Author Archives: Kristie

Post-Grad Crossroads

As someone who is nearly four months out of college, I still sometimes find myself boggled by the fact that I will never be returning for undergrad. My four years at Bryn Mawr legitimately feel like they whizzed by and now I find myself wondering – what’s next?

Yes I know many of my classmates have already taken the dive into young adulthood: starting their careers, or beginning the next level of academia. But I spent the Summer preparing for a certain standardized exam I am set to take next month. I know it’ll all be worth it in the end but i can’t help but think – should I have been more prepared? Should I have planned ahead more?

Sure, I might just have to blame post-grad jitters and anxiety. Taking this time to study and go back home might have made me feel as if I was stuck in a pile of molasses, with my friends whizzing by into reality. However, I appreciate the fact that I could take this time to plan out the next few steps of my young adulthood.

As a recent college grad, I am a firm believer in the fact that no one can prepare you for what comes next after college. Ever since pre-K to senior year of college, all we really know about is academia and learning. We aren’t 100% ready to pay the bills, set up our 401Ks or deal with brokers fees. However, I see it as a new challenge – a new set of skills I have to learn now. Bryn Mawr taught me how to be successful in a social/academic setting. However, I need to learn the next few steps on my own.

Does that mean that I regret going to a school that wasn’t as centered on career-oriented goals? Not necessarily – I was able to challenge myself to learn things that I probably won’t have the opportunity to learn about in the future. Kids that go to business schools or career-oriented majors might be more prepared in the beginning, but my skill set that I developed at Bryn Mawr as a critical thinker and problem solver will probably help even out the playing field.

The future might be grey in terms of what the next step might be. But I can say that I truly appreciated my time in undergrad and it definitely is one that is unique and special. I might feel a little uncertain about things now, but my time at Mawr will help me trudge through – like an extended finals week of sorts (haha).

Until Next Time,

Declaring My Minor

Today, I finally got around to declaring my minor – yay! In addition to being a History major, I went ahead and beefed up my undergraduate degree with the addition of a minor in Political Science. It was something I was intending on doing since last year, but never got around to. Thankfully, my advising professor approved my minor plan and voila! Political Science minor added.

Adding a minor has always been something that puzzled me. Everyone knows what a major entails – it’s the main topics of study that you focus on throughout your four years in college. The concept of a minor was a little less obvious – and not as familiar to me. My journey towards declaring my minor began with my search for a major. I entered college as an undeclared major, but thought that I might explore several subjects. I ventured through history, spanish, anthropology, math (what the!) and of course, political science. My course history for the first two years of college was spread throughout all of these disciplines – and it wasn’t until my decision to study abroad that I finally decided to focus on history.

I’ve always had an interest in international relations, specifically in East Asia and the United States, so my declaration as a History major didn’t stop my curiosity and desire to enroll in classes within that context. I even ended up focusing my thesis on East Asian history, and also took classes about China and I.R. during my last two years of college. The course requirements added up, and I realized that although I wouldn’t be able to major in Political Science, I would be able to declare a minor!

The great thing about a liberal arts education is that the general subjects of the majors and minors make it easier to integrate one into the other. I am grateful for the first two years of my college academic experience because it gave me a chance to mix and match courses that I was interested in. The general subject of History made it possible for me to study the topic along with my interest in East Asia and politics. Political Science classes were readily available, even as a History major, and the seminar classes that i ended up taking were some of the most interesting.

So as I prepare to wrap up my classes (eek!) and study for my last set of finals… I’m thankful that it wasn’t too late to declare my minor. It’s been great to study another topic of interest and it’s even better that it’ll be recorded on my degree from Bryn Mawr. Yay for taking advantage of my education!

Until Next Time!

Sister Sister

Last week, my younger sister visited me all the way from Los Angeles, CA! As a high school senior, she is currently going through the exciting process of deciding where she’ll end up next year as a college freshman… and one of the places she is considering is Bryn Mawr!

