The Last College Birthday

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celebrating 22!

Over this past weekend, I reached yet another marker in life - my 22nd birthday! I didn't realize it at first, but this birthday also would be the last one i'd have while here at Bryn Mawr. It brought about all sorts of emotions, but the weekend reminded me of just how much i've grown while here at BMC, as well as a great reminder of just how many great people i've met while here as well.

color me mine!

I got to spend my Saturday with some friends at Color Me Mine - a great arts and crafts venue in Wayne. So the simple explanation of the place is that you choose a clay structure, and get to glaze it. They'll burn it in their kiln and call you to pick up your masterpiece later. I appropriately chose a cupcake - with "feeling twenty2" written on the side. It was a great relaxing "getaway" of sorts - We all got to catch up, laugh and de-stress. We went to a great restaurant on the Mainline, Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen for dinner afterwards, which was absolutely delicious. We "family-styled" the dinner, and got a bunch of great Chinese dishes, and celebrated my birthday. It was great because I purposely tried to make sure I invited my friends who are younger, because it sort of felt like the last time we'd all be in the same place after this year. I've realized it's been a real stroke of luck having friends from difference classes - they're all on the same journey but just in different parts of it. It was a perfect way to celebrate with everyone!

friends since freshman year! (we're all of age, don't worry these wines are legal!)

friends since freshman year! (we're all of age, don't worry these wines are legal!)

Sunday was a reunion of sorts in that I got to celebrate with friends I had made waaaaaaay back during first year. We were all in the same customs group, and experienced the ups and downs of freshman year together, as a group of Radnor froshlings. We all got together and cooked up a storm (just kidding, but we did cook an impressive meal!) in honor of "friendsgiving" and my 22nd. It was so great to come together as a group after almost 4 years... It's been hard to get all of us together just because we're pursuing our own paths and are making moves in the world (whoot!). But no matter how long it's been, I feel like we'll always be able to sit down together and talk and enjoy each other's company.

what better way to celebrate a november birthday than with thanksgiving food!

I always tell people that I absolutely hate birthdays - just because I have a serious issue with getting older and what not (I just want to be a kid forever....). But I've realized that as i've gotten older here at Bryn Mawr, i've also gained more than just a few notches on the age meter. I've gained a great education, a group of friend I wouldn't trade for the world, and a countless stream of memories (to be continued!) that i'll look back at and smile about for years to come. 21, you're going to be a hard act to follow - but 22, you're off to a great start!

Until Next Time!

Pre-registering for my LAST Semester...

Last week was a huge silent milestone of my senior year of college - I pre-registered for my last semester in college. What?! The more and more I think about it, the stranger it feels. I still remember sitting in my apartment back in Seoul pre-registering for my ESEM and Fall semester schedule of Freshman year after getting accepted into Bryn Mawr. I really can't believe that I'm almost done.

I think that one of the best things about Bryn Mawr is it's size. Pre-registering can be a nightmare, but since we are a smaller school, I don't ever have to worry about not being able to contact a professor in time to get a tentative syllabus, or not being able to squeeze into a professor's office hours to ask about their class. I can't tell you how many times i've just shot an e-mail asking about a class throughout these past three years.

Dean's are also always available - I don't remember ever having to wait for more than 10-20 minutes during my Dean's walk-in hours during pre-registration week, which is  miracle based on what my friends from other schools have told me.

I guess it's bittersweet to think about the fact that this is the last time i'll be able to create a schedule for myself based on my academic interests (that sounds a lot more depressing than it should). College, i've realized, is so great in that unlike high school, where you're required to have back to back classes and limited options, you can make a schedule that is perfect to your tastes. Of course, there are gen reqs but those can be fun too and won't seriously mess up your schedule (plus you have four years to take all the classes you want!). After this semester (and thesis, woohoo!), i'll be finishing out my major and minor requirements in the Spring, but I have to say, I cannot wait for my 4 day weekend (Philadelphia and the Mainline treasures are calling my name!).The travel-obsessed foodie inside of me is jittering with anticipation!

