very much the same. Bryn mawr is timeless in its culture, class and nurturing atmosphere.

lindsey

Bryn Mawr is a community first and foremost. After your freshman year few can help but feel at home here. The cool thing about Bryn Mawr is you can make it as small or as big as you want. We have a close relationship with Haverford College, sharing classes and some club sports. So if you come to Bryn Mawr you can choose to involve yourself in just Bryn Mawr or you can branch out to Haverford, Swarthmore, and UPenn. (all three of which you can take classes at, Haverford being the easiest to get to)

Allison

Some of the best things include being in interesting classes that allow you to get to know your professors and being with friendly, non-apathetic and hardworking people. Other important things to mention: the food is also really good, and you would be very happy at least in comparison to being at most college campuses if you like eating healthy and/or are vegetarian or vegan. It is also very easy to get a job on campus. They hire the freshmen to work in the dining halls (there are three of them) and they hire students to work practically everywhere else: the libraries, the computer lab, as tutors or PLI's (peer led instructors), as lab instructors/notebook graders, as writing instructors, and in the civic engagement office. BMC's location is ideal. The town of Bryn Mawr has everything you would ever need within walking distance: Staples, pharmacy, grocery store, small movie theatre, Borders, eyeglass place, a bunch of small stores, etc. It only takes a few minutes to walk to the train station that goes into Philly; it's practically right there. The Blue Bus to Haverford stops in front of Pem Arch about once every half an hour, or you can walk there in about half an hour. We have three libraries. Unfortunately, they close at midnight Sunday to Thursday and 10 pm Friday and Saturday. I spend most of my time in the Park Science Building, often in the Collier Science Library. Once the library closes I find somewhere else in the building to study, but if I declared my major I would have my own key to the physics lounge (there's also a math lounge and I'm sure other science lounges too). Bryn Mawr is unusual in our self government. Once a semester there is Plenary, on a Sunday, where the students gather in the Goodhart auditorium and vote on resolutions. On that day, the only place you can get food is at Plenary, until Plenary is over. It can only proceed if a certain number of people are there. It takes about four or five hours, but it would go faster if more people came right away and stayed. There are also a number of traditions, which some people like. Finally, Bryn Mawr is unique in its honor code.

Catherine

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.

Sarah

I love being at Bryn Mawr because of the options- we have so many, whether it's classes, activities, things to do, places to go. It's a gorgeous campus, the administration takes care of us, students take care of each other. With our Honor Code and our all-women's environment, we have a great community. As the saying goes, "You only have four years." I think Bryn Mawr students take a lot out of their college experience.

Brett

The best thing about Bryn Mawr is the students. I really love my fellow students, and in my past three years here i have really grown from the connections that i have garnered as a Bryn Mawr student. The friendships will surely last a lifetime. The school is small but with Haerford, Swat and UPenn available to take classes, and Villanove and Philadelphia so close, it feels much larger. People are usually impressed by Bryn Mawr. I even had priority for looking at apartments because the landloard likes how friendly and responsable Bryn MAwr students are. Bryn Mawr shops are too expensive for most college students. but Philly is only a 15 min train ride away.

Liza

Bryn Mawr is wonderful. I never thought I would of ended up at an all women's college but I could not adore Bryn Mawr more. The school gives so many wonderful choices for all the students. Every woman could find her own niche here. The bi-co with Haverford is very strong and I take advantage of both schools everyday. The mainline is a lil pricey but a very beautiful place to go to school.

Sarah

Bryn Mawr is a really diverse school with more smart women than I could have imagined being in one place. It is a place that makes women feel comfortable, but challenges them to go beyond their comfort zones. It is a place that makes women feel confident and assures them that they can tackle whatever it is they want to achieve. Athletics are not widely supported on campus but they are starting to become really competitive. We play in the Centennial Conference, one of the top conferences in Division Three athletics, and for a small women's college, we put up a good fight. At Bryn Mawr, you can do whatever it is you want to do, and be supported, whether it is arts or athletics or a political club. It's a very conducive environment for growing as a person.

