From Recruit to Student Athlete – Caroline ’24

FROM Caroline robertson


I am one of those people, who some may find odd, that loves to run. I ran my first 5K as a third grader which was the start of many miles, races, and years as a cross country and track runner. When it was time for me to start thinking about college, I knew I wanted to run at a small liberal arts school, preferably out of state. I decided to go the recruiting route instead of walking onto a team because before I committed to college, I wanted to make sure I was joining the right cross country and track team for me.

The summer before my senior year, I started to reach out to college coaches. My running times from high school were not embarrassing, but not necessarily times that would get me noticed so I remember feeling a little awkward sending emails to get recruitment information. I received mixed responses from coaches. Despite some rejection, the Bryn Mawr coach responded energetically and immediately set up a call with me. I visited Bryn Mawr for the first time in August of 2019. My aunt, who is a Bryn Mawr alumna, and my uncle accompanied me on my rainy summer tour.

I returned to campus the next month for an overnight visit with the cross country team. I remember stressing about what to wear because I wanted to look like I fit in with the current students. I felt relieved when the first student I met complimented me on my Vampire Weekend shirt and that one little comment made me feel more excited than nervous for my visit. On the second day of my visit, I remember huffing and puffing up the steps from the gym and happily thinking “I can see myself doing this for the next four years.”

Although I loved the unlimited food in the dining halls, my favorite part of my visit was spending time with other people who loved running but also had interests outside of the team. Like many Bryn Mawr students, I was an incredibly involved high schooler. I mostly did sports but also enjoyed being a part of SGA, school musicals, and other clubs. I was afraid of having to narrow down my interests and choose one to focus on in college. However, talking to Bryn Mawr students reassured me that at Bryn Mawr it is possible, and normal, to do a little bit of everything you want.

After my visit, I told my mom that Bryn Mawr was my top choice. Even though it was financially riskier, my parents and I decided that I should apply Early Decision to Bryn Mawr which meant on December 18, 2019, I officially became a member of the Bryn Mawr Class of 2024. With no collegiate competition as a first-year due to COVID-19 and then being injured as a sophomore, I realized how being a part of cross country and track is so much more than running. I learned about strength training, the power of recovery, and, most importantly, that real teammates are there for you all the time, even if you are not scoring points for the Owls.

Advice to students thinking about being a student-athlete at Bryn Mawr: reach out! Coaches want to talk to you. If that feels intimidating, all teams have Instagram accounts that are student-run and offer a more causal platform to learn about a team.


Why I Chose Bryn Mawr – Helen ’24

FROM Helen christ

When it comes to making a final decision on where you’re going to attend college, the process can become overwhelming very quickly. At a certain point, many of the schools that you’re looking at might seem similar and it can be a struggle to see what distinguishes one from another. All the schools I got accepted to were small, liberal arts schools that each had great and unique programs. To make my final decision, I ended up talking to current students about their experiences, and their honesty and enthusiasm about Bryn Mawr made me excited to become a student here. Since starting here, that excitement has only been confirmed as I continually find new ways to meet people and become a part of new circles through every aspect of my life at Bryn Mawr. Here’s how I chose Bryn Mawr and what makes it special.

As you may know already, Bryn Mawr is a part of three consortia: the Bi-College (BMC and Haverford), the Tri-College (BMC, Haverford, and Swarthmore), and the Quaker (BMC, Haverford, Swarthmore, and UPENN) Consortia. With varying degrees of ease based on our geographic distance from each school, you can take classes, participate in extra-curriculars, and expand your social circle at any of these places. Free transportation between all the schools means that interaction is not only possible, but actually encouraged. Bryn Mawr absolutely has everything that you need from a college, but these relationships with nearby schools allow you to make your community as large or as small as you want it to be.

Bryn Mawr is also about 30 minutes from center city Philadelphia and having access to such a great city nearby was really appealing to me. Being close to Philly not only allows for social outings on the weekend, but also means that a number of classes end up participating in Philly’s community, either through day trips or semester-long programming. Our location also allows for volunteering and service in local communities, and transportation costs are often covered by the college.

I usually end up going into Philly about once a month and there are endless possibilities for what to do. So far, I have explored areas like Center City and Spruce Harbor, and have been to events like the touring production of Anastasia the Musical and a class field trip to the Rodin Museum. If I had to recommend one thing for your visit to Philly, I would suggest a self-guided walking tour through the Old City where you can see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. If you have time, definitely head to Chinatown and try some hand drawn noodles. My current plans for my next trip into the city are to start at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (easily accessible by train) and end up at a café with a good book and a cup of coffee.

