What a crazy weekend. In the last five days, we visited three colleges in three different states. I’m exhausted.
Bryn Mawr was our first stop. Sarah and I drove up on Friday night in order to attend the information session and campus tour on Saturday morning. We stayed at the Wyndham Alumnae house, which was really cute but reminded me of Aunt Tillie’s house in more ways that one. Or two. Or even ten – but there were no bats so I’m not complaining. Saturday morning, we traipsed around the campus (through the cold and gusty wind) with about six other prospective students. The tour groups were small, with the tour guides trying to elicit information from the high school visitors. It was evident to me that Bryn Mawr cared about the experience everyone has on their campus regardless of their status as a student. Some interesting fun facts: Bryn Mawr is one of the Seven Sisters Colleges created when women were not allowed to attend Ivy League colleges; their school song is sung in Greek; Bryn Mawr is one of 83 colleges in the area, so the fact that it’s a small women’s college doesn’t limit the social opportunities.
After our tour of Bryn Mawr, Sarah and I drove to the Amtrak station in Philadelphia. One word about driving in the city trying to find parking: AVOID. We caught the train to New York, where we met up with Mark and AJ. We stayed at a very touristy hotel on Times Square (which I never, ever, ever want to do again), but we chose that one specifically for its location to the Metro. We used the subway to go everywhere from the World Trade Center Memorial all the way to Barnard College, so the hotel location was of more importance than its other clientele (who were mostly noisy). After visiting the Memorial, we found a fun pizza place on Stone Street in the Financial District. I think we all want to go back there at some point to try all the other cute little restaurants located there.
Barnard is also one of the Seven Sisters Colleges. It is also one of the four undergraduate colleges of Columbia University though it maintains its status as an independent women’s college. Barnard seemed like an older, more worldly sister to Bryn Mawr, existing in less of a bubble of safety (probably because it’s in the city). Our tour group was much bigger. Much bigger. The visitors were divided into two groups, with probably 10 or 15 girls (not counting parents) in each group. It felt a bit more intimidating.
Next, we hopped on the train back to Philadelphia to pick up our car and drive to Washington D.C.. We stayed at the Georgetown Inn, which was much quieter than the Crown Plaza on Times Square. It is a quaint hotel, but not as “charming” as the Wyndham Alumnae house at Bryn Mawr. We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant and then went to bed since we needed to be at Georgetown’s admissions office at 9am the next morning for an information session and tour. AJ and I sat this one out. The tour group was so large that we decided not to take up space meant for prospective students. We walked back to the hotel and waited for Mark and Sarah (okay, so I took a nap). From their reports, Georgetown felt a lot like Barnard than Bryn Mawr, which makes sense because Georgetown is larger and also in a city.
We’re back home now, trying to process all of it. Or at least trying to let Sarah process it since she is the one who will be making the final decision. We will probably visit a couple of other colleges over the summer – one being Kenyon College in Ohio, and the others having yet to be determined.