Andy

The best thing about Bryn Mawr is the sense of family and community that you gain throughout the years here. The size of the student body is great, its small enough that you are hardly ever in a huge seminar class, but large enough that you don't feel like everyone knows everyone. Bryn Mawr is a prestigious institution and has a good academic reputation. It is easy to get into Philadelphia if desired, but is also close to the town of Bryn Mawr which much quieter than the city. The school is about to come under the administration of a new President, which is very exciting. Also, the student body is self-governed for most things so we have the ability to make changes that we feel are important for the students. Although there is a good sense of community here, recently there has been some controversy surrounding race and ethnicity issues on campus. Athletics have not been a huge part of campus life, but the program is growing under the guide of a new Athletic Director. Bryn Mawr has many fun traditions to help foster the community, although to non Bryn Mawr students they often sound very strange.

Emily

I am absolutely in love with Bryn Mawr. Entering as a freshwoman, I felt supported by both the staff, faculty, and students. I think Mawrters very quickly become a part of the large Bryn Mawr Sorority. Our four major traditions (Parade Night, Lantern Night, Hell Week, and May Day) really bring the students together in a way that both creates a space for each class but also allows individuals to push themselves outside their comfort zones. I will never forget that during Hell Week, my best friend, who is not an especially extroverted person, got up on the stage a Goodhart and did an awesome lipsyncing number with myself and a few others. This was a huge step for her and she has never regretted it and remembers it fondly.

Ryan

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.

Jack

The best thing about Bryn Mawr is that, as at a lot of liberal arts college, the professors are very accessible. Also, like at liberal arts college (and any other institutions that have honor codes (Bryn Mawr does)), they trust you, and many exams are take home, timed, closed-book/notes. You pick it up in an envelope at the beginning of the week, turn it in at the end of the week, and sign a statement that said you only spent, say, 2 hours on it and didn't use any materials not provided in the envelope. It shows what a great academic community this is that this is so common place. I have also found, in the courses I take here, that the professors are very straightforward in their teaching style as well as their expectations. If you do your work, study at least a day or two before each exam, and think before you open your mouth or put your pen to paper, you will probably get an A. No surprises, no subjective grading (so far as I can tell). Very fair. If you put in a decent amount of work, you will get an A here. Unfortunately, though extremely beautiful, it is probably one of the more boring campuses around. There are rarely any parties, almost never any loud ones, and even on Friday nights the campus is, most of the time, dead-silent. To follow that up, though, a second GOOD thing about Bryn Mawr is that it is positioned really close to Philly. If you don't like driving, or don't have a car, or don't want to pay for gas and insurance, or whatever, the train stop is less than a 10 minute walk from campus, and you can get to Philly for about $4 (in about 20 minutes or less). So, from campus to Philly (depending on your timing) would be about half an hour. Not bad.

Annalee

This even sounds corny in my head, but the best thing about Bryn Mawr is that this is just a fantastic place to be. The Student Government Association is extremely strong, so campus life and administration are largely in student hands. It is not very often that students want to take up issues with administration, which is exceptional, because administration is largely students. The Honor Code, which prohibits cheating and stealing, is strong, so professors trust us to take self-scheduled, unproctored exams during finals period, and students never feel worried about leaving their dirty shoes in hallways and clothes on the drying rack in a laundry room. This may not seem like a big deal, but it feels great trusting your fellow students and having a college that trusts you; I have more than one friend who is at a college that treats students like the enemy.

Katie

We are a close community, which is great. We take care of each other and support each other. it's really nice

Marissa

Bryn Mawr is small. Within a few weeks, it can feel like home, but it can also become incredibly awkward between people quickly, as you're likely to see any given person at least once a day somewhere on campus. There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to going to a small school, but I think the cons are more prevalent on other campuses. Bryn Mawr students become close VERY quickly.

