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Self Reflection

Sasha M. Foster's picture

 reflecting on where you were when we began this process, where you are now, and what’s been happening in between. How-and-what have you been learning? Where do you think that the edges of your learning now lie? In what ways has your understanding of identity, of environment, and of the reciprocal relationship between them been expanded, challenged, or complexified? In what ways have you been resisting such learning?


When I first came to Bryn Mawr, I was a very lonely, very excited woman who felt like she had found the perfect haven. While i've never once thought coming to Bryn Mawr was the wrong choice, this course has taught me a lot about Bryn Mawr as an imperfect institution with aspects of the culture that still need change. I still adore the college, but now it's an affection tempered by the acknowledgement of serious flaws, rather than an idealization. This course has taught me, above else, to "lean into discomfort," to really examine my reactions to criticism of my work and the things I love and to reconsider my impressions in the light of new-found knowledge. It's given me the abilities to love Bryn Mawr and still strive to improve our community without the mistaken impression that there's nothing left to fix. And, honestly, I think I prefer the imperfect Bryn Mawr to the Bryn Mawr of my fantasies, because I'm an imperfect person, and I would have felt out of place in a flawless college (if one does exist).

I've never really had the luxury of debate on topics with people with views which diametrically oppose my own, simply due to the fact that any opinion I had that was different from my community's in the past was automatically under attack. I had to cling to my opinions and impressions, because any doubt would have been seized upon to discredit them. I'm delighted that I've had the chance to truly and honestly debate with my peers in a safe environment (if not a comfortable one) created by our trust in the mutual respect we all hold for each other. I had to relearn how to truly listen to other people, to retrain myself in the art of silence in order to consider opinions different fro my own. 

I think that I've grown into someone who I can be proud of, who speaks AND listens. I hope I'll continue to let myself be uncomfortable, and that that discomfort will lead to even more evolution.