10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting College

From Andrea Lirio

With a year of college under my belt, there are a lot of things I wish I had known — from what to pack and what classes to pick to how to make the most of my college experience — before jumping in. As the semester comes to an end, I decided to go around campus and ask my peers what they wish they had known. I hope this helps you as you plan for move-in day!

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The Do’s and Don’ts of College Visits

Campus visit advice from Bryn Mawr’s Coordinator of Visits and Events, Libby Lakeman. 

If you are planning on visiting a few college campuses this summer, or even if you have some visits laid out for the fall, I am here to help make sure you capitalize on each experience. The campus visit can be overwhelming: you are being given a lot of information in a very short amount of time by staff and current students who seem all too happy for you to be at their school. So, below are a few insider tips to help you navigate your visit. Hopefully, they will help you come out on the other side feeling energized and optimistic about the rest of the college admissions process.

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Your Summer To-Do List

A few tips for enjoying summer while being productive. 

Summer is finally here, which means something different to everyone. Maybe it means total relaxation. Maybe it means babysitting your younger siblings all week. Most likely it’s some combination of responsibility and fun. Whether you are headed into sophomore year or senior year, there are some things all high school students can do over the summer to prepare them for the coming year.

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Things to Consider When Considering a Gap Year

Andrea Lirio

Why I chose to take a gap year and what you should consider if you’re considering taking one, too.

During my senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to take a gap yearOriginally, I heard about the idea of taking a gap year through my peers, social media, and articles on things to think about before going to college. I knew taking a gap year was right for me because I was looking to take some time off, wanted to take some time to focus on my professional and personal development, and believed I needed time to grow and explore my interests before starting an important chapter in my life. There were so many things I was interested in learning and exploring outside of the classroom, which is why I decided to take a gap year.  Continue reading

May Day 2019

May Day, the fourth and final of Bryn Mawr’s major traditions, is an all-day celebration that includes a strawberries and cream breakfast, Maypole dancing, dancing, plays, parades, and so much more. Taking place on the Sunday after the last week of classes, the Bryn Mawr community comes together to celebrate another successful year before heading into finals week.

Senior Celine Chen and first-year Andrea Lirio shared their May Day experiences with us. Continue reading

Choosing Classes

From Andrea Lirio


As the fall semester slowly comes to an end, students at Bryn Mawr start planning for spring classes, which run from late January to late April. While the process is stressful, there are many opportunities to meet with deans, THRIVE mentors, peer mentors, and professors to discuss potential courses and majors that you’re interested in pursuing.

What really makes the course registration process so difficult is the number of courses we have to choose from! There are so many course options at Bryn Mawr, especially with the consortium! As a student at Bryn Mawr, I can enroll in classes at Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. Bryn Mawr makes it easy to enroll and simple to get to each school with the Blue Bus to Haverford College and Swarthmore College and a convenient location near the SEPTA train line to the University of Pennsylvania. Check out our Instagram stories to see how easy it is!

Being at a liberal arts college, you have the ability to study so many subjects – arts, biological and physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, language, mathematics, literature, etc. Bryn Mawr also encourages students to take at least one Quantitative Methods, Critical Interpretation, Cross Cultural, Inquiry into the Past, Scientific Investigation, and foreign language course. These make up most of our requirements which can be found here.

While I didn’t appreciate it at first, having to fulfill the graduation requirements forces me to take classes out of my comfort zone, which I’m actually grateful for. Without the graduation requirements, I couldn’t see myself taking a math, science, or language course. I’m glad Bryn Mawr encourages us to take courses in different fields; I believe all of my course work will add to a more well-rounded background and education that I can apply to my future career.

Overall, everyone is extremely supportive and helpful throughout the course registration process. If you have any questions, both students and faculty are open and willing to help. Bryn Mawr provides a great support system to explore majors, a diverse mix of courses, and forces students to go out of their comfort zone and take courses within different fields.

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Women Empowering Women

From Andrea Lirio


Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the NJ Conference for Women through LILAC, Bryn Mawr’s Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center that helps students forge connection between their work in college and beyond. I signed up with the interest to learn more about women in business, and I left with more than I had expected.

No conference is complete without swag!

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Napkin Notes: Having a Say in the Smallest Way

From Andrea Lirio


At Bryn Mawr, students are encouraged to communicate with Dining Services through napkin notes — suggestions to improve the dining experience.  Each dining hall has a Napkin Note board that Dining Services staff respond to daily. If I’m being entirely honest, when I joined campus I thought napkin notes didn’t work; I thought it was something the school put in place to make it look like students had a say when in reality they wouldn’t take it into account. Very early on into the year, however, I learned that we do have a say!

The Napkin Note board at Erdman Dining Hall decorated for Halloween/fall!

One night, I sat with my friends in New Dorm Dining Hall after dinner. While eating our soft serve ice cream, I said, “Why don’t we have Oreos? They’d be a great topping on this.” We all agreed that Oreos would be a great addition. Then it dawned on me, “Why don’t we put in a napkin note?” We stared at each other for a bit, uncertain if writing our request would even work.

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