What to Expect at Bryn Mawr: Campus and Community
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Shravya Kakulamarri in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Campus Life at Bryn Mawr
Bryn Mawr has a strong, tight-knit community with an undergraduate population of 1,400 students. With many different traditions and fun extracurricular activities, there are plenty of ways to get involved. The school offers over 150 different clubs and organizations for students to join. This variety is quite rare for such a small liberal arts college.
Bryn Mawr was established in 1885, so the campus and dorms are quite old. This might seem off-putting at first, but the dorms are charming and great places for students to get together after classes or at night to relax and have fun. There are 14 different dorm buildings, and your dorm gets decided by the residential housing form that you submit before arriving on campus. The form will ask you questions about your cleanliness levels, sleeping patterns, and most importantly, if you’d like a roommate.
A huge theme on campus is advocacy. One example is a program called Breaking Barriers, which is for first-generation, low-income students. This program pairs students with an additional staff member throughout their time at Bryn Mawr. Every student gets assigned a faculty member that supports them throughout college, but students in this program will receive additional support. Breaking Barriers also holds various workshops to provide resources for students in the program and anyone else interested in attending.
The availability of multicultural groups at Bryn Mawr is a vital aspect of the community, and students can create organizations for smaller community groups. The school has the Rainbow Alliance for LGBTQ+, Jewish Students Alliance, Asian Student Association, Latin American and Caribbean Student Association, and many other groups.
The Bryn Mawr community starts as soon as you arrive on campus through the Thrive program. Thrive is a first-year health-and-wellness course in which you participate with a small cohort of students. Your group is led by a staff member who guides discussions related to campus diversity, time management, alcohol abuse, and your sense of belonging on campus. This is a well-rounded course that students appreciate taking during their first semester because it makes the transition to college less intimidating.
If you come across a topic that you want to discuss with your group, you can propose it to the leader, and they’ll help guide the conversation. Thrive is also a great program because you’ll be excited about your new environment, and this is a place where you can share that excitement.
A Typical Friday Night on Campus
Bryn Mawr is not a party school by any means. The nightlife here tends to be calmer than at most other colleges, mainly because it’s an all-woman school. There is always something happening on campus, though, and clubs will often host large events on Friday nights. These events could be anything from a potluck dinner to a silent disco dance. Events focused on food are the most common, as students at Bryn Mawr are huge foodies.
Being so close to Philadelphia also has its benefits. Many students go to the city on the weekend to explore, try new restaurants, or attend a party. There is an expansive theater and arts scene too, so if you are interested in the arts, living next to Philadelphia will be a great fit for you.