Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Alison R. Mouratis's picture

Why is it a matter of life and death?

I remember when I first came to stay overnight on campus. I told myself I wasn’t going to like it. I told myself it wasn’t the right school for me. An all girls school? NO WAY! I like, guys…I love guys, but I knew right away from the feeling I got when I stepped on campus that this was the place for me. But was that feeling affected at all by the fact that it was one of the most reputable schools on my list of acceptance letters? And was that feeling affected by the fact that I knew my parents liked the school too? Since when did it become, “I can’t wait for me and my parents and my teachers and my friends all go to the same school”? What I mean by that is since when did it become so important what other people thought of us and of our education? “Where’d you get in?” was the question on everyone’s lips. The shame you felt when you were rejected was something you could not hide from your friends and family. But I guess I just don’t get it. How can you ever know what place is right for you? As we discussed in class on Tuesday, what about the two sides of everything? There is always the social side and the academic side. How can you balance two such weighty layers? I really do like it here, but of course there are some aspects that I find lacking. But how do I know if that would be any different somewhere else? Maybe it would be worse, and then what? I would argue that there are many disabling aspects of Bryn Mawr, but isn’t that a natural part of any “community”? If you transfer to another school, won’t you also be met with disabilities? Perhaps different ones, but disabilities nonetheless. How can you weigh what disabilities you can stand and which ones you can’t?

And what about your friends who are “in love” with their schools…how is that possible? Aren’t there disabilities in every community and school? Unless, of course, it were somehow possible to not fall in a category that would disable you. Is there a way to avoid completely the disabling qualities of a community? Can you simply be completely unaware and unaffected to any disabling factors in your school or in your community? Would that be bliss? Or would that be ignorance?


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
9 + 5 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.