Category Archives: General

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Underrated Study Spaces

Post by Alex Bernas ’19

It’s that time of year again: Work piles up, and you are stuck in Magill/dorm room/usual study space. The longer you stay, the more the room feels like a prison cell. But you cannot flee for freedom until noon of December 16th – or can you?


I’m not telling you to ditch your work. I’m telling you to take your work elsewhere. The change in scenery may be just what you need to reinspire yourself and realize just why you enjoy what you’re studying.

Without further ado, here are (in my opinion) Haverford College’s underrated study spaces:

Union Music Library
Buried beneath Haverford’s home for classical music, this hidden gem is unknown to many. With the sound of talented students practicing their music, a large wooden table, and the friendliest librarians on campus, Union Music Library radiates warmth.

Nature Trail
Remember rolling your eyes at anyone who tells you that exercise is good for the brain, thinking that you’ll never have time to leave the desk? What if I told you that you CAN exercise and study at the same time? While it’s true that you cannot type a paper or access the internet while walking the nature trail, you can talk through ideas for your next paper or have your friend quiz you on relevant key terms. Bring your friends to the nature trail for a super fun study group!

The change in scenery may be just what you need to reinspire yourself and realize just why you enjoy what you’re studying.

Unoccupied classrooms
In my Foundations of Psychology class, I learned that we associate pieces of information with the place in which we learned them. Chances are, your classrooms are unoccupied at night. So if you’re confused about something in Biology/Math/Philosophy/insert other tough course here, try going back to your classroom and see if that helps you remember relevant information

Laundry room
Who is too lazy to do laundry? I know I am! Coming back every 40 mintues to transfer clothes from one place to another can break concentration. But chunking your study time according to how long it takes for a machine to wash/dry your clothes can actually force you to get one task done within a certain amount of time.



Beyond the Rivalry: Utilizing the Tri-Co

Post by Ethan Lyne ’19

When you received your letter of admission to Haverford College, it also included a letter of admission of sorts to Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr College. All three of these colleges are a part of the Tri-College Consortium, one of the most tight-knit liberal arts consortium in the country. As a student at Haverford, you have the opportunity to explore, take classes, and eat at all of these schools with little to no barriers preventing you from doing so.

Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore all are some of the top liberal arts colleges in the country and each school feels a bit different and features different academic programs that another school doesn’t offer. Sadly, there are many students who don’t use this rich diversity of resources on hand and often just to stick to their home campus.

I am here to encourage you to take a risk and go see a speaker at Swarthmore or register for an archaeology class at Bryn Mawr. The Blue Bus to Bryn Mawr runs constantly and is only a 10 minute ride, so it is super easy to work a Bryn Mawr class into your busy set of classes or come see an interesting lecture in the evening. The Tri-Co Van to Swarthmore runs a bit less frequently and takes about 25 minutes, but it is still simple to integrate an event there into your busy life.

And the best part about the Tri-Co Van is that it is way more comfortable and quiet than a ride on the Blue Bus.

While Haverford does offer a wide variety of departments and classes, both Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore offer an even greater diversity of courses. Bryn Mawr offers fields of study in subjects like Growth and Structure of Cities, Archaeology, Education, and Russian that Haverford doesn’t offer. Swarthmore also includes departments like Engineering, Medieval Studies, and Black Studies that explore topics that Haverford’s scope doesn’t cover. Even within the departments that every college shares, there are several outstanding courses that attract students from all colleges, like Sociology of Harry Potter at Bryn Mawr.

For me, the best part about visiting these other campuses is the different architecture and atmosphere each college offers. Not only do trips to the two campuses bring you out of the Haverbubble, they also allow you to meet new people that chose another school for another reason than you chose Haverford.

Even though are some rivalries between students of the three institutions, like the year-long competition between Haverford’s sports teams and Swarthmore’s sports teams for the Hood Trophy, there is largely a conciliatory atmosphere between most members of the Tri-Co community and most students of all schools get along.

With almost half of our sophomore year gone, there is no better time to break out of the limits of Haverford than now. As members of the Tri-Co Consortium, we are able to use all the resources of two other top-notch colleges as if we were almost students at these schools. After taking classes at both Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore, I truly enjoyed exploring these campuses, studying in their different libraries, and eating in their dining halls. I hope you are also able to do the same. They are not as far as they seem!

Thoughts One Has When Writing A Paper

Post by Alex Bernas’ 19

What do long lines in the dining center (DC) and the struggle to write papers have in common? They’re inevitable parts of the college experience!

What is the key difference between long DC lines and the struggle to write papers? There are people who can help you through the struggle of writing papers. Unfortunately, they cannot get you to the front of the long DC line.

Did you ever have to write a paper for a class where you couldn’t ask your professor for help? Was your professor too intimidating?



Or were office hours just not an option?

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-12-34-45-pmMaybe you have a class/sports practice that always gets in the way.

Maybe your concerns had nothing to do with your professor. You just don’t know what to write about.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-12-37-36-pmThis happened to me a lot last semester when I was tasked to write a paper that had multiple open-ended prompts to choose from.

Then, there is the classic case of writer’s block, wherein writing the very first word feels like an accomplishment.

Or maybe, it’s another situation where you write then reject your ideas.

Because how are you supposed to write so much about something?

As the deadline approaches, you realize that you can’t procrastinate any longer (just as I’ve been procrastinating with giving you the Writing Center memes).

BUT you don’t need to panic. Together, you and your tutor at the Writing Center get through the inevitable struggle of writing the paper.

The tutors are trained to deal with all your writing emergencies!

ironboardPhotographed from top to bottom: paper (washing machine), you (ironing board), tutor (floor).

Maybe they never took the class you’re struggling with, so they don’t know anything about your assigned topic.
screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-12-56-44-pmEspecially for specific courses like my first-year writing seminar on the History of Haverford College. Having visited the Writing Center for this course at least once every two weeks, I learned so much about writing from Religion majors, History majors, Economics majors, and English majors.

They ask you for your thesis statement. This might be your reaction.

Or maybe you know your thesis statement, so you tell them what it is. And you have your outline planned out to the finest detail too. But when they probe you to go deeper or play devil’s advocate, this is your reaction.

No worries, they’re here to help you either way.

After all the questioning and probing, your thesis statement becomes a gem.
gemMaybe your tutor rephrases your words into exactly what you’ve been wanting to say all along. Or maybe you arrived at the answer yourself. Congratulations to the both of you for unearthing this new gem of knowledge!

And you become more secure in your understanding of the topic.

You become amazed both at yourself for your new understanding and at your tutor for how they unearthed this wisdom in you. Then you ask your tutor for the notes they took during the session. And they remind you that they wrote your words, not theirs.

The Writing Center is here to help you, no matter what stage of the writing process you’re in or what you have to write about. So don’t suffer in silence. The writing process is a communal experience of exploring and sharing knowledge. While you learn to finesse your writing, your tutors enjoy gaining new pieces of wisdom from your papers.

Make an appointment with the Writing Center Today!



*Editors note: We apologize for the delay in post as Monday’s tech outages impeded a timely delivery.