Tips on Packing for College, From Carrie Filion ’19

I am about to say the words that most parents and guardians dread hearing: believe it or not, it is possible to pack too little for college. Speaking from experience, an empty, under-decorated room is a very sad room. While minimalist packing and bringing only the essentials is nice, it doesn’t exactly create a room environment that you’d want to spend a year in. Keep in mind that your dorm is your new home: make it yours! Personalize it – bring things that may not be necessary, but are pretty and make you smile. If saving space is your style, consider flags or tapestries that can be folded into compact spaces. Don’t forget to bring a light or two, as it can get dark without the natural lighting, and the right lights can transform a space and your mood!

–Carrie Filion ‘19

Self-care Advice from Prakhya Malyala ’19

At Bryn Mawr, we emphasize self-care. More than just being a student here, we want you to nurture yourself so you can grow as an individual. I have found that my way of being content in college and practicing self-care is making sure I maintain an active social life. Bryn Mawr is a school that is all about taking advantage of opportunities. You can indulge in suburban life by going to quaint towns like Narberth or Ardmore. You can go on crazy shopping sprees in Wynnewood or King of Prussia. You can Megabus for a day or weekend to New York City or Washington D.C. You can go to a party at Swarthmore, the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford, or any other surrounding colleges. You can spend a night exploring the campus with friends, taking pictures, and meeting new people. You can go to conferences, lectures, speakers, or special academic events. Right in the town of Bryn Mawr, there’s a film institute, a million different types of places to eat, cute farmer markets, and more! You can go anywhere in one of the biggest and most interesting cities in America, Philadelphia! It is all easily accessible with SEPTA, Uber, Lyft, or friends’ cars if you know some kind upperclassmen. There are always events on Facebook to let you know what is going on around campus, other local campuses, on the mainline, or in the city. These events range from free museum pop-ups, market festivals, cultural and artistic exhibitions, dance parties, free ice-skating, holiday celebrations, concerts, fashion shows, dance competitions, teas, and making body scrubs in the art studio. I would know all the above are possible because I managed to all of these things in my first semester! So don’t be afraid to take that leap, try taking a buddy and tell as many people you know about the events that you are thinking of going to. Bryn Mawr is a place where you can sit down and start a conversation with pretty much anyone in the dining halls. It is a place where it is easy to make friends and have amazing experiences, if you put yourself out there a little. I think that this has made me feel very contented during my time at Bryn Mawr. I was able to work hard in my classes with the motivation that I also have a lot of fun things going on in my life to look forward to. I feel comfortable in my academic environment because I’ve bonded with my peers in extracurricular realms as well. Take care of yourself, because no one else will know how. I like to think that at Bryn Mawr, the world is yours, but it’s your job to run it! Good luck 2020, you’ll be great with some self care!

–Prakhya Malyala ‘19

First-Goers Welcome Reception

Welcome BMC Class of 2020!

My name is Emma Porter and I am a rising senior Political Science major and Education minor. In the Spring of 2015, me and a couple of friends started a group for students who identify as first generation college students. We have since competed our first full year as an SGA club and call ourselves “First Goers”. First Goers are anyone who identify as students who are the first generation of their families to pursue higher education. Neither of my parents attended college, and I noticed that this can sometimes presented some challenges to navigating my first year at Bryn Mawr. This past year, “First Goers” has demonstrated the presence of our demographic on Bryn Mawr’s campus by holding a few different events. We held a session at this Spring’s Community Day of Learning, and we have also gained members from our faculty and staff. Additionally, Aarionna Goodman, BMC 2019 and First Goer from Philadelphia, became our treasurer this spring. She, as well as other first goers, were among my close friends this past year, and we met every week for dinner.  We have learned so much from each other and about the Bryn Mawr community this past year, and we look forward to meeting some of you this upcoming year!