Until Next Time!

Glamorous 12+ Charity Gala

This past weekend marked a new adventure in my life - I changed it up and decided to attend my first Charity Gala. It was held on behalf of 12+, an organization that helped inner-city students in Philadelphia. I, as well as two other Bryn Mawr students attended together, along with some friends from Villanova. The gala itself was a great experience, and the testimonies given by the students reminded me that not everyone is as lucky as me or other Bryn Mawr students when it comes to pre-college academic opportunities.

Bryn Mawr students at 12+ Gala, Yuju Park '16, Eunyoung Park '15 and moi!

Bryn Mawr students at 12+ Gala, Yuju Park '16, Eunyoung Park '15 and moi!

The majority of the night was dedicated to a series of auctions that were meant to raise money for 12+. The auction prizes ranged from gifts cards to restaurants to court side seats for the 76ers games! A couple of us bid for a gift card to Sugar Philly, and believe it or not, our number was called! We were jumping up and down, because although $25 doesn't seem like much, when it comes to Macarons, it's more than enough for three girls.

What really resonated with me throughout the night was the mission of 12+. Although they are only focused on one specific high school, they have plans to expand to two more in the very near future. I think about all of the opportunities we are given here at Bryn Mawr, as well as my experience in high school and think about all of the encouragement and support I was/am given. It's organizations like 12+ that make it possible for students who were born into a certain negative environment to reach their true potential, which I think is what made the gala so great - people were able to hear from the actual recipients of 12+ support, as well as were given the opportunity to contribute financially as well as socially in terms of writing letters of encouragement.

mainline crew!

mainline crew!

This weekend was definitely a great reminder as to how important it is to give back as well as help others in need. Sometimes, I forget how lucky I am to attend a school like Bryn Mawr where help is always given or available to people in need.

Until Next Time!

Bryn Mawr & Beyond

This past weekend was parents/family weekend! You could tell by the sudden influx of cars all over campus (parking was hard, eep!), and of course, by all of the parents following their daughters around campus. Bryn Mawr did a great job in hosting another family weekend, and I had the chance to be part of the activities by participating in "Bryn Mawr & Beyond", which was hosted by our lovely LILAC and CDO.

published! sort of... the booklet with all of our summer experiences.

published! sort of...
the booklet with all of our summer experiences.

One thing that I truly appreciate about my school is that there is an abundant amount of support for anything you want to pursue - in t his case, Summer internships. For the past two summers, I was able to receive funding from the Alumnae Regional Scholars as well as LILAC. Bryn Mawr & Beyond was an event where all of the funding recipients came together in Thomas Great Hall to share with parents and students about their experiences this past summer. The event itself started around 10 AM, and we all got very cool lilac (get it? LILAC? haha) t-shirts. There was a great snack set-up and I got to sip on hot chocolate as I conversed with several parents and students about my experience with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (I spent May to August with the Communications and Marketing Department as their intern).

It was really great to talk to people about my own experiences with my internships, as well as being about my experience with Bryn Mawr and the summer funding opportunities I was lucky enough to enjoy. As expected, there were a lot of parents there wanting to get a first-hand opinion about what their daughters should do during the Summer, and how they too could receive funding. I'm no expert, but it was great to just share my opinion based on my experiences, as well as hear about other students and their various concerns and goals (a lot of the parents I spoke with were parents of freshmen, so it was great to hear about their adjustments, major-finding-adventures, etc.)! It's cliché, but the event helped me reflect on my time this Summer a bit more and really helped me appreicate and realize how great our school is inside and outside of the classroom. It's another great thing about attending a small school - there are so many opportunities, and those opportunities are most definitely within reach of everyone!

Pho! Credits to G.K.

Pho! Credits to G.K.