My sister always used to tell me that she wouldn’t want to go to the same college as me, for several reasons. She wanted a fresh start, she didn’t want people comparing her to me in any sort of way and she just didn’t know if Bryn Mawr would be a good match for her, since we’re so different. I was excited but anxious for her to visit because of all of these reasons… but also because it’d be the first time she’d have a peek into my life as a Bryn Mawr student.

IMG_7659I picked her up from Newark (yikes) and brought her back to Bryn Mawr, where I took her around the neighborhood, went shopping at the King of Prussia Mall and went into the city and hauled her around to my Penn classes. She stayed with me in my room and she got a little taste of what life could be like for her if she were to choose to experience college here. She met my friends and got to eat in both Erdman and Haffner and she got to experience the official admissions information session as well as the campus tour on the Monday of her visit.

IMG_7665To my surprise, she loved Bryn Mawr! It just goes to show that this school is a great place for people from all different sorts of backgrounds all with a variety of personalities. What she loved the most was the look of the campus (she kept saying she couldn’t believe how pretty it was), the layout of the dorms and rooms and the surrounding area of the school (the Mainline). Although she’s not sure yet, she said that the trip made her decision that much harder, because Bryn Mawr surprised her in many ways and she thought she wasn’t going to end up liking it as much as she did. As her older sister, i’m glad she got to visit before make her decision – I was in Korea for high school and didn’t get to visit before committing. I would advise anyone who is in the same spot as my sister – take the time to visit the schools before committing! It might be a little pricey and time-consuming, but being sure about your decision will make the next four years that much sweeter.

Until Next Time!

Schwartz Musings

As someone who played three varsity sports in high school, one of the things that I love about Bryn Mawr is the gym! I try to frequent Schwartz every single day, for at least an hour or so. Although our gym isn’t as big or grand as some other public universities, etc. I always find myself satisfied with the workout that I have, and am sure going to miss the place when I graduate next month (eek!).

As a college freshman, exercising wasn’t in the forefront of my priorities. I was busy making new friends, decorating my dorm room and working out all of my new college classes. The summer before college, I took a break from exercising, and rewarded myself with a period of time where I could eat whatever I wanted and just lounge around all day. It extended into the first couple of months of freshman year and everything seemed fine – except for the fact that one day my jeans felt a bit tight! It was a wake up call – all of those late night dominos and unlimited dining hall feasts i had were catching up to my 5’1″ frame. That’s when i started to take advantage of the college’s fitness facilities and programs.

I started out simple – nervously went to the gym for the first time, got my Onecard swiped at the front desk and ventured out to use the cardio machines. High school made it easy where I was part of soccer, cheer and volleyball. All i had to do was show up to practice and the coach would work my butt off! At Bryn Mawr, I learned to set up a work out that would fit my needs – I ended up splitting my time between cardio and core – core being something I had never done before. I thought being healthy was about keeping a healthy weight and staying slim – little did I know, being strong is so much better and satisfying than simply being skinny! I worked on muscle growth and also signed up for classes like kickbox cardio aerobics – it became one of my favorites and I did it for a whole year and a half! I got into pilates as well, and HIIT (high intensity interval training). Overall, Schwartz provided a space where I felt safe and comfortable enough to explore fitness by myself and with others through classes and programs like intramurals and kickboxing.

I know that post-grad will pose another challenge in that I will have to find a gym and sign up for a membership and all of that grown-up stuff. People don’t realize it, but having a gym on your campus makes things so much easier and at a school like Bryn Mawr, where the college is interested in sustaining a fit and healthy lifestyle for its students, it’s truly a special and unique thing everyone should take advantage of. I have less than a month left – and i’ve challenged myself to take advantage of Schwartz every single day until graduation. It’s definitely my favorite building on campus (that makes me sound like a fitness nut, but I promise it’s great!), and i’ll be sad to leave.

Until Next Time!

Ardmore’s Barbacoa

This past weekend, I had the chance to finally visit Barbacoa, a Peruvian barbecue restaurant in the neighboring town of Ardmore. I had always wanted to stop by the place ,but never had the time or the group of people to go (their portions are absolutely monstrous, make sure you bring stretchy pants!) With my sister visiting from Los Angeles, I got together a group of friends from Bryn Mawr and Villanova, and we set off to take on our dinner at Barbacoa.

