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Current student + friends at BMC, ask us anything!

lacscnlacscn 78 replies5 threads Junior Member
As students begin to think about applications for the class of 2024 (wow that is crazzzzy!) my friends and I wanted to put up a post where you can ask us anything! We're all about to be sophomores and have many experiences and thoughts to share about our dear college.
edited April 6
29 replies
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Replies to: Current student + friends at BMC, ask us anything!

  • BelmontVABelmontVA 86 replies8 threads Junior Member
    As Bryn Mawr is somewhat integrated with two coed colleges being part of the Tri-College Consortium, do you still feel strongly that you are in a women’s college, beyond dorm life?

    In your estimation, what percentage of student body are from private school background?

    Thank you.
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  • silverpurplesilverpurple 408 replies55 threads Member
    How is the Jewish scene? Hillel participation? Any bds sentiment?
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  • lacscnlacscn 78 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @BelmontVA
    I do feel that I'm at a historically women's college, 100%. While we are very very close with Haverford in many aspects, it doesn't mean that we give up our identity as a school. It's really about the attitudes of our students/profs/staff etc., and having a supportive community of people who face disadvantages because of their gender. There's always a much larger ratio of women:men on campus, since the other tri-co schools are also 50% women. Generally, people from other schools are respectful of the space they're in when they come here.
    That being said, if you want to, our association with Haverford (and to a lesser extent Swat) makes it a lot easier to find men than if you were at, say, Agnes Scott. I've never gone actively seeking them out, but if you want to they're there. I feel like it's the best of both worlds because I know I always have the very strong sisterhood of Bryn Mawr but I don't ever feel trapped at all.

    I'd say somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of students are from private schools, but the type of private school varies a lot. I know some people who went to private school close to home because they got scholarships and their public high schools were really bad, and I also know some people who went to fancy boarding schools.
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  • lacscnlacscn 78 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @silverpurple
    I am not Jewish and will not pretend to be super knowledgeable about Jewish life on campus, but I can tell you what I do know.

    It is a small but active minority on campus - there is pretty strong Hillel participation and as a college very dedicated to social justice they often do what they can to get other students to learn about what's happening in their community and issues they're dealing with. Sometimes those issues are here on campus, sometimes they're in Philly, sometimes they're across the world. Dining services does what they can to be supportive during times when food accommodations are needed. I don't really know about the general stance on BDS, sorry
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  • LilAwkwardLilAwkward 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Hello! Thank you all for doing this! I'm really torn between Wellesley and Bryn Mawr. I've visited Wellesley a few times and I felt like the environment was a bit competitive amongst the students who attended. I don't know if that was because of grade deflation or what. I have never visited Bryn Mawr, but it seems like it's an ideal school offering a small (very small!) student body with the advantages of the consortium between Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore, and UPenn. Could you talk about what the student environment is at Bryn Mawr? Is it competitive? Academic? Are students indifferent or engaged with their peers and professors? What other schools did you apply and get accepted to? Do you like it at Bryn Mawr? Any regrets? If you had to do it all over again, would you go to Bryn Mawr? What's your relationship with students from Haverford, UPenn and Swarthmore?
    Sorry, so many questions - I intend to visit for an overnight - I can ask these questions then if you don't feel comfortable posting here. Thank you again!
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  • time4adventuretime4adventure 39 replies13 threads Junior Member
    What would you say people do in their free time? Are students social? Are there activities on campus on the weekend? When we visited a couple of students mentioned that they watch Netflix on the weekend or that they are too tired to do anything on the weekend. Is this true?
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  • ItisatruthItisatruth 389 replies25 threads Member
    Lots of questions! My daughter is interested in environmental science mostly focused on biology/ecology. Are most of the bio majors pre-med? How is the new Bi-Co department of environmental studies working out? Finally, if you're interested in Fine Arts/Visual Studies, how much of a hassle is it to go over to Haverford for those classes?
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 1599 replies28 threads Senior Member
    Itisatruth wrote: »
    Finally, if you're interested in Fine Arts/Visual Studies, how much of a hassle is it to go over to Haverford for those classes?
    I am interested in this as well. My daughter will be a freshman Haverford student this year and hopes to take dance classes and Russian classes at Bryn Mawr. Hopefully it’s as convenient as they paint it to be?
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  • lacscnlacscn 78 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @LilAwkward Hi! So I would say that generally the environment at Bryn Mawr is very very collaborative and everyone wants others to do well. While it is collaborative, it's also pretty academic, and generally we push ourselves hard (although that is obviously different for different people!). I'm constantly talking with my friends about stuff that's been talked about in my classes, and a really significant portion of my time is spent doing schoolwork. That, again, could be different for different people, but it's what I expected since it's college. Since departments are so small, students are often very close with their professors. I have super close relationships with a few of my professors - we're almost friends in a way because we talk so much. I know a lot of other people have those close relationships too. My classes are usually pretty interesting because we all make a real effort to participate which is a welcome change from most high schools.