So far, I’ve talked about two of the unique aspects of Bryn Mawr that stood out to me in my college search. To be totally honest, however, neither of these ended up being the one reason for me to choose Bryn Mawr. The determining factor in my decision was–and I apologize because you’ll be probably hear this from basically every school that you apply to, but I swear it’s the truth!­– Bryn Mawr’s community.

If you are looking for more ways to interact with and understand Bryn Mawr’s community, I strongly recommend interacting with a current student. The best way to do this is by visiting Bryn Mawr’s campus, but if that isn’t feasible or you have specific questions you want answered right away, chat with one of our tour guides here. This platform allows you browse current tour guide profiles and reach out to someone with similar interests. I hope this has helped you understand a little bit more about what makes Bryn Mawr stand out among its peers, and that it will make the next step in your college search process a little easier!

The “Goodbye and Hello” – Bruce Fort P’23

Nothing could have fully prepared me for the overwhelming feelings I experienced when dropping our daughter off at Bryn Mawr for the first time: excitement about all that lay ahead for her, and heartache about the departure of our child. Everything came together in a private emotional supernova: the birthdays, the long string of proud first moments, the many successes and frustrations over the last eighteen years, and the immeasurable love of parenthood.


After spending an hour or two helping my daughter settle into her room, it was time to say goodbye. She took a moment to pose for a quick snap of her walking through the front door of Rhoads Hall, her new home. When I settled in at the airport, I sent the photo to the rest of the family: “At this moment Evie said both goodbye and hello.” My caption was a little mawkish, but there was no denying that it was a huge moment for all of us: the beginning of college had arrived.


Our daughter’s arrival at Bryn Mawr marked the end of her long, thoughtful search for her dream college. When Evie started talking about the qualities she was looking for in a college, Bryn Mawr had been among a handful of obvious choices. We had long admired colleagues and classmates who attended Bryn Mawr, and Bryn Mawr seemed to fit our daughter’s vision of the ideal college. Non-negotiable for Evie was her decision to attend a small liberal arts college, which would offer small classes, professors who loved teaching undergraduates, and a chance to know many of the people she would study, work, and live with. She wanted to be in or near a big city with good public transportation, and on a campus where she could pursue her interests in politics, society, and women’s health. Her mom and I wanted her to find a school whose values would resonate with her and challenge her, and we envisioned an academically rigorous college with a national and international student body. All three of us wanted Evie to find a school where she would be surrounded by people who would challenge and support her as she grew from late adolescence into young adulthood.


Bryn Mawr ticked off all of these boxes in quick succession—but in the end, I believe a certain amount of alchemy brought Evie and Bryn Mawr together. When she first visited Bryn Mawr in high school, her student tour guide was brimming with good cheer and confidence, and she dazzled us with her deep knowledge of Bryn Mawr and its many programs. She emphasized the tradition of self-governance, and as we toured the dorms and the campus, I developed a sense that student leadership at Bryn Mawr was more than a wish outlined in a glossy brochure in the admissions office: the dorms are self-governed and the students make important decisions that help shape the community they live in. Everything about the school simply seemed to fit.


The fateful first drop-off at Bryn Mawr marked more of a beginning than an end for our whole family, and not just for our daughter. It has been such a pleasure to hear her excitement over everything that has unfolded since the day of that Rhoads dorm photo: new friends from Seattle! From D.C.! From London, Louisville, Cincinnati, New York, and Baton Rouge! During Evie’s first two years, we heard about her introductory courses and the advisors who helped her with course selections and mapping out her options, and about her decision to major in sociology. As junior year rolled around, we heard more about the piles of reading and writing expected of her each week, and about her plans for her senior thesis. We have heard about the early morning practices with her cross-country and track teams, the fun privilege of driving one of the cross-country and track vans, and the occasional classes and the less occasional weekend parties at Haverford.


As a junior, Evie decided to apply to study in one of Bryn Mawr’s 360° course cluster programs, “Europe from the Margins,” which has allowed her and other students to focus on European culture and politics this semester, with a trip to Berlin over spring break as a centerpiece of the experience. She learned about the program, decided which of the 360° offerings aligned with her interests, and then she applied and was admitted. She recently geared up for the long-awaited trip to Berlin with a dozen or so classmates and their three professors. The students arrived in Berlin at the same moment the city was welcoming its first Ukrainian refugees. One of the professors leading the trip arranged for the students to visit the home of a Berlin artist, and the German Minister of Finance happened by for a visit and spent time in informal conversation with the group. The trip offered the combination of discovery and circumstance that makes travel such an important part of learning to live in the world—and unexpectedly, all of the costs of the 360° program were included in our normal tuition and fees, and the college even provided each student a stipend for their meals and other out-of-pocket expenses.


