The (Mawr)velous Adventures of Esteniolla

"…we got so caught up in school being a tradition that we stopped using it as a learning tool…" –Tupac

Thoughts on Loving Bryn Mawr

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Person asking at least one of these questions:

“Do you like Bryn Mawr?  You must love Bryn Mawr, right? Are you excited to go back?”

Me:

O.O Awkward silence. “Yeah…”

As a 19 year old, first generation college student, I am incredibly fortunate to have a circle of friends, family and mentors who are truly invested in my education and, ultimately, my success. Therefore it was not a surprise that, during the summer, questions about my first year at Bryn Mawr were a hot topic for conversation among my loved ones. Not wanting to seem ungrateful, I would communicate about my shockingly successful first year–one word: GHANA–but with regards to liking Bryn Mawr, even loving Bryn Mawr, I always remained silent.

A recent graduate and dear friend of mine once told me that it took four years for her to love Bryn Mawr and it seems that my relationship with Bryn Mawr is on that same path. I appreciate BMC for its scenic and luscious campus, admire its proud and loving women, and  respect the friendships professors have built with me. However, to say that I love Bryn Mawr as a current sophomore would be lying.

There is not a day that goes by at Bryn Mawr where I am not conscience and, in some instances, self-conscience, about my most prominent identity on campus as a a black female from a working class family. In very subtle and obvious ways–did I mention that I live next to a mansion?–Bryn Mawr and all its glory is a constant reminder of who I am, where I come from, and the very harsh reality of the world we live in. Thus, it is hard to love a place where only in small pockets my image and background are reflected.

Ironically, I do not love Bryn Mawr but it does have a special place in my heart. A special place that holds every sentiment of frustration, struggle, joy, annoyance and laughter I have had at Bryn Mawr thus far. Whether it is two years from now or ten, know that I am waiting for the moment when every Mawrter experience is reflected on with love and not….awkward silence.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I like this post a lot! Because you manage to convey the truth without saying negative things about the school… if that makes sense?

    Like, you are giving an accurate account and for future students who might read this — it adds another dimension to the Bryn Mawr experience and makes it more real for the reader.

    Please keep this up! and it would be interesting to see how your experience with your current 360 compares and contrasts with your past 360— that would be something I would like to read!

    • Thank you Aine! You are not the first to mention my experiences in my first 360. Posting about that experience is definitely a priority and you will be the first to know when I write it. Even to this day, it is still hard to process it.

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