Why I Chose an All Women's College

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Rasheedah Phillips
Why Bryn Mawr?

As a young woman growing up in an urbanized setting and attending public schools all of my life, when the time came to start planning and searching for colleges, I searched for schools that I felt fit my persona, that I would be comfortable attending for some of the most integral years of my life. My search included schools such as Temple University, and Pennsylvania State University, higher education institutions that allowed me to challenge myself, but at the same time would put me in a setting where I would be with others just like myself, fitting into the standard American university fashion. The thought of an all women's college never once crossed my mind in envisioning my "perfect school", and when it was introduced to me, it was through the prodding of a high school counselor who felt that my intelligence would be better realized and liberated at a school such as Bryn Mawr. After carefully researching Bryn Mawr and all it had to offer as an elite academic institution with stringent admissions requirements and its strong reputation as one of the best liberal art colleges in the nation, I had little doubt that, as far as my intellect and devotion to a rigorous curriculum went, I could run with the best of them. But I remained skeptical that, socially, financially, mentally, and to some degree, academically, I could fit in with the top women in the country who got accepted into a school such as this. I certainly had my biases about all-women colleges, and to find that Bryn Mawr was the best of the best certainly did not help to curb them; if anything, it created more. My prejudices remained intact up until the day of my scheduled campus visit, overnight stay, and interview on October 7-8, 2001. Stepping up to the door of the admissions office, many of my resolves all but dissolved, as I was kindly greeted by several groups of women who guided me through registration, campus tours, alumnae speeches, and a most...
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