As I plod away at writing my senior thesis, I’ve been having some late night carrel musings about my time here at Bryn Mawr. While it is bizarre to think these four years have slipped past me, I also can’t help but feel utterly and truly ready. While I’ll still be on campus a little next year to finish my MA in History of Art, I have fully accepted my impending departure from undergraduate life.
I know it will be strange not living in Radnor after four years of roaming her halls and avoiding stains on her couches, but I’m also excited to be living independently and never using another command hook. As a first-year, I remember thinking how perfect my life at Bryn Mawr was. Overall, that sentiment has rung true. Bryn Mawr is a special place, but every chapter must reach an end. At the time, I didn’t understand why the seniors in my dorm didn’t simply gush over every minute of every day. Well, now I get it. I’ve had those years of wonder and awe, and while I still feel bursts of that original sentiment, I also feel like it’s time for Bryn Mawr and I to move into the next phase of our relationship.
As a high school senior, a defining moment in my decision to come to Bryn Mawr was a student-led panel during accepted students weekend. Most of the students were active leaders or athletes, but the one student who grabbed my attention wasn’t any of these things. She was, in a word, a Daria: laid-back, not overly excited, but totally earnest in her comments. She talked about taking $5 busses to New York on weekends, going to concerts, and taking things as they come. I don’t remember her name, but I wish I did, because I’d want to thank her. I’d want to thank her for proving to me that it’s okay to be your own independent person and for, in her own subtle way, securing my decision to come to Bryn Mawr.
While I think the message of independent, original thinkers rings true for many students on campus, when concepts are actually challenged, people often lose sight of encouraging discourse and would rather focus on readily-accepted methods of expression. As I prepare to finish my thesis, and in turn my senior year, my one hope for this community would be for students to not give up on challenging themselves and leaders on campus. This place is only as great as you want it to be.
With that, I leave you with some wise words by Daria herself –