What’s WTF Week?!

From Celine Chen

I didn’t know what I was missing about being a Mawrter until I got to connect with my family and take part in WTF Week.

WTF stands for “Welcome the First-Years” and it’s a tradition beloved by many Mawrters. It takes place in mid-February, once first-years have had a semester to settle in and meet new people, but are still in a bit of an in between phase. This tradition is about supporting new students, giving them fun activities to let loose and develop family-like relationships with upperclassmen. The whole week is voluntary, but if students want to participate, they ask an upperclassman (typically a sophomore) to be their Rose. First-years are all Buds. Roses give their Bud a schedule for the week, including campus-wide activities like performances in the Great Hall that Buds put on with friends, Athena Awards given by Customs people, and bed times stories (when seniors read children’s books to the underclassmen).  

receiving my WTF Week schedule as a first-year.

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Lantern Night 2018

Each fall, the Bryn Mawr community gathers in the Cloisters to welcome the first-years into our academic community during one of our most hallowed traditions, Lantern Night. Lit only by the light of student lanterns and surrounded by the crisp autumn air, this tradition has an ethereal quality that is hard to explain. Students don black robes and sing Greek hymns, swaying their lanterns back and forth. First-year students are entrusted with their own lanterns, symbols of wisdom and knowledge, from sophomores. The ceremony revolves around the idea of passing knowledge from generation to generation.

Even though there is a special emphasis on first-year students, everyone benefits from Lantern Night. We asked Andrea ’22 and Celine ’19 to share their thoughts about the tradition.

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