    Schools I applied to/results (as many as I can remember... it's been almost two years!):
    Carleton ED: rejected
    State schools: accepted
    Gustavus Adolphus: accepted w/ some really good scholarships
    New College of Florida: accepted w/ even better scholarships
    Macalester RD: accepted
    Grinnell RD: accepted
    Bates RD: waitlisted
    Haverford RD: waitlisted--->accepted
    Hamilton RD: accepted
    WUSTL RD: rejected
    And of course, Bryn Mawr RD: accepted

    I love Bryn Mawr! My best friends are here and I've learned so much from my professors/other students and have received SO much support. The dorms are nice and the food is good! The level of siblinghood I feel is seriously so strong, I genuinely feel like I could rely on almost any student/graduate of BMC. Sometimes it feels a little stifling because it is small, but I can always get off campus if I need to and it's a good area to be in. I wouldn't want to be at a college that was bigger, despite the small disadvantages. I feel like I regret it when I'm there every once in a while because I miss my people at home (they're in the Midwest) but it's just homesickness. I would definitely choose Bryn Mawr again - I had a very hard year but I think learned more in that year than I did in all of my life previously. I answered about the tri-co/quaker consortium in an earlier answer, feel free to ask any more specific questions about it also! Quick answer: we're chill, closest with Haverford, then Swat, then Penn. It's nice to have so many potential people to be friends with even though it's a small college. Hope to meet you when you visit campus :)
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  • lacscnlacscn 78 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @time4adventure
    The social scene really is what you make it. Cliche, I know, but it's true. I'm not a huge partier but when I want to I usually just pop over to Haverford on the weekend and find a party. At least 3/4 of weekends I'm sitting in bed watching netflix or doing something really lowkey with friends, but that's just what I like to do, not necessarily because I'm tired. Going to Bryn Mawr town to rite aid or a restaurant or somewhere else can be surprisingly fun, and a lot of people do that often. I personally like to go into Philadelphia and and go to orchestra concerts (college subscription for the w i n). On BMC's campus there's usually stuff to do on weekends with clubs, sometimes they have movie screenings or group discussions and honestly it's never boring on campus. I know people who were literally at haverford or swat every single weekend partying, so that option is definitely there if you want it. In general though I think a lot of BMC students are social in a way that they know a lot of people since the campus is so small. Most people will make small talk and sometimes you're standing in the dining hall line and start talking to the person next to you and you realize you have a mutual friend or something like that. There's obviously introverts and extroverts but people in general are pretty nice.
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  • lacscnlacscn 78 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @Itisatruth
    I definitely wouldn't say most, but a significant portion of bio majors are pre-med. I really have no idea about environmental studies, I'm sorry!! I have a friend who is planning on majoring and has liked her classes so far, so that's a good sign! I'm a serious musician so I was at Haverford twice a week for orchestra/chamber music and then another time for a different class. It's SO easy. We have buses that go between the two campuses and they take ten minutes each way max and they go multiple times an hour into the night. It's free, it's easy, it's convenient, and I'll love the blue bus forever. Honestly it's rare that someone doesn't have to go to Haverford on at least a semi-consistent basis, so they made it easy for us. It's also really not a bad walk; I've done it before.
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  • lacscnlacscn 78 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @milgymfam
    I was born to talk about this haha. I'm a Russian major and was always going back and forth from Bryn Mawr to Haverford for music. If your daughter will be in beginning Russian, they're actually offering that at Haverford also this year if she didn't already know. If she can't take it at Haverford or will be in intermediate though it's really really easy to go between campuses, don't worry about it at all. In the worst terms, it's a minor inconvenience, and that's only if the bus is really full. Otherwise I actually enjoyed having a little time to think about nothing. If she has any questions about Russian @ BMC, dm me or post them here, I love talking about my department!!
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  • LilAwkwardLilAwkward 2 replies0 threads New Member
    @lacscn - omg - thanks for such amazing answers to all my questions! I want to attend BMC just based on your online personality! Thank you for taking the time and I can't wait to actually visit in October!
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  • ItisatruthItisatruth 389 replies25 threads Member
    Hi @lacsn now that you are well into your sophomore year, can you comment on your experience with Sophomore Plan so far? It seems like a really useful and intentional process as described on the website -- how is it playing out IRL?
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  • operaologyoperaology 3 replies0 threads New Member
    Is there an opera scene? I read that tomorrow an Opera that a Bryn Mawr student composed will be performed. If you know anything else about music, do you know how active the classical music community is at BMC? I am applying as a Biology major on premed track and will be submitting a portfolio that includes art songs and arias. I am interested in Opera but have had to practice unofficially as my school does not offer music and the cost of taking Opera lessons is too expensive.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 1599 replies28 threads Senior Member
    I don’t know about that story, but my daughter is a Haverford student who takes half her classes at Bryn Mawr, and I don’t think she feels any animosity between the campuses at all. I hear about her Bryn Mawr friends all the time, and her fun times on campus. I think they feel like two halves of a whole as far as she’s concerned.
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  • sophieee123sophieee123 47 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Does Bryn Mawr prefer a certain type of recommendation letter outside of teachers? For example, you can submit two outside letters of rec; my options are the mayor of my fairly large city (who I worked very closely with the past four years to increase youth involvement in our city), my speech and debate coach who I am super close with (I read her letter and it is very strong), and a doctor I have known my whole life as a family friend (I want to do premed) who spoke very highly of me in the letter and was specific about my accomplishments. Would any of these work and if so which two would be best as my optional additional letters of rec?
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  • lacscnnlacscnn 5 replies0 threads New Member
    Itisatruth wrote: »
    Hi @lacsn now that you are well into your sophomore year, can you comment on your experience with Sophomore Plan so far? It seems like a really useful and intentional process as described on the website -- how is it playing out IRL?