Annasa Kata,

Emma Porter, 2017


Hello, Class of 2020! My name is Aarionna, and I am a rising Sophomore and treasurer of First-Goers. My experience as a first generation college student doesn’t quite have the artistic dramatic flair fit for a farce film or a brilliant bestseller. In fact, it’s rather waveless. However, like your story, how it came to happen does not make it less important to me. As a first-gen student (Keeping in mind that I use this word loosely. First-gen can be defined in many different ways), naturally, I often found myself besieged by questions and concerns. Being the eldest of six with both parents lacking experience with college or university, I felt stuck. Yet, with all of this in mind, these concerns did not exactly follow me to Bryn Mawr. Questions often start in the early years of High School, so I applied for college prep programs in response to that daunting feeling of turning to that unread chapter in my life. Even with the help, I still had the first-gen title staring me in the face as I walked onto BMC’s campus. I learned that this was a feeling I can’t shake but it’s something you grow with as the title in turn shapes you.

Aarionna Goodman

Class of 2019

Intended English Major

Some Advice from the Peer Mentors

Starting college, like any new experience, can be nerve wracking and exciting. Often students (myself included) spend a lot of time fretting over the little things and trying to make everything perfect. Don’t. Things are not going to be perfect and there will be (many) hiccups along the way and that is okay! That’s what makes this experience so memorable. Just know that others are on the same boat as you and that you can always reach out if you need help. Be excited! (You made it to college!)

– Mehendi Siraj ’19

For pretty much all of you, college is going to be a completely new experience. There will be things that you will have to learn how to handle that were never present in high school. You will be pushed and challenged in new and exciting ways. That being said, you will most likely find that the plans that you come in with about how you want your experience to go are not the plans that you will have after your first year. Don’t be afraid to explore new topics or topics that interested you in the past that you never thought to pursue. You will learn things about yourself that you never knew, and that will greatly affect how your plans change. Let these changes happen because you will find that they are overwhelmingly for the better. Whether you come to BMC with a plan or vague ideas of your future or no clue at all, allowing yourself to be open to the journey you are about to embark on will make your experience at Bryn Mawr even better than it already will be.

-Precious Robinson ‘19

Congratulations on attending Bryn Mawr! This will be a brand new experience for most of you and although it can be challenging, it is definitely an incredible time! Prior to starting Bryn Mawr, I wish I would have known that it is perfectly fine to not know what you want to major in. I was always concerned about solidifying my major and minor during my first semester, but it is important to branch out and to learn beyond of what you already know. Attending a liberal arts college like Bryn Mawr helps incoming students (and also returning students) to identify what they might or might not like in selecting their studies. Although you will all have different experiences and interests prior to your start of Bryn Mawr, it is important to take a wide variety of classes during your first semester in order to really take advantage of what Bryn Mawr has to offer.

 –Catherine Bunza ‘18

College will come; enjoy the summer! You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are now, it’s absolutely necessary to enjoy some time off between school. Don’t worry about choosing a roommate immediately, having the perfect schedule, or hurrying to make three hundred friends before you even step on campus. There are things you have to do before you come to Customs Week in August–outlined, of course, in these wonderful newsletters!–but take a breath, it will be fine. Transitioning to college takes time; it can’t be done purely through meticulous planning. Don’t be afraid to reach out to resources such as Deans and Peer Mentor Services, but know that you’re going to be fine. Seriously.

– Alison Robins ‘17

The Dining Halls at Bryn Mawr, from Ren Freeman ’19

The Bryn Mawr Dining Halls are known for their delicious food. There are two main dining halls at Bryn Mawr: Erdman and Haffner. Being someone who works in the kitchen at Haffner, I can assure you that for people with food allergies or restrictions, many precautions are made to ensure the food safety. All the kitchen workers are required to wear gloves when handling food and change gloves every time they are handling a different food, and the kitchen spaces are constantly cleaned. Each food is labeled and has a list of possible allergy information (e.g: “Contains: nuts, dairy, wheat”). Both dining halls have a lot of vegetarian options. Examples of what the dining halls have to offer is listed as such. Erdman has pizza, a panini maker, salad bar and deli station, soups, ice cream, fresh fruit, various beverage machines, and more. Haffner also has pizza (but more variety of pizzas), toaster ovens, soup, salad bar, ethnic foods that switch around once or twice a semester, a milkshake maker, fresh fruit, beverage machines, and more. Oh, and both also have four types of water to choose from – bubbly, cold, ambient, and infused! If you ever have a question about what a food contains, just ask a worker and they will get the list of ingredients.