On another note - there is a new Pho restaurant on the mainline and it is delicious! I am a huge fan of pho, so I was ecstatic when my friends told me that Pho Street had just opened up. We enjoyed a bowl (or two) this past weekend, which was their grand opening. If and when you have time, I highly recommend that you sit down and enjoy a bowl!

Until Next Time!

Mini-Olympics with GCC

It is officially Fall Break! If you're still unsure of what to do this week, check out my last post for some ideas based on my own past experiences. I've been able to take a breather and relax since arriving in LA - and I have to say that these past couple of weeks have seriously just flown over my head. With it being the last Fall semester (dun dun dun!) I've been focusing on 1) senior thesis 2) taking advantage of living near Philadelphia and last but not least 3) getting more involved in my extracurriculars, which includes the college ministries of Grace Covenant Church!

Finding a Church in college has been a roller coaster of an adventure in itself. I found myself solely responsible for getting up early on Sundays, as well as for making the effort to go from one church to another in hopes of finding the right fit. Harvest Christian Fellowship was a big help my freshman year, and that's how I ultimately found GCC. One thing I love about GCC is that they have special events, including one that happened two weeks ago, appropriately named "Mini Olympics".

Mainline Team w/ our amazing banners @ Mini-Os, 2014!

Mainline Team w/ our amazing banners @ Mini-Os, 2014! Ended up getting 2nd Place out of many!

Although Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Villanova and other Mainline campuses enjoy GCC ministries located locally, GCC is actually huge in that it has a University City campus as well, which caters to students in the Philadelphia area, including Penn, Drexel, Temples, etc. Every fall semester, the "Mini Olympics" take place, where all the small groups from GCC compete against each other in a series of relays, races, and general physical challenges. The Mainline small group has had a long-standing goal of winning the trophy and coveted 1st place position, but we ended up with 2nd for the 2nd year in a row, which was sad, but hey - it could've been worse (plus, we ended up having a great time).

Sunday Service @ Baldwin School

Sunday Service @ Baldwin School

For people who are still looking for a church - take a chance and explore all of the great ministries around the Mainline! Whether it's GCC or somewhere else, Bryn Mawr makes it easy with church tours via Harvest Christian Fellowship. It's a great way to connect with other students from other schools who are also looking for a good church community to plug themselves into, as well as a great way to meet really cool young-adults and mentors. For GCC, here's some quick info about weekly meet ups that happen:

Tuesdays: Bible study in Erdman Pit @ 7 PM
Wednesdays: Bible study in Rhoads Study Room @ 7 PM
Fridays: "Friday Night Live"// Joint-Friday fellowship with other Mainline schools, 7:30 PM
Sunday: Sunday Service at the Baldwin School @9:45 AM!

Until Next Time!

Last Fall Break

Happy October everyone! Fall is upon us and the semester seems to just get busier and busier. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this week is that dreaded 'midterms week' for a lot of us on campus. Personally, this has been one of the less challenging midterms period I've experienced here at Bryn Mawr, so for that I am thankful (especially as a thesis-ing Senior). But! I also know that there are a lot of people who still have a paper and exam or two, so push through! What makes 'Done is Good' even sweeter is the fact that - yes - Fall Break is next week!

As an semi-international student, I understand that going back home for all of the breaks is a difficult task - and often unrealistic. But do not fear! Bryn Mawr is in a prime location on the east coast, and there's a lot to do and much to explore. I thought I'd take some time to reminisce and give some ideas that you could consider for some fun Fall Break adventures.

