What better way to finish the week than make a pumpkin spice latte cake? Rachel found an ambitious recipe with a generous amount of pumpkin and an even more generous amount of butter, and it was decided. We would make the cake.
Each fall the Bryn Mawr Asian Student Association (ASA) hosts a fully student-organized and student-led show to showcase talent in the community. As I understand, it’s a lengthy process for which planning begins at the close of the previous year’s concert. Therefore, the two-hour show in Goodhart Hall is the meticulously organized pride of ASA, from the dancers to the guest performers to the lights and, not least of all, the food. The show is always a success. This year was no exception, which the size of the audience, as well as the decibel level of their appreciation, could attest to. This show also marks the first time Bryn Mawr and Haverford’s Asian Students Associations combined forces to create the splendid, amply attended ASA x HASA Culture Show 2018: Celebration. ASA president Jessie Chen was the ringleader of this year’s show and, along with the ASA e-board, carried the night with a professional balance of grace, enthusiasm, and wit.
This year I moved off campus to a nearby apartment with Sabrina, a kind friend, ambitious chemist, and fellow Korean-drama watcher. In our apartment we are close enough to campus to glimpse the clock tower of Taylor Hall through the trees. While being off campus may have some disadvantages, we do enjoy cooking in our apartment, and there is nothing homier than the inviting array of aromas rising from the pots on the stove!
It is hard to believe that about a week ago I finished my exams and left campus, yet in less than a week I will be on a plane to Toulouse, France for my junior semester abroad.
Last week I shared some tips about preparing for exams. Now, a week away from exams, we are nearing the end of the semester. If you are like me, you are surrounded by mountains of papers (some of them not yet organized…) and are alternating between subjects; essay outlines, vocabulary lists, oral exams, study group meetings, teacher meetings, and more essays. It is an intellectual marathon. How to devote enough time to each subject when there are multiple papers and exams in a space of one week? Pace yourself and remember to write that Done is Good List. Next to each task tape a Hershey’s kiss, and treat yourself when you complete it!
Thankfully, Bryn Mawr provides ways to combat stress, from massages and make-your-own zen gardens to Pets in Canaday and cookie decorating. Take an extra 30 minutes to pet a bunny or decorate a cookie.
I attended an event called “Cookie-decorating Stress Buster with Optional Political Activism.” A friendly group of Mawrters filtered in and by 8:30 there was a lively conversation about the snow*, cookie patterns, NextGen America, and exams. As Sasha, the host, explained, the cookie decorating was to raise awareness for their branch of NextGen America which would become a club at Bryn Mawr next semester.
As a club, they intend to raise political awareness, rally for affordable health care, help students sign up to vote, and participate in protests in Philadelphia. Come this week, Saturday from 7-9 p.m. in Rhoads QSR (the basement common space) and join not only in the cookie decorating, but also political postcard making. (Suggested scripts will be provided to write postcards to representatives and senators.)
Need a Study Break and interested in other on-campus Stress Busters? Here is a list which will be periodically updated as exams week comes closer!
* It snowed for the first time this year and Bryn Mawr was coated in white! The change from fall to winter always looks especially striking in the cloisters of College Hall.
At Bryn Mawr we have a system of “Self Scheduled Exams.” During exam week, students can choose when to take their exam. There are usually three time blocks per day and several designated rooms open. When we are ready, we then pick up the exam we wish to take from the Registrar’s Office and bring it back after three hours. *
I have always admired this policy because (a.) Bryn Mawr trusts its students to abide by the honor code and we do not betray that trust. (b.) We can take the exam whenever we wish. If you want to leave early for break, take the exam on the first day. If you are a procrastinator, you can leave it until the last day! (c.) It is up to you the student to structure the exam week that will work best for you.
During exam week some tips would be :
Take Study Breaks. Whether that means a walk in the woods, or a cup of tea or an espresso and a venting session with a friend. Save time for yourself.
Remember to sleep. My sleeping patterns always falter in the weeks leading up to exams. Can’t get to bed early? Take a 20 minute nap in the middle of the day. You will feel refreshed.
Make study groups with your classmates. It helps to compare notes with friends, especially if a concept was particularly challenging.
Make an offering to Athena. It may give you that extra boost of divine wisdom needed to conquer your exams. Athena watches over College Hall and she is always surrounded by various offerings ranging from garlands to handwritten notes. Naturally exam season is when the offerings multiply at her feet.
Here are some other tips from BMC students!
Lizzie Siegle: I drink tea and coffee, try to form study groups, make a fun study playlist (instrumental Disney music! Also Christmas music!), and take study breaks by dancing to upbeat Disney songs. I also go over my notes, meet with professors and TAs, and make lists highlighting what I want to accomplish and when.
Tiffany Wang: I prepare for finals by usually setting up a study plan a week beforehand and then trying my best to actually follow the plan. I also stock up on snacks and prepare to never leave my room!