11133318_10153206432888766_7752171682670071360_nLocated on Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore (5 minutes from the train station), the restaurant itself might be missed if not looked for carefully. The inside seats maybe 30 people at most, and reservations were only taken on the phone. We were quickly seated and scoped out the menu – we went straight for the “Mom’s night off” combination platters, which consisted of a variety of meats, side dishes and slaw. With 6 people, we decided to try “The Ardmore” – the largest combo platter on the menu. The meal consisted of an entire chicken, 1/2 pound of pork, 1/2 pound of sausage and 1/2 pound of brisket, 3/4 racked ribs, 8 pieces of cornbread with 2 pounds of slaw, sweet potato fries and sides of baked beans and macaroni and cheese. When the waitress came out with the entire meal, all of our jaws dropped simultaneously, as we watched her set down this plate of meat, carbs and protein.

In the end, we managed to eat almost the entire platter, leaving half the chicken and one piece of cornbread. With six people, the portion was a bit much (4 girls and 2 guys), but I would definitely recommend Barbacoa to anyone for occasions ranging from birthday dinners to casual saturday get togethers. The meat was very well cooked, and my favorite portion was the pulled pork (lathered up in the restaurant’s own barbecue sauce concoction). Recommendations for side dishes would be the macaroni and cheese, and the baked beans for those who are looking for an overdose of protein.I know that I will most definitely visit Barbacoa again before graduation comes around – I really want to try the other platters and the sandwiches – and I’m glad that there’s a gem like this right around the corner in Ardmore. Peruvian barbecue is hard to come by, and I have to say, Barbacoa doesn’t disappoint!

Until Next Time!

Last Sister’s Appreciation

our spiffy brothers. thanks for all your work!

our spiffy brothers. thanks for all your work!

One of the biggest parts of my college life has been Grace Covenant Church and the events that take place every year. The Spring is full of exciting celebrations, including Sisters, Brothers and Seniors Appreciation. It’s a time where our community comes together to appreciate one another, during a time of transition and good-byes (tears…)

We were picked up at Pem Arch and taken over to Villanova, where we shuffled up to the event space. All of the guys in our community had dressed up in suits and welcomed us with a round of applause. the tables were set with name cards, which were actually full of little ‘thank you’ messages from the guys. It was a great reminder of all of the good memories, and a sense of nostalgia swept over me.

winner winner chicken dinner!

winner winner chicken dinner!

We participated in a bunch of ice breaker games, and our table won what in my opinion was the most difficult and challenging – we were given a variety of materials and were given the task of creating the tallest tower that we could! We had peeps, gummy bears, uncooked spaghetti and tin foil to work with, and after we won, we all questioned each other – maybe we should consider switching into the engineering field! (of course, kidding… with less than a month left, that is barely a joke!).

It was also the first year where the undergrad guys cooked the entire dinner for us by themselves without any help from the young adults community at our church. To my surprise, it was quite delicious – it was a stirfry of chicken and vegetables, with a delicious and fresh garden salad with a side of hummus. The girls at our church are all very health-conscious, so it was a great feeling to know that the guys know us well!

villanova & bryn mawr gals.

villanova & bryn mawr gals.

Sister’s appreciation was just another reminder of how little time I, we (seniors), have left at school. We spend all this time with people from school and from these communities… and it’s difficult to picture a life where that isn’t possible anymore. Personally, I feel like it’s going to feel so weird trying to find another church community that isn’t party of a college ministry, or near Bryn Mawr, but at this time, i’m just trying to enjoy the time I have left with my fellow senior gals and the rest of the GCC community.

Until Next Time!

Day of Learning

Last Wednesday, Bryn Mawr hosted “Community Day: Race and Ethnicity at BMC and Beyond”. It was the first time such an event took place on campus, and I have to say, I am grateful to have experienced it as a Senior. Personally, I feel like Bryn Mawr has experienced many things pertaining to race and race relations on campus this year, and the Community Day cultivated Bryn Mawr’s general belief of acceptance and knowledge.