Chris

Bryn Mawr has a small and outdated gym. If I could only change one thing it would be to update and enlarge the gym.

Sarah

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.

Sara

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).

Laura

Two of the biggest issues I have with Bryn Mawr are the size (it's a small school) and its location on the main line (you have to drive everywhere and there's not much to do). That being said, the small class sizes are one of the best, and Philly is only a 20 minute train ride away. Another awesome part of campus life are the traditions. We have lantern night, parade night, Hell Week, May Day, and Katharine Hepburn's legacy of skinny dipping in the fountains, not to mention smaller traditions like Senior Row, the Senior Steps and splitting the poles.

Crystal

Bryn Mawr is amazing. To me, the best thing about Bryn Mawr is the wonderful community of women. I've met so many amazing ladies here, and I've felt so welcomed into the community. One thing that I would change about Bryn Mawr is the phys ed requirement (I hate gym). The school, to me, is just the right size, because I didn't want to go to a large school. However, some might find it a little small. For example, somehow everyone knows everyone else and it's a little weird, but I find it funny. I spend most of my time on campus in my dorm, hanging out with the ladies on my hall. Mostly we watch movies or sit in the hallway and have amazingly ridiculous conversations. I love them!

Reese

Bryn Mawr is special. The students who go here generally love it. I have never learned more, worked harder, or had a better time.

Melissa

There is nothing fun to do and all people do is work

Tiffany

The best thing about Bryn Mawr is the traditions on campus that really make the college feel like a community environment. It connects all the classes and makes the atmosphere on campus a friendly one perfect for studying and hanging out with friends. One thing I would change would be the stringent policies regarding residential life that proliferate the stereotypes that Bryn Mawr is an isolated school full of women that are incapable of maintaining and substantiating friendships with males. The school for me is the perfect size - small enough to have engaging class discussions - and yet big enough to study a variety of things that allows every mawter to find their niche. They are shocked because I have always been so liberal minded and have grown up with close male friendships. There perception is that Mawrters go to Bryn Mawr to avoid male interaction. I spend most of my time on campus in the library - I am a senior after all. But I also do enjoy visiting friends rooms, the dining halls and the gym. There is a college town - but you really need to be 21 to partake in it. Also Philly is close which is a huge perk - 20 minute train ride and there is virtually every type of entertainment at your fingertips. Bryn Mawr's Administration while helpful at times can also play negatively because of how small the school is - everyone knows everyone's business. There are biases, there is a lot of work and students dumped on a very small select group of people. While it is possible to get to know the administration you have to work to make yourself known - it is very easy to meet with your Dean once a year for four years and never really take advantage of their services. The biggest controversy on campus has to be issues of race and class clashing. From groups like Posse, Sisterhood, White Students Awareness Group and the Student Government Association a lot of individual issues are put front and center into our mainstream community. Given that we are a small college - I feel that personal issues are more likely to be brought forward and have the whole campus react to or against them instead of having other forums. Sometimes it gets extremely tiring to hear about racial biases when most of the people griping are given practically free rides to come to this institution while we have other girls not of color who are also of similar socio-economic standing are are having to foot the entire bill or tuition with little or no assistance, coupled with the pressures of having elite wealthy students interacting on campus who are unable to relate to issues of poverty or financial hardships. Lets just say it creates A LOT OF TENSION. There is school pride - but there are few outlets to truly display it. We don't have many sports teams and the ones we do aren't really supported by the student body. Also to have a lot of school spirit can be seen as a negative as you are automatically perceived as a woman who also has all the stereotypical qualities of a "Bryn Mawr Girl" The unusual thing about Bryn Mawr is the ambiguous nature of our honor code and social honor code - what one may find offensive another may not and this leads to a sort of disconnect as students are forever fearful of infringing upon its edicts. Also for a school run by its students - it sure as heck does things that would not be agreed upon by a large majority of its student body. The experience I will always remember was Hell Week. But I can't go to far into that. Another was realizing that four years flew by quite literally before my eyes. The most frequent student complains - poor quality of our gym, the graduation requirements, and the hours of gym/dining hall operation.

