A Visit to My Vassar Sister (kind of)

The still-thinking-about-fall-break post …

Vassar Main Gate

Vassar Main Gate

One of the highlights of my fall break was going to Vassar College to see my boyfriend. He wasn’t able to go home this fall break because he is from California. It was pretty easy to get to Vassar via public transportation. I took NJTransit from my home to Penn Station, walked to Grand Central, then took the Metro North to Poughkeepsie — all within 3 hours and 45 minutes. My best friend from my hometown goes to Marist College and has a car, so she picked me up from the train station, grabbed lunch at Rossi’s Deli with me, and drove me to Vassar.

My view of the Hudson from the MetroNorth train

My view of the Hudson from the MetroNorth train

First thing we did when I got to Vassar was tour the campus. I came at a good time because the leaves just started to change color. I’m actually quite familiar with the Vassar campus. Back when I was a high schooler, I seriously considered Vassar for Early Decision 1 & 2. My grandmother even attended Vassar way back when it was still a women’s college. I toured the campus twice before applying and visited a third time after I was accepted through Regular Decision. Vassar’s campus has changed since I last visited two and a half years ago. Most notably, Vassar has a new science building. I think a lot of liberal arts colleges are under pressure to build up their STEM programs in this age. My boyfriend pointed out the 4 (yes, 4!!!) separate performance spaces on campus. Vassar is big on theater, music, and the performing arts. I sometimes wish Bryn Mawr had more performance stages. Goodhart is almost exclusively for theater and the Bryn Mawr Performing Arts Series. It is difficult to schedule large scale events for student run productions such as Fall Student Dance Concert (which is held at Haverford) and Affinity Group Culture Shows. Thomas Great Hall is a nice space, but in terms of tech and lighting, it is very limited. My favorite building on Vassar’s campus is the library. It looks like a castle!

Dining Hall dinner: steak!

Dining Hall dinner: steak!

I’ve heard some pretty awful things about Vassar dining hall food, but the food I ate at the dining hall was surprisingly delicious. Vassar has a made-to-order omelette station and a stir fry station. There was steak one night and half avocados another day. My boyfriend thinks the sudden upgrade in the food was because the dining hall staff felt bad for the people who had to stay on campus over fall break.

I didn’t get the full Vassar experience since most students were away for fall break and I didn’t sit in on any classes, but I enjoyed my visit. It’s nice to see what it’s like at other colleges. In this case, what-could-have-been had I chosen Vassar over Bryn Mawr. On an undergraduate academic and social level, the Seven Sisters colleges don’t interact much. (The only collaborations I’ve heard of between the schools is the College Women Digital Archive and the FIPSE grant, but those involve postdoc fellows and faculty and staff, not the undergraduate students.) I’m looking forward to seeing how this Seven Sisters relationship works out in the future as an alum.

Campus Scenery: 10/10

Dining Hall Food: 6.5/10

Dorm Cleanliness: 9/10

Snapchat Filters (2): 9/10

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