The day started early in the Schwartz gym, and then split into two seminar parts, where students were able to pick and choose which seminars they wanted to join and participate in. As an Asian American on campus, I was very happy to see that there were seminars specifically focused on Asian Americans and their position in society as another ethnic minority. I am currently taking a class where we analyze and learn about Asian Americans in pop culture, and it was very relevant to what I learned at one of the seminars that I attended, “Perspective on Asian Identities”. A lot of people think about other minority groups when they think about racism or racial inequality, but it was great to see students on campus lead a discussion where the “model minority” was also discussed in the context of the two issues mentioned above, and how there are certain stereotypes that are propagated throughout American society and culture.

This year definitely was different from my other three in that the issue of race and being knowledgable about race relations and inequality was very relative throughout the two semesters. The school went through specific experiences that brought the conversation to light, and I am grateful to be at a school where the issues weren’t ignored, but used to raise awareness and knowledge about what we can do as a community and also as individuals.

Until Next Time!

Brunch on the Mainline

Hope everyone had a great, rest-“full” Spring Break! Being back at home in California was so great – The LA weather went through a heatwave, so i woke up to 80-something degree weather every single day… a great change from the harsh windy winter we’ve had here in Philadelphia. Now it’s back to the work grind, and even though I already miss home, i am excited for the rest of the semester.

Being a senior – with a car has opened up a lot of possibilities in terms of being able to get off campus whenever I want. SEPTA is great, but sometimes, the winter weather makes it hard to get yourself out of bed. and honestly, who wants to wait for the train when the frigid air is being blown all up in your face and hair? not this gal. Thanks to my blessed car, i’ve been able to explore and visit a lot of restaurants and cool cafes throughout the year. However one meal in particular seems to be trending among college students and people of all ages in fact. Brunch! Being on the mainline, there are many places that serve a great brunch, but I wanted to take a little time to write about three that have been particularly great.

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Brunch with Mawrters at White Dog Cafe, Wayne

White Dog Cafe, Wayne – A bougie Sunday brunch place that has a great interior and style! I first came here on a Sunday after church, and the place was packed to the brim! Luckily, we skipped waiting in line for a table and opted to sit at the bar, where we were served by the friendly waitress and also had prime seats in front of the TV. We ordered from their special brunch menu and got the Banana Foster French Toast, which was a delicious challah bread with caramelized bananas, as well as the Lancaster County Three Eggs Omelet, which had smoke bacon, goat cheese and the option to be made of only egg whites. I also got to go back for a Saturday birthday brunch with some friends and ended up ordering the omelet again, but it tasted just as great. The bread that they give you before your entree is to die for, and it always varies, so make sure you go more than once to experience their different breads! The dishes are a bit pricey compared to other restaurants, but seems normal for the Mainline audience. This place also makes itself available to students by being near the Wayne train station (perhaps a 10-15 minute walk?).

pumpkin spice french toast... unforgettable!

pumpkin spice french toast… unforgettable!

Nudy’s – Always full, always cozy, always a great option. I first heard of Nudy’s from my friends at Villanova. Thus, I wasn’t that surprised when I went there for the first time and saw a bunch of Nova students repping their school with their school wear while enjoying their brunch. Located past Wayne in Devon, the restaurant itself looks like an actual house and the seating arrangement is really cozy. Be prepared to stand a wait a bit, especially if you go on Saturday or Sunday between 11-1. It’s a popular place for college students because of its fast service and decently priced menu. I will always remember the pumpkin spice french toast that I ordered off their special’s menu… mostly because of the way it melted in my mouth and how it tasted so good with the cream cheese frosting that came with it! Make sure to check our their specials menu because it changes from season to season.

my instagram post of our meal at Minella's Diner!

my instagram post of our meal at Minella’s Diner!