The City that Never Sleeps - NYC!
For my very first Fall Break, I decided to take a trip to New York to visit family and friends. New York and Philadelphia are very close, regardless of whether you take a bus (megabus & bolt seem to be the most popular options) or train (amtrak & the NJ transit!). After a 1 and 1/2 hr - 2 hour trip, I arrived in the city, and explore Manhattan. Some really great things to do include:

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art has always been one of those places where I feel there's always something going on. Whatever the occasion, I always know that there is something interesting happening at this museum. The exhibitions are all about contemporary and modern art, which puts a creative twist on the museum experience, as well as makes it very dynamic in that the exhibitions are always changing and there are sometimes even pop ups (like the tilda swinton exhibition last year). What's even great is that there's a student discount for full-time students!  
Times Square - one of the iconic tourist destinations of NYC, Times Square is always bustling with people from all over the world. Known for the ball drop on New Year's Eve, people are always looking to visit this famous intersection to see all of the lights and dazzle of the shops that occupy the streets around it. If you're ever interested in just hanging out, drinking a coffee and hanging out with friends on the TKTS stairs, this is the place!
High Line Park - This is a really special park that's located in the meatpacking district. Built on top of an old freight rail line, this place really is a beautiful outdoor location for couples, friends and family to enjoy. It's a great place to take a jog in the morning, or simply stroll around with friends, enjoying the artsy restaurants. I went during the spring and it was absolutely beautiful - plus the view of the city was a sure plus!

Our Nation's Capital - DC!
During Sophomore year, I headed south to Washington DC to visit some friends at Georgetown (you can read a more detailed version of the trip here!). Bus and Train are again the most efficient ways to get here from Philadelphia 30th Street. DC is great in that it's a great tourist attraction and of course, there's the Smithsonian Museums all around the National Mall. Personal favorites include the American History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, as well as the Natural History Museum. There are tons of memorials that are worth visiting if anything for great photo ops, such as the Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson memorials. Visit Georgetown and get a cupcake (or two) at the original Georgetown Cupcakes, or Baked & Wired. There are tons of trendy shops all along M street, which is seated right along the Potomac River.

And Of Course, Your Backyard - Philadelphia!
If New York and DC aren't calling your name, there's always the option of getting to know your very own city - Philadelphia - on a more intimate level. Although I've never spent an entire break in Philly, there's definitely a lot going on all the time. I really like to check out the Visit Philly website, because that's how I learn about the special events that are going on around the city. Personal favorites are the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Penn's Landing as well as checking out Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. For good eats, I would personally recommend Sabrina's for a casual brunch, Audrey Claire in Rittenhouse Square for a more chic dinner vibe (you have to get their mussels!), or Lil' Pop Shop right near UPenn (Green Tea Mochi is to die for!).

I simply cannot believe that Fall Break is already here - just as I suspected, Senior year is going by at what seems like 81923081293 miles a minute! Looking back at all of my Fall Break experiences really reminds me to appreciate the fact that Bryn Mawr even has a break in October, and it's great location near all of these great cities. So whatever you end up doing during this break, take advantage of this mid-way break we have this semester!

Until Next Time!

Not Black or White

Senior year is well on it's way and i've barely had the time to sit down and think about the past couple of weeks! It may just be the fact that it's the last year, but the beginning of this year has felt a lot different than others. Not only am I taking classes in the city, as well as working, but there's also been a movement on campus that's been inspiring and eye-opening.

An open conversation about race and diversity here at Bryn Mawr has been taking the campus by storm. Due to a certain circumstance, students are becoming more vocal about what it means to be part of a minority group at Bryn Mawr, as well as what should be done about the fact that sometimes, the issue becomes forgotten. A demonstration of around 550 individuals, students, faculty, staff, etc. took place last friday here at Bryn Mawr, which reflected the campus' strong desire to become more open about this issue, as well as showed the school's unity in the matter. "We won't be silent" could be hear from all corners of the campus, and personally, I felt a strange feeling of inspiration just being amongst the crowd. Signs were all over the place, starting with hashtags #ifiwere and #becauseiam, as well as #raceatbmc. After three years at this school, it's been a great experience to see race being discussed, outside of the traditional boundaries.

