On Friday, my friend from high school’s younger sister and her parents toured Bryn Mawr. My friend’s sister is only a junior in high school, but I see high potential in her to become a strong, successful Mawrter. I had the honor of showing them around.
My friend’s sister was on spring break, so her parents took her to visit colleges: Princeton, Penn (her dad is an alum), Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Wellesley, Smith, and Bryn Mawr. She is interested in computer science and comes from a prestigious magnet public high school where she already specializes in computer science. So she was only looking at colleges with strong computer science programs. She was particularly interested in the women’s college experience after doing a women’s computer science summer program at Smith.
I met up with her and her parents for lunch. They had just taken a campus tour, but they still had questions to ask me. I took them to Haffner to show off our delicious dining hall cuisine. Admissions granted me a meal pass for her because I ran out of guest swipes and I convinced them she was high recruit material. I ate separately with my friend’s sister while the parents ate at a different table.
My friend’s sister asked me about my major, and I tried my best to sell Bryn Mawr to her. I asked her about her other college visits. She told me that she thought Carnegie Mellon was too separated between the schools and Wellesley emphasized too much of an 8 part common core that would not satisfy her concentration in computer science. She was very well versed on which questions to ask. One of the first questions she asked was whether or not it was possible to place out of intro level classes. I responded with a definite ‘yes.’ I skipped out of Calc I & II and I listed all the other people I knew who had also skipped out of intro science or language classes. She then asked me about classes in the Tri-Co and at Penn. I was able to talk to her a little about computer science coding because I’ve worked with C++ in Arduino and Python with Raspberry Pi in Physics and R in Biostatistics. I wanted her to get a better answer of what the computer science department was like at Bryn Mawr, so I took her to Park Science Building where I knew one of my Physics majors, Computer Science minors friends was working in the Physics Lab and could talk to her.
Rebecca Thayil ’16 was able to answer my friend’s sister’s questions about the computer science department. Rebecca pointed out that the department was growing, but it was still small enough that it is easy to do research with professors. My friend’s sister was looking to talk to someone who had already know coding before entering college, but I couldn’t find someone for her to talk to. I think she still found Rebecca impressive because she showed her the ink jet printer she was building using electronics and Arduino. We also told her about life in general at a women’s college and small liberal arts college, ranging from everything like Tri-Co Hackathon and digital humanities to the swim test and traditions.
Unlike most high schooler’s my friend’s sister already knows what she wants to study. I would not say that a liberal arts college is still not beneficial to her though. Yes, the liberal arts tend to emphasize a wholesome learning experience diversified among the subjects, but people who know what they want can get what they want and need at Bryn Mawr. This girl is obviously very smart, and I really hope she not only applies to Bryn Mawr, but is accepted with a merit scholarship.