Bryn Mawr has become home to our daughter, and her closest Bryn Mawr friends have become her chosen family. I predict with high hopes that forty years from now, Evie will treasure her closest college relationships as much as her mother and I have treasured ours: with her Bryn Mawr friends nearby or on speed dial, we know that she will be prepared to step into adulthood, and to share the many challenges and successes of the work, family, and life that await.

Spring Thoughts from the Director of Undergraduate Admissions


Happy Spring! At this point in the recruitment process, you and your families are most likely celebrating good news, navigating financial aid packages, working through disappointments, or just starting the college search journey. Some thoughts to consider during this time of the academic year:


Take your timeIf your student has multiple admission offers, I encourage your family to take time in deciding. You have until May 1 to accept your offer, so there’s no need to rush. Don’t be afraid to sit with your choices for a bit and weigh your options. If you’re new to the college search, take advantage of virtual visits and simply explore your options.

Honor disappointments, but don’t stay stuckIt’s ok to join in your student’s disappointment with deny and waitlisted decisions. The unfortunate truth is that many colleges have a great deal more admissible students than spots for enrollment. Try to encourage your student not to get lost in the disappointment and remember that a negative admission decision does not define competency, accomplishments, or future success.

Consider return on investment. Yes, college is an investment – in finances, resources, time, and energy. Whether applying or deciding, do your research on the various resources a college provides. Don’t rely solely on the ticket price (full tuition and fees) because that does not paint a full picture. Some colleges, like Bryn Mawr, meet full financial need or offer merit-based scholarships. You’ll also want to pay attention to how the college invests in students. For example, how much funding is utilized for internships and research?

Be open and stay present. Let go of the idea that there is a “best fit” school for your student. Remove the pressures and welcome the growth process. Your student is learning more about themselves, identifying their passions, and preparing for a major life transition. Encourage open dialogue, expanding school lists, and shifting the “best fit” mindset to “places for thriving.”

Say goodbye to the comparison game. Comparing your family’s search and your child’s admission decisions to those around you leads to increased stress, anxious students, and poor decision making. There are no “shoulds” when it comes to the college search and enrollment process, so remove the noise and focus solely on the needs of your student and family.

With these thoughts in mind, and as we welcome spring, I hope you will join me in rejoicing in this time of balance, wholeness, and renewed energy. I wish your family peace as you make decisions, overcome challenges, and begin your journeys.

Spring Visit Tips for Seniors

FROM LIBBY LAKEMAN, Senior assistant director of undergraduate admissions


March is a big month in the world of college admissions both for universities and applicants. On the student side, excitement flourishes as decisions begin to roll in. On the college side, we are equally excited to focus our efforts on sharing all the reasons why our community is special. Even now you may be thinking about the big decisions looming on the horizon for you, or someone close to you.

Whether decisions have begun to roll in or not, you may be starting to think about the process of narrowing down your choices to make that final decision when the time comes. For many, visiting campus is a big part of the process and at Bryn Mawr, we are eager to share our tips for connecting with us in the coming months. Whether you’d like to visit us in person or connect virtually, we’ve got you covered. We recognize you have a big decision in front of you, so here are some of my best practices for engaging with colleges this spring.

It’s never too early to think ahead, here are our tips to maximize your visit:

Take a look at the big picture:

Before you even register for your visit, take some time to reflect on what you hope to get from each college visit. What will help you decide which community is best for you? Are you curious about what the dynamic is like between students and professors? Do you want to know what kinds of conversations are happening in the classroom? Is it essential for you to hear what students do for fun? Write down some of these burning questions, and then make sure you can gain some of these insights during your actual visit, in-person or virtually. Ask to visit a class or talk with a student over Zoom if that would be helpful! We are happy to connect you to the resources on campus that will help you make the most informed decision.

Planning is key:

There will be the option to visit colleges in person this spring, but check to see their visit guidelines before booking any travel. Many colleges, Bryn Mawr included, will likely still limit the number of visitors they allow on campus. Make sure the day you plan to visit is still has availability before coming to campus! Also, the earlier you let us know you will be on campus, the more time we have to organize a great day for you. Class visits, conversations with current students, and other meetings with departments by appointment will be available. It will really help us if you register sooner rather than later for your visit.

