I jumped back into the school year starting with a crazy night of moving in. I didn’t put any of my things in storage like I usually do since I was staying local for the summer; meaning basically everything I owned had to be moved back. Thanks to my friend Elizabeth, we were somehow able to fit everything into one trip. Elizabeth and my two other friends, Megha and Lisa, helped me carry up my life’s possessions to the third floor of Denbigh. I was so lucky to have such great friends help me move; something that’s already an exhausting and stressful process.
Before I could even get really settled in, it was time for hall advisor training! Being a hall advisor means I am a resource for all residents who live on my hall. I build community through teas and by getting to know everyone on my hall. I am also on the customs committee, so in addition to picking all of the customspeople last semester, I helped to plan customs week to orient the first years to Bryn Mawr. Having two roles meant I was going from event to event nearly non-stop for a week and a half. Luckily, I got to sneak away at night to celebrate my 21st birthday with two of my best friends in Philly! Followed by a second night of going to a concert at my first 21+ venue.
Training was informational and useful but also required very long days so having my residents move really brightened my spirits! In the past, I lived in Brecon and Rhoads South, but now I live in Denbigh which is quite a change for me. This is the first time I have lived on main campus and also the biggest hall I have ever lived on (43 residents including myself with 22 freshmen!). My customs group only had eight people, which definitely had its perks as well, but the great thing about having such a big hall is that there’s always someone new to get to know and a lot of energy on the hall. It also allows for an incredible amount of diversity. Just within my hall we have people from: Hawaii, Pakistan, The Bahamas, South Korea, Pennsylvania, Kansas, China, Florida, Michigan India, New York, Vietnam, California, Germany, and Texas (and that’s only a few of them!). We have a very social and energetic hall. Everyone has already started to make friends with each other and can’t wait to see the community that we build and the memories we will create with each other.
I’ve finally accepted my status as a senior but the craziest part is realizing that I am part of the oldest class on campus. My friends in years past who were my mentors and older sisters have all graduated now. It’s weird to see their class color red on all of the freshmen bags and mugs. When one class graduates, their class color gets passed down to the new incoming class. It’s all part of the circle of life! I am excited to be a mentor to the red class in the same way that they were to me when I was a freshman.
Being a senior has meant I got to participate in starting our college cheer, the Anass; walking up the senior steps whenever I want; and getting to wear a robe for Convocation! We got to walk into Goodhart Theater together as a senior class to the ever-familiar bagpipes, followed by a series of speeches from students, faculty, and administrators urging us to reflect upon our time at Bryn Mawr and think to the future. The ceremony was followed by a delicious Caribbean themed picnic outside.
Our senior status was highlighted by our first tradition of the year: Parade Night! The first year students are welcome to the community by going on a short jog. They are greeted with water balloons and water guns from the sophomores who are sad they are no longer the babies who get all the attention. The juniors are the sister class for the freshmen so they throw candy and flowers while the freshmen run. The seniors all the while sit on the senior steps and get to cheer for the running freshmen. Afterwards, we all have a step sing where we sing both serious and silly songs together as a school with our lanterns. I think of it as a big karaoke session for everyone. This night also marked the first time I was able to sing “Bread and Roses”, a song originally written to support women’s working rights and now a tender song exclusively sung by the senior class.
As for classes, I am writing my senior thesis at Haverford with a cultural psychologist, taking my environmental studies senior capstone project at Haverford, Judgement and Decision Making (a 300 level psych course), and English Learners in the U.S (an education course with a Praxis/fieldwork component). I am definitely feeling the weight of having a senior workload now. My work is a lot more independent now so there’s a lot less structure and “hand-holding” than I’ve been used to in year’s past. It’s also exhilarating though; I really have a lot of say in what I am interested in and what I get to work on this semester. I am also getting a lot of my requirements out of the way so that aside from my thesis, I am free to take whatever classes I want next semester since I have finished all of my other requirements. I am hoping either to take just two or three classes since I came in with two credits from IB, take another 360 course cluster, or to just take classes in subjects I have never tried before.
It’s great to finally be back with everyone here! It seems like there’s so much to come but I know I have to savor and appreciate every moment because every things will be the “last.” Even with an overwhelming workload and schedule, I am determined to make this the best year at Bryn Mawr yet! Anassa kata!