More Tips from Mawrters: The First Year Experience Outside the Classroom

Dance: There are lots of opportunities to be involved with dance at Bryn Mawr: clubs, classes, ensembles, the Fall Student Dance Concert, professional performances, and workshops. You can join the clubs at Fall Frolic, the club fair that occurs every Fall semester. There are many different types of dance clubs. Consider joining one you’ve never heard of; you might just fall in love with it! Dance classes can be taken for academic or PE credit, and there are also a lot of different types of dance classes here. Be sure to look through all of your options if you plan to take a dance class! Ensembles offer auditions once a semester. There are ensembles for Modern, Ballet, Jazz, African, and Hip-Hop. The Fall Student Dance Concert is held every fall and is completely student-run. You can perform, choreograph, help with tech, or produce! Everyone is welcome to be a part of this concert – just sign up at Fall Frolic to receive the e-mails. The Dance department will also send out e-mails about professional performances and workshops that will be offered throughout the year. If you love dance, you should consider a minor or create your own major! There are so many different ways to get involved, so if one way doesn’t work for you at first, don’t worry –  you can always be part of the large dance community!

–Kat Phifer ‘19


Considering that I had never had a roommate before college, I was prepared for a less than ideal roommate experience. I am here to tell you now that my fears were completely unfounded. I can’t speak for everyone’s situation, but I could not have had a better roommate experience my freshman year. Of course, some things are out of our control, but here are some tips for cultivating the ideal roommate setup:

  1. You can mitigate some of your uncertainty by finding your roommate online via Facebook. Make sure you have had ongoing conversation and established rapport. The college generally does a good job of creating positive roommate setups, but meeting the person beforehand will foster congeniality and ‘good vibes’.
  2. ROOMATE CONTRACTS ARE NO JOKE. Outline all possible concerns in your roommate agreement. You never know when you might have to refer back to the contract as your guiding light.
  3. Don’t have a ‘right or wrong’ mentality. In many arguments, there is no ‘right answer’ or ‘wrong answer’. Instead, all parties must compromise for the greater good- in this case cohabitation.
  4. IF YOU CAN’T reach an agreement of some sort as outlined by tip 3, bring in an unbiased third party to help you reach a decision. This person could be an HA or Peer Mentor if you so desire.
  5. ENJOY YOUR ROOMATE. You have to live with this person. So why not love this person? Find out who they are and make a point of spending time with them. I guarantee you will have less quarrels and awkwardness. Just have fun with this aspect of the college experience!

–Madeline Perry ‘19


Being an athlete has always been a huge part of my life, and I suppose that it will be the same for quite a few of you who are planning to come to Bryn Mawr this Fall. While I wasn’t completely sure if I wanted to be a collegiate athlete (keeping in mind the time commitment and dedication needed), I could not imagine my everyday life without swim practice. I proceeded to hesitantly join the swim team, and now, I wouldn’t change that decision for anything. Bryn Mawr has given me 12 sisters in the form of my team, and I couldn’t be more thankful. However, I do have to mention that being an athlete is hard. You’re supposed to manage studies, sports, social life, self-care, and so many other things. It can be overwhelming, and a lot of the time, I just want to crawl into bed and take a nap instead of swim. At the same time though, those days have taught me how strong I am, and how I am capable of so much. Being an athlete pushes you to be the best version of yourself, and the challenge is well worth it. In the near future, I hope you all find second families in your sports teams, and become as proud as I am to represent Bryn Mawr athletics!”

–Shanzeh Shunaid ‘19

The Resiliency Project Experience: A Note from Amana Abdurrezak ’19

For me, the Resiliency Project gave me something to laugh at during the first few weeks, when I was feeling a bit homesick and unsure about college. TED Talks are such a fun way to learn (not to mention easy: just sit and listen), and the articles gave a little insight into what to expect in the upcoming months.
In my “Letter to Myself”, I gave myself a little pep talk, inserted a picture of Shia Lebouf’s “Just Do It” meme, and linked in a couple of my favorite YouTube videos at the time. In October, when I started feeling a little stressed out, I was surprised by just how much I needed that pick-me-up. You know yourself best, so have fun with the Letter! It’s for your eyes only anyway.

–Amana Abdurrezak ‘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