If you cannot physically make it to a college to visit, do not worry! Virtual sessions will be offered to connect with us and learn about our community. Check the admitted student visit page on your portal to confirm dates and times for these virtual opportunities. Add these dates to your calendar or planner as a reminder.

Keep notes:

Write down reminders to yourself about what things you liked or disliked about your campus visit. When it comes to decision time, these notes to yourself might be the push you need to make your choice. Visits can be overwhelming because you are so excited to be admitted and talk to potential future community members, but you might forget things in that overwhelm! So, take those notes. If you’re on campus, feel free to take pictures! Pictures can also help jog your memory as well as help you visualize yourself on campus. If you take pictures and post them on social media, don’t forget to tag us!

When in doubt, ask! 

Don’t be shy. There are no questions too big or too small! If you left your visit and still have lingering questions, we can contact current students or the right department representative to get your questions answered. If you could not make it to a virtual event, ask if it was recorded.

Be excited!

You are about to (or have) reached such a particular time in this process. You will have excellent choices before you; now, it is just about finding the best community fit for you. There are no wrong decisions. Enjoy the connections you can make with campus community members.

At the end of the day, I encourage you to be curious and stay connected. Take some time periodically to check in with yourself as you start to make your visit plans and as the decisions come in. Be sure to integrate some time for yourself as you fill up your schedule with visits, both in-person and virtual. If something doesn’t work out, remember that re-direction is a normal part of the process.  We will be here for you along the way! Check out our Admissions Office’s visit page to stay updated. We hope to see you soon!

Playing the Waiting Game



For most colleges and universities with application deadlines, November marks the beginning of application season with applications and materials being submitted for early and regular decision. No doubt this can be a stressful time for everyone. Students are frantic with the prospect of learning their fate, and parents may be anxiously standing by to support as they navigate what may seem like a mysterious process.

Over the past few months, your student has worked to curate and assemble college lists and applications – transcripts, essays, interviews, college visits – there are a lot of moving pieces. Now that the application is submitted, what happens next?

The application is now in the hands of very capable admissions officers who are responsible for admitting a class of students who will thrive and persist at their institution. This is not a process taken lightly. Admissions officers spend hours upon hours on committee discussions and holistic reviews of applications to admit the best class possible.

As you and your student await the admissions decision, it is important that both of you manage your stress levels. This is particularly important with social media being such an integral part of our lives. Peers will begin posting decisions and this may further exacerbate the anxiety that you both may be experiencing. Managing expectations is really important at this point. Understand that whether or not your child gets into their top choice is no reflection on your parenting, nor is it a reflection on their worth. Colleges and universities receive far more qualified applicants than they can admit.

Another tip that cannot be stressed enough is to allow your student to be in the driver’s seat during this process. The parental instinct is to protect and to advocate for your child, but encourage them to communicate with their counselors and admissions officers. Helping your child take the lead will foster their ability to develop the emotional and self-regulation skills that will be needed when they go to college.  All students need to take on a more independent role in college and this is a great time to start practicing those skills. We know that this process is a family one and we encourage you to stay involved and be supportive of your child while giving them room to grow and learn.

Final words of wisdom:  Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.


Thinking about taking a gap year? Consider this…

From Micaela Beigel

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

I knew I wanted to take a gap year long before my senior year of high school. In the Jewish community where I grew up it was a common practice, and I was lucky to see this experience modeled by older peers. It did not escape me then, or now, how privileged I was to have family and friends who supported my decision to take a gap year, when doing so is less common in the United States than in other parts of the world. Continue reading

Exploring Your Paths: How the Liberal Arts Prepares You for Your Future

In our new two-part series, Exploring Your Paths, we sit down with Katie Krimmel to learn how Bryn Mawr sets their students up for career success. Katie Krimmel is the Associate Dean of the Career and Civic Engagement Center where she works closely with students, faculty, staff, and alums to create opportunities for personal and professional development. In Part 1 of Exploring Your Paths, Katie explains how Bryn Mawr’s liberal arts education provides students with versatile skill sets necessary for post-graduation career environments. Continue reading

Staying Social During the Pandemic


Students on Carpenter Beach

Everyone going into this past semester was confused and unsure of what campus life during a pandemic would look like. Would there be a safe way to socialize and be with friends? Would we still get the Bryn Mawr experience? 

definitely was not prepared for how much I would miss dorm living and the constant energy of campus. It felt strange commuting to Bryn Mawr for some of my classes, but not living and eating my meals on campus. With most of my classes online, I began to realize all the things I took for granted during pre-pandemic semesters.  Continue reading