For Roses, Too

Student Experience and Extracurricular Activities: A Life Outside of the Classroom

No one can deny that the students of the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers In Industry were devoted to their studies; all were keenly aware of the value of their education, and what they were sacrificing to get to attend eight weeks of classes. Many left behind employment or obligations in the home to get to study at Bryn Mawr, and many professors were surprised at the level of dedication that students applied to their work when compared to the more relaxed and cavalier attitudes of traditional undergraduates. If professors canceled class or were late to lessons, students would demand the time be made up, eager not to lose a single chance to learn.

This is not to say in the least, however, that students did not indulge in leisure activities—for many students, this was the first time since they were school children that they had access to any amount of free time, and students were eager to take advantage of the chance to explore not only the campus and surrounding area, but also experiment with hobbies and extracurricular activities with other students. Life at Bryn Mawr varied wildly from life in the cities, with a close-knit community in the dorms eager to study together, discuss current events, or plan for upcoming activities on campus. It was not uncommon to see students studying in the cloisters at all hours of the day, or for impromptu sports games to start out on Merion green moments after classes let out. Attending the Summer School meant not only access to a world-class education tailored to the needs of workers, but also a chance to expand one’s horizons with the resources that were made available to every woman accepted into the program.

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