Stephanie

I went to a huge (3400 students) public high school in a suburb of Atlanta. While I'm not "one of the boys," I have always had guy friends (and boyfriends), so when my mom started suggesting women's colleges, I was a little skeptical. I know, though, that I need a sense of community (something I found within my close friends in high school, as well as my fellow theatre kids), and Bryn Mawr definitely seemed like it had a strong and close-knit community, so I applied, partly because I was interested, partly to appease my mom. Anyway, once I was accepted, I went on a tour of all the northeastern colleges I was considering, and got to see Bryn Mawr in person for the first time. I grew to like it a little more after that experience. Even after all that, though, Bryn Mawr was still not my first choice. To be honest, the defining factor in my decision to come here was the fact that their financial aid package was the largest, and I needed all the help I could get. So, needless to say, I was still wary of a lot of things when I came. People from more urban areas (or even simply suburban ones) tend to worry about the social life a lot, and I was definitely not an exception. I've found, though, that your social life at Bryn Mawr is what you make it, and most everyone is happy with what they've made of theirs. If I have a lot of homework during the week, any free time I have is spent relaxing. If my workload is light that week, though, I have done things like going shopping or dinner in Philly during the week. Even if I do have a lot of work, though, I can still do social things. A lot of people go to the coffee shops or other places with friends to do work during the week. Weekends vary as well, depending on how I'm feeling. Sometimes I go out to parties, sometimes I stay home, order food and watch movies with the girls. Most of the parties I've been to have been at Haverford or Swarthmore, but I've been to a couple at Penn, and I know people who have gone to Villanova. There are, too, parties on Bryn Mawr's campus occasionally. Haverford parties are kind of lame, but not terrible, Swat parties are a bit less lame and still fun, Penn parties are fun, especially if you know someone there, and I really have no idea about Nova. Bryn Mawr parties have been the most fun, in my opinion. They're all open to any Tri-Co student, and anyone else if a Tri-Co student signs them in, so there are ALWAYS boys. If parties aren't so much your scene, there are always a number of other social events around the various campuses on weekends, which are very fun as well. My only real issue with being at Bryn Mawr is the difficulty in meeting dateable boys. I have to admit, though, I haven't really tried very hard to find one. A lot of girls here have boyfriends, and there are certainly endless meaningless hookups to be found. I have made boy [space] friends, but no boyfriends. Like I said, though, I haven't really tried all that hard, and my lack of boyfriends is more than a fair trade for the rest of my BMC experience. A huge part of Bryn Mawr culture are the traditions. There are, of course, the four big ones (Parade Night, Lantern Night, Hell Week, and May Day) and a million other small ones (Step Sings, Athena, Skinny-Dipping in the Cloisters). These things are what really make you a Bryn Mawr woman (aside from the rigorous academics you both love and hate). They make you realize just how incredible and unique this place is.

Steph

Bryn Mawr is a quirky women's college. My favorite aspect of the college our traditions. We have the running of the freshmen on parade night, the first night of classes, we have class colors, lantern night where all of the freshmen get a lantern in their class color which will be theirs forever, there is hell week which is sort of an initiation ritual, we have sing-alongs, the senior steps. They might sound odd but they really serve the purpose of making every student feel at home. Bryn Mawr is a small school, for some this could be a turn off but for me personally I like the close-knit feeling. Many people have never heard of Bryn Mawr although it well known in the world of academia. There is a nice downtown area walking distance from campus with shops and restaurants and the campus is walking distance from a train that goes straight into Philadelphia. From the station in Phili one could hop on an Amtrak or catch another train to the airport. So from Bryn Mawr College you could easily get to anywhere in the world that you want to go.

Paige

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.

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