Carrel Musings

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.

Carrel Still Life

Carrel Still 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 –


Radnor Film Institute

While senior year is often marked by the love/hate relationship with one’s thesis, I’ve been making every effort to find outlets for non-academic fun. This fall I’ve created the Radnor Film Institute, a bi-weekly screening in my dorm’s common room. Our inaugural event featured Wet Hot American Summer and last week we had an Amy Heckerling double feature with Loser and Clueless. During my first year there was a senior film studies major in the dorm who was writing her thesis on 90s teen films. She would often have impromptu screenings of classics like Drive Me Crazy and 10 Things I Hate About You. It was an informal tradition I really cherished and am so excited to bring back this year.

It’s a fun time to decompress after classes and reconnect with my fellow residents. Many of us have made a point to live together for all four years. We’re all very different in our backgrounds and interests, but I love having this community of sisters that have been with me since my first week at Bryn Mawr.

Our mission statement echos this sentiment –
The Radnor Film Institute is non-profit organization devoted to fostering community and collective organizing. Films will be screened on a bi-weekly basis on the Radnor premises and are open to all residents. The series is curated by preeminent scholars in their field.

screening setup

screening setup

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My last first week of school

This year marks a lot of last firsts: last first class, last first fall registration, last first day of work, and so on. While I must admit I’ve sort of dreaded senior year – my last year at Bryn Mawr – things have been going so well I’ve hardly had time to dwell on my impending departure.

The first week of classes is just as fun for first years as it is for seniors. I attended Convocation and wore a bat robe (the vintage graduation robes dating back to the ’30s) for the first time since my Lantern Night. Not to mention Friday marks our first tradition of the year – Parade Night! Oh, and a little thing called sitting on the senior steps. Singing Bread & Roses, which is reserved only for seniors, was the most surreal event thus far. I remember the event so vividly from my first step sing — I can recall the exact moment when the senior songsmistress, another resident of my dorm and legend in her own right, called everyone to attention as the seniors began the iconic song. It was in that moment, sitting on the ground, staring up at them and the canopy of still-green leaves above, that I felt so overwhelmed with awe. It was one of many affirming moments that Bryn Mawr was the place for me.

sister class

My beloved little sister class

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The Great Outdoors

One of the things that drew me to Bryn Mawr was the climate. The minute the temperature reaches 55 degrees, students flock to the greens. Because my dorm is slightly u-shaped it creates a private niche of green known as “Radnor Beach.” I love coming home from class or the library and grabbing a spot on a blanket next to several other friends and hallmates enjoying the sun. There’s always music being played, articles for class being read, nails being painted, and general lazing to be had. Because I’ve consciously made the decision to live in Radnor for my four years, the Beach has become a significant part of my experience. No early fall or spring is complete without it.


Radnor as seen from prime lazing spot on the Beach

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You’re In– Now What?

Bryn Mawr’s class of 2017 has been chosen. After countless tours and an abyss of application sorting, I’m excited to welcome newly accepted students to campus as a Tour Guide and Admissions Representative. Although this won’t be the class to replace mine (dark blue!), I was originally accepted with the current seniors, the red class. As I’ve mentioned previously in this blog, it’s all strangely bittersweet.

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Hell Is Where the Heart Is

Hell Week is my favorite tradition but my least favorite to explain. As a tour guide, it can be a tricky line to walk. It’s difficult to convey to non-Bryn Mawr folk that this crazy, insane, boisterous week of nonsense isn’t as frightening as the name might suggest — it’s both fun (!) and meaningful. Most students cite their first Hell Week as one of the greatest moments of their undergraduate career. It certainly has its charms, debauchery aside.

Radnor's welcoming banner

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