By Emily K Kluver
There is a point in every friendship I make here when I have to come clean: I don’t actually go here.
Surprisingly, the most common response is, “But doesn’t Bryn Mawr have really amazing food?”
I’ve only been asked once if I chose to live at Swarthmore because I was sexually frustrated. And if you too were wondering, no, that is not the case.
I am a Bryn Mawr student, but one day last semester my neighbor walked up to me and proposed a change of campus. I said yes without a second thought, and have become an atypical combination Swat-Mawr student.
Maybe after spending the majority of my life in Nebraska, I am making up for lost time. You know, perpetually looking for something new and exciting. At any rate, I’m glad I did because I have grown very attached to my Swat life.
This campus may have a reputation for stress, and you certainly see that on occasion, but I have found this semester to be an experience in social juggling. Don’t let online reviews fool you. Swatties are a social bunch.
I find time every week to swing dance with the freshmen and to play rather extreme games of Marco Polo. We have hall teas on Sundays and Wednesdays, and unlike at Bryn Mawr, our hall teas involve actual tea. Unfortunately, we don’t refer to them as teas.
Thursdays, I stay awake playing board games with friends until 2 a.m. and then curse my social life as I catch my 8 a.m. Swat Van to Bryn Mawr the following day.
Friday afternoons, I go to chess club even though I have no intention of ever learning how to play the game and I spend just about every night sitting on the floor of the lounge doing homework with at least five other people at any given time.
Because of the constant availability of wonderful people on my hall, I rarely get the recommended eight hours of sleep at night. I’m lucky if I can pull myself away long enough to get six. But I’ve loved every sleepless hour.
All that being said, I will tell you that many of the activities I participate in here have had a distinctly intellectual flavor, as one might expect of Swat. For example, this past weekend, I spent Friday night at Shabbat services with my Buddhist friend, while on Sunday morning I attended Quaker meeting with my Mennonite friend.
Our dorm conversations quickly flow from political critiques to campus gossip to religious reflections and back again. And my love of the people here increases every day.
I imagined there would be a great deal of resistance to my invasion of the campus, but to my great surprise, I haven’t found any. People seem to enjoy my novelty.
The freshmen on my hall love trying to explain me to other students and I love watching them try. Somehow, people cannot grasp the concept that I would live at a school with food like Swarthmore’s when I could have stayed at a school with food like Bryn Mawr’s. What can I say? Maybe I am crazy.
Everyone who looks at my schedule definitely questions my sanity. In addition to living at Swat and taking a class here, I take two classes at Bryn Mawr and one at Haverford. I also work at Erdman.
My weeks involve at least eight rides on the Tri-Co Van and five on the Blue Bus. I carry around van schedules like my life depends on it and thankfully have only missed the bus once this year. I have commuting down to an art form.
Swat life is far from perfect–I still find it incredibly awkward to run into men in towels in the hallway, and I admit that I get a little sick of eating from take-out containers on the bus.
But no matter how much running around I have to do in any given week, I see how lucky I am to have the opportunity to take advantage of such unique opportunities through our very unusual Tri-Co community.