Paola Salas: I like to make a really pretty and motivating Done-Is-Good list early on! It helps me have the right mindset and the artsy-ness of it makes it entertaining. It’s all about balance!
*Most but not all exams are self-scheduled. Generally beginning language exams have a set date. Furthermore, in some classes you may have a paper or final presentation in place of an exam.
Q: What are your tips for exam week?
The carved owls sitting on top of the bannisters were what caught my eye the first time I toured of Bryn Mawr…The owls, the grand piano in the common room, and the *stained glass doors of each dorm room. Now, in my third year at Bryn Mawr, I have a cozy room in that same dorm, Rockefeller.
For new students, what follows are a few packing suggestions. These objects always come with me to my dorm room at the Mawr!
Lantern Night 2017
I love Lantern Night because it combines two of the most important aspects of Bryn Mawr; our tightly knit community and our thirst for knowledge. During the ceremony, each first-year is given their own lantern symbolizing the light of knowledge being passed down.
The lantern is in the student’s class color; dark blue, green, light blue, or red. (My lantern is a lively green and sparkles when the candle inside is lit.) Our lanterns always come with us to college as they are one of our most precious symbols of our attachment to the Mawr. Currently, my lantern is nestled between the books on the mantel above my fireplace.
Sunday at 9 o’clock, runners from the sophomore class placed the glowing ruby lanterns with wrought-iron little owls as the design at the feet of each first-year. Soon after, with the stunning backdrop of the cloisters of College Hall, and the song of the Sophias in Greek “Friends of wisdom, let us gather…” led by the Night Owls, the first years held up their sparkling red lanterns. The cloisters were illuminated.
Lantern Night is a solemn tradition. It is beautiful because of the night sky, the black robes, the Greek songs, and of course, the light of our lanterns. At the closing, the first years picked up their lanterns and silently processed out of the cloisters. Just on the other side of College Hall, we could hear their excited screams and cheers.
I remember holding my lantern my first year, surrounded by the upperclassmen, friends, classmates, alums, warmed by the heat of the lantern and the knowledge I was a part of something so sacred and special in Bryn Mawr’s history. I know that my lantern, and what I have learned at Bryn Mawr, will travel with me for the rest of my life.
Happy Lantern Night Class of 2021!
Outside College Hall the freezing night air was alight with warm red owls and filled with the contagious excitement and joy of the first-years swinging their lanterns.
Quotes from Lantern Night:
“Seeing all the different-colored lanterns made me think of how all these girls have been through Lantern Night too. We’ve all been in the same place, and we’re all welcomed at Bryn Mawr.”
“I love my lantern!”
“My lantern went out…but I got a new one!”
“It was just so pretty to be in the cloisters with everyone there, that was so nice.”
“The singing part!”
“Getting a free lantern!”
“Coming together, feeling you are part of a bigger sisterhood.”
Choosing a major is one of the most important steps of college but also a daunting process. Here are some tips that professors, deans, and friends have told me that have helped me through the process.
Last week was Bryn Mawr’s Fall Break. I returned to Western Massachusetts to spend time with my family and friends. One of the reasons I chose Bryn Mawr was its location, a bustling suburb town outside of Philadelphia. However, the mountains of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont remain a special place for me.
The walks in the woods reminded me of how enticing the trails around Bryn Mawr are. With a steady stream of homework, one of the ways I deal with stress is to take frequent walks. Refreshed after a walk, I can better tackle my homework.
Here are some of my favorites walks around campus:
Rosemont Park – If you only have five minutes, make time for the short stroll to this sunlit park in the late afternoon; ideal for reading or studying. From the far side of campus facing Brecon, turn left and walk along North Roberts Road until it meets Wyndon Ave., which will lead you to the park.
The Haverford Nature Trail – Step off the blue bus and onto the Nature Trail. Especially majestic during the Fall when colorful leaves carpet the trail. However, the springtime brings goslings to the pond!
Montgomery Ave to Haverford or to Ardmore – Make at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes for this walk. Montgomery Ave is more scenic than Lancaster Ave and will bring you to Suburban Square (and Trader Joe’s!) Need a walk and caffeine? Cross under the train tracks at the intersection between Haverford Station Road and Montgomery Ave. and arrive at Green Engine Coffee Co. where you can bring your books and settle in with the perfect latte.
Have a class at Haverford? Take a short cut. Walk along Lancaster Ave. past the Bryn Mawr Bakeshop until you find Old Buck Road on your right. This leads into Panmure Road which intersects with Buck Lane. Turn right and walk for a few yards on Buck Lane until you spot a little path across the street. The path is nestled between Walnut Ln and Panmure Road. There is no sign so it’s easy to miss. This path will take you to the entrance of Haverford College.