Minella’s Diner – located on Lancaster Ave. in Wayne, this place is a true representation of what a diner experience should be like. Out of the three, Minella’s has the most traditional menu of breakfast and brunch items, but if you’re not feeling like a brunch person, they also have a lunch menu as well. The restaurant itself is a lot bigger than the other two restaurants as well, and they have classic booth seating and a bakery in the front for those who want to take some treats home. I ordered a typical breakfast meal of scrambled eggs & hash, while my other friends ordered salads, muffins, and pancakes… it’s the best place to go if your group has a range of tastes. We had to wait about 10-20 minutes to be seated, but the service was great, and it was a really casual setting, which is good for college students like myself!

No matter what kind of mood you’re in, brunch has a way of making everything better – from midterms to finals, or just a desire to eat out with friends, there are so many options on the mainline! So the next time you find yourself craving pancakes, omelette, or a good ol’ cup of joe, make sure to check out these three places near school!

Until Next Time!


Flowers, Flowers Everywhere!

This past weekend, a couple of Mawrters and I went to see the Philadelphia Flower Show at the Convention Center in the city. It’s crazy, but I’ve never had the chance to go prior to this year; more like, I never knew it was going on in time to attend (oops!). The theme for this year was “inspired by the films by Disney and Pixar”, so that was a plus. I absolutely love and will always enjoy anything Disney, so I was very excited to go with my friends!

We enjoyed a great dinner in Chinatown, which was only a 5-10 minute walk from the convention center (I shall post about a couple of restaurants that are absolutely bomb in the near future). The convention center itself was really huge, and the area that the flower show was located in was like a huge warehouse of sorts. The tickets were super cheap ($20 for students with ID!) and parking was very easily accessible, and was reasonably priced when split between the 6 of us that went.

What I didn’t know was that the flower show actually was a competition of sorts! As we walked around, there were displays that were created by students and schools, as well as various gardening groups around the city. We saw displays inspired by Fantasia, Alice in Wonderland, Tarzan, Peter Pan, and Frozen…. just to name a few! The smell of flowers was almost overwhelming, but it reminded me of spring at Bryn Mawr, when all of the flowers begin to bloom and bring the campus back to life. It took us around 2  hours to enjoy and explore the entire exhibit, and the fact that it was inside was an absolute relief.

The flower show is still running until this Sunday (March 8), and I highly recommend that people take a little bit of time to go and see the beautiful displays! It amazes me that people are capable of making such art from things such as flowers… that are already beautiful when they stand alone! It’s definitely a great way to end a stressful week of midterms or a great way to start off a long-awaited Spring Break!

Until Next Time!

Last Hellish Friday

Me and My Hellees on Day 1 of Hell Week!

Me and My Hellees on Day 1 of Hell Week!

Happy Friday, Bryn Mawr! Wednesday started off my last Hell Week, and a flow of nostalgia has been running through my mind ever since. It’s still unbelievable that it’s actually my last Hell Week – I still remember asking my Heller to hell me, and receiving my own schedule and performing at Goodhart with all the other Radnor freshwomen… boy, does time fly by!

Hell Week schedules that I made for my Hellees

Hand-Written schedules! As is our family’s tradition!

Hell week was so great for me because it really was a time where the entire student body came together to celebrate each other and welcome the freshwomen into the Bryn Mawr community. It may seem like a bunch of silly gestures from afar, but through all of the things that are experienced during this week-long tradition, a new bond is created between the youngest class and the rest of the Mawrters on campus. Hell families are a long-lasting tie that’ll keep you connected with a long lineage of Bryn Mawr women – I remember meeting my great great grand-heller at May Day during my freshman year and it was like an instant connection! It really solidified a feeling a belonging – at least personally. As a sophomore, it was great to give back and do what my Heller did for me for my own little hellees. It’s a completely different experience being on the other side, but nonetheless it was just as memorable!

our extended hell family on May Day, 2014!

our extended hell family on May Day, 2014!

It’s bittersweet to know that this will be my last Hell Week as a Bryn Mawr student. However, just as I met my Hell-ancestors, i’m sure that i’ll be continuing the tradition well beyond graduation. Happy Friday, Bryn Mawr!

Until Next Time!