As an Asian American student here at Bryn Mawr, I sometimes lose touch with the fact that I am part of a minority group. Being coined as the "model minority" sometimes makes it easier for others to forget that Asian-Americans are also included in the fight for racial equality. We hear so many issues being raised by other minority groups, but we almost never hear about any issues concerning the Asian American students on campus. The recent events that have happened got me thinking - Why is it that we don't hear from Asian-American students, about their concerns as a minority? It could be lack of interest, or the fact that students are less vocal. Whatever it is, I hope that race at BMC will not only continue to be an active discussion, but also will include all minority groups, including those that have been more silent. It's a wonderful feeling to know that I am at a school that cares about the student voice, and that great things can happen by speaking up.

Until Next Time!

Five

Believe it or not, this semester is coming to a close and we are in the midst of the last week of classes. It feels like yesterday I was unpacking my stuff in Denbigh, scrambling to register for all of my classes - and this semester was different: I decided to take not three, not four, but five classes. It's an experience I've never had prior to this, but I have to say there are pros... and cons.

Why? Why would you choose to take on an extra class? The workload here at Bryn Mawr is anything but light. Especially as a History major, I feel like all I do is read. Read, read, read. However, I felt like I wanted to challenge myself after a fairly relaxing semester abroad, and adding an extra class seemed like the best way to challenge myself to focus and get back in shape.

Time-Management. Organize, Organize, Organize! The biggest challenge about taking five classes is time management. You do not want to waste a single day, especially depending on how your schedule pans out. Luckily, my schedule allowed me a three-day weekend, but that too needed to be scheduled accordingly so that I would not fall behind with readings/assignments, etc. Five classes is possible, but it'll challenge you to become a more organized individual, and will help you keep on track with your work, because you'll need to do so in order to keep up!

Diversity. Never in my right mind would I take five humanities classes. I'm willing to bet there are some people who are capable of achieving great things while doing this, but I am just not one of those people. I think one of the main reasons why I decided to take five classes is because the extra class was Probability and Statistics - a mathematics course. There was no reading for the class, and as long as I attended and wrote good notes during lecture, I felt caught up. I think a major part of succeeding with a five class schedule is diversity. Make sure you aren't piling up classes in only one department - you'll want a break from your classes and the subject, and you'll find yourself stuck. Mixing it up makes it that much easier to handle all of the work!

Would I do it again? Yes! This semester was a trial and error sort of semester in alot of ways - including trying out a five class schedule. If you find yourself on the edge about taking five classes, and you consider yourself very organized, I would recommend that you try. And if you aren't feeling it, you can always drop in the given time range the school gives you. This semester didn't feel as hectic or crazy as I expected it to be - and I think that's because I tried really hard to keep an organized schedule and didn't take on too much in other parts of my school life. I have a lighter workload for my senior year (eek!) because I took on a heavier course load this semester, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Mawrter Profile: SGA President, Syona Arora '15I

After being here for awhile, I've realize that there's one, out of many things, that makes Bryn Mawr really special: the people. College is such an important chapter in life; it's when you're surrounded by people, women, who are striving for the same thing as you - to be enlightened, challenged and educated about our increasingly globalized society... how we can have a voice, and have it heard.

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Syona Arora, SGA President '14-'15

This belief has inspired me to take some time to get to know some of these amazing women i'm surrounded by - individuals that are younger, older or in my very own year. And so, I got the chance to ask our SGA president, Syona Arora, '15 some questions - about herself, Mawr, and whether or not she had any pieces of advice for her fellow Mawrters (current and future!)

Other than Bryn Mawr, where do you consider "home"? What's your best memory about it?
I moved around a lot during grade school - 11 houses in 18 years. Because of the constant change in location, it's hard to pin down a "home". I was born in Boston, but I live in India now. In that case, home to me is my extended family, people in places all over the world. My favorite memories always consist of gigantic family reunions at my grandmother's house in New Delhi. All of these various affairs have blended together in my mind. But seeing my cousins and aunts and uncles whom I see so rarely make for the best memories.