    Hi @Itisatruth ! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I lost access to my old account. The sophomore plan has been good! It’s not something that I particularly enjoy doing, but I appreciate the structure of it and the feedback we receive. I’m definitely glad that it exists to keep us on track.
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  • lacscnnlacscnn 5 replies0 threads New Member
    operaology wrote: »
    Is there an opera scene? I read that tomorrow an Opera that a Bryn Mawr student composed will be performed. If you know anything else about music, do you know how active the classical music community is at BMC? I am applying as a Biology major on premed track and will be submitting a portfolio that includes art songs and arias. I am interested in Opera but have had to practice unofficially as my school does not offer music and the cost of taking Opera lessons is too expensive.

    Hi @operaology ! So I am an instrumental classical musician who is very involved in the department and I can tell you that the community is fairly active. All of the music stuff happens at Haverford because that’s where the department is based but around half of the students participating are BMC students. I am not a singer, but I can tell you that you will likely be able to receive a subsidy that will help cover the cost of lessons. We have a large chorale as well as chamber singers. If you have any other questions, I can try to answer or you can ask the director, he’s super nice and his email should be on the Haverford website.

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  • lacscnnlacscnn 5 replies0 threads New Member
    Does Bryn Mawr prefer a certain type of recommendation letter outside of teachers? For example, you can submit two outside letters of rec; my options are the mayor of my fairly large city (who I worked very closely with the past four years to increase youth involvement in our city), my speech and debate coach who I am super close with (I read her letter and it is very strong), and a doctor I have known my whole life as a family friend (I want to do premed) who spoke very highly of me in the letter and was specific about my accomplishments. Would any of these work and if so which two would be best as my optional additional letters of rec?

    Hi @sophieee123 ! I know the application deadline has passed now, but for future reference:
    All of those sound like excellent letters. I would personally choose ones that showed the admissions committee something that they haven’t already read a ton about on my application. So if you wrote an essay about why you’re premed, I might not choose that lor because they’ve already heard about you as premed if that makes sense. Some other people would argue that your lors should support the things you talk about the most on your application. It’s really up to you because they’re all good options. Good luck with your decisions!!!
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