It’s official: autumn is here. The colors are glorious, the recalcitrant leaves blowing into buildings and drains, less so, but as we all break out our sweaters, tights and hats, there is a certain excitement about the Bryn Mawr fall traditions that are just around the corner.
Some parents may have seen their daughters last week during fall break. It is not unusual for this visit to stir up a variety of emotions in students. Some are just grateful to have a class-free week of sleeping in, catching up with old friends (if their schools have the same break schedule as ours) and eating non-dining hall food. Others may seem unusually stressed out and refer constantly to the huge amount of work they have to do. First -year students might seem far less enthusiastic about college than they were six weeks ago, whether due to roommate issues or homesickness. All of these reactions are normal — they indicate that students are experiencing college as it really is. Learning how to cope with a heavy work load, setbacks and less than ideal situations is an invaluable skill (and one of the “unofficial” requirements of being at a place like Bryn Mawr).
The good news is that the next couple of months includes some real fun. Halloween is coming up and this holiday has long been embraced by Mawrters as a time to get creative with costumes (perhaps a trial run for Hell Week — more on that in a future post!) and attend Radnor residence hall’s Halloween bash, one of a handful of large-scale student-hosted social events that take place every year. Another Halloween tradition is the Dorm Trick or Treat for the children of Bryn Mawr faculty and staff, where the kids get to visit the “spooky” dorms for candy and gifts prepared by the undergrads. Afterward, everyone gathers for a big party in Thomas Great Hall.
The arrival of Halloween coincides with the second of Bryn Mawr’s four student Traditions (the first was Parade Night, held during the first week of classes). Lantern Night, which takes place at nightfall in the Cloisters of Thomas, is when all new students receive their lantern in their class color (light blue for the Class of 2016). To prepare for Lantern Night, every new student has to memorize and learn how to sing Bryn Mawr’s song, “Sophias.” This is no easy task given that it is in Greek and doesn’t exactly have the catchiest of melodies!
Another fall campus event is Family Weekend, which traditionally takes place over the first weekend of November. This year’s weekend is scheduled for November 2-4 and registration will be open until November 1. The full schedule is online — if you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please be sure to do so! Family Weekend is a great time to meet the staff and professors who work with students, hear about faculty research and scholarship, enjoy athletic events, tour campus and Philadelphia and meet other parents and families. We hope to see you there!