 2. Do you remember the moment you received your admissions packet from Bryn Mawr?
Since I live abroad, I did not actually receive the admissions packet - at least, that's not how I found out that I got in! I received an e-mail notification that the results were posted online. It was six in the morning at home and I had lost my password, so I frantically made an international call to the Help Desk. I remember screaming into the phone at whoever was on the other end that I had gotten in!

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May Day!

It took me a few weeks to decide, but the initial excitement was a huge part of my decision. It was the one school i was really interested in attending, not only because of the academics, but also because people I communicated with said that the community was beyond compare, which, given my moving around so much early on in life, was what I was really looking for. I chose Bryn Mawr because I knew that it could be a place where I could settle down and that is exactly what happened.

3. How did you get involved with SGA? For those who don't know what it is, what do you think makes it so special?
I did not know about Self-Governance until I stepped foot on campus. It was pretty simple – I attended the SGA event during Customs week, then attended SGA 101, and realized that self-governance is incredibly unique to Bryn Mawr. I say this constantly – it is so important that a women’s college was the first to institute self-governance because it shows that a generation of Mawrters were interested in collaboration. They took action and made a space for themselves on campus and where their voices could be heard and where they could make a change in the community, completely empowering them. This has translated over the decades. Students continue to use self-governance, and it is always changing to meet the needs of a changing student body.

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Hell Week '14

 4. What is at the top of SGAs agenda and campaign for 2014-2015?
It is really important to me to have SGA function as a platform for collaboration this term. Some parts of Bryn Mawr are disjointed, and as self-governance is a part of everybody's experience here, it is a productive way for different parts of campus to come together.
Students feel underrepresented in SGA for a variety of reasons, and as a student who has had SGA as a part of her experience since the beginning, I sometimes find it difficult to move forward with this matter. However, I have continued to grow over the past three years and have come to a greater understanding of the student body as a whole and personally hope to be able to effectively function as a true representative for the entire student body.

5. On a lighter note, in your opinion, if there are 3 things a Mawrter has to do before graduating, what would those be?
1. Skinny Dip!
2. Try all of the different ice cream flavors in Erdman.
3. Go to Plenary.

6. What's your favorite tradition and why? Any fun memories in particular?
I love, love, love Parade Night. It is the first tradition of the year and all the upperclassmen are so excited to welcome the first-years to Bryn Mawr. It is always the best weather for step sing, and it is so wonderful to see first-years stay 'til the end. My favorite memory, as 2015 Songs Mistress will always be leading out class through the struggle that is "You've Got A Friend In Me"

 Until Next Time!

It's Already That Time of Year - Room Draw

Yesterday, Room Draw priority numbers were posted on the Residential Life website. It's been barely 24 hours and everywhere I go, I hear conversations consisting of "What's your number?" "You're so lucky!" or that all too familiar "I'm going to live in a box next year". As a rising senior, I consider myself fortunate, even with the number 274. The positive side of me keeps reminding myself, "Hey, at least you're 274 out of the entire school!". In the last two previous years, The Room Draw Gods have been more than merciful and I was lucky enough to never be above 30... Freshman year, my roommate and I won "Project Dormroom", which helped alot (got #10!). The entire process will already be in motion next week, and I just cannot believe that it's already time to start thinking about where i'll be living during my last year at Bryn Mawr.

There are so many rooms in all of the Bryn Mawr dorms that are precious gems - one just needs to be proactive and look for them. For instance, the room that I have in Denbigh this year, I was assigned to after spending my Fall term abroad in Copenhagen. I remember getting the email a week before Spring term started, and immediately looked at the floorplan online. It looked tiny! But lo and behold, it actually ended being enormous (especially the closet!). I encourage everyone to take at least one night this weekend to go around and look at dorm rooms that you're interested in. The floorplans are a decent reference, but sometimes, you just need to see the real deal.

May the odds ever be in your favor!

Until Next Time!