Choosing Swarthmore is Like Choosing the Fudgiest Brownie

Does everyone love brownies? I know that’s probably not the case but I love them, so stick with me for a second. When I was deciding where to attend college, I chose Swarthmore because I knew I’d get more than what I was looking for here. Basically, Swarthmore was the fudgiest brownie… There are other great colleges just like there are great brownies, but after researching and visiting, I was confident that the sweetest place for me was Swarthmore College. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. The actual brownies

This list is in no particular order, but I want to highlight the dining hall. The Dining Services team is amazing and I’m so grateful for the meals that they provide us each day, not to mention that they take care of keeping the space clean for us. Sharples dining hall has a lot of great desserts, including brownies, cake, and ice cream. My favorite meals are french toast sticks for breakfast, beef with broccoli and postickers for lunch, and jerk chicken with plantain and rice and peas for dinner. A notable mention is their grilled flank steak with smashed potatoes. Yes, steak at college and they even make steak sauce for us. I couldn’t believe it either. 

  1. Campus and its many buildings

Our campus is surrounded by beautiful flowers, trees and other plants. Though the green spaces and Crum Woods are so relaxing, it’s just as great to be indoors here. My previous school was in a single building, so coming to Swarthmore and having a dozen different buildings to learn or spend time in was a nice change. If I want to study, there are three different libraries all with their own personality. If I have to go to class or want to project a movie to watch with my friends, there are several buildings (yep, all distinctly designed) where there are classrooms available for that. If I want to relax, get some work done, or meet with a group, I can go to Parrish Hall in the center of campus, the Intercultural Center, or the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility to work in their Innovation Lab.

  1. Endless opportunities

Whether you want to do research, intern, get a project funded, or learn about a specific time, there are an infinite number of ways to make that happen. When I was thinking about how I’d pursue my goals, knowing that they would likely change, I wanted to attend a school that was flexible and supportive. I like that Swarthmore is a liberal arts college and emphasizes growth because that means I can build skills that will always benefit me, reach out to people who can advise me, and have comfort in the fact that there’s more than enough resources for everyone here. 

  1. Swarthmore’s location

I am from New York City so Swarthmore is about two and a half hours away from home. It was important for me to be able to travel home in one day and without much preparation, which allowed me to come home during every break without costing a lot of money or taking a long time. Swarthmore’s location is ideal, since the College is pretty secluded and isolated, it is near the two major cities of Philadelphia and NYC, as well as mid-size towns with restaurants and shopping, yet still has a small town at the bottom of campus. There’s the best of everything near Swarthmore at different distances away, so you can go where you want when you want a change of scenery.

  1. The people. Really! 

This might sound cliché, but I’ve enjoyed getting to know my peers, professors, and Swarthmore’s staff. Given Swarthmore’s size, I’ve been able to make friends, have a community, and still have new people to meet. More than that, everyone here is so passionate. I like that we don’t all want to learn about the same topics or enter the same career, because this means that there’s a lot of interesting discussions, collaboration, and events happening across campus. We are also able to support each other to feel and do our best, whether that looks like attending a study session, grabbing a meal, and spending time together no matter what we’re doing. Swarthmore makes me feel like I’m a valuable part of our community because my knowledge, ideas, and goals add something new to what we’re making here: a meaningful college experience.