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Undergraduate Dean's Office
Eugenia Chase Guild Hall
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101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: (610)526-5375
Fax: (610)526-7560

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Sophomore Planning Process:

Writing Your Sophomore Reflection Essay

The Sophomore Planning Process challenges you to reflect on your experiences and to articulate goals for your major, for your undergraduate studies in general, for career exploration and for co-curricular commitments.   The Sophomore Reflection Essay integrates the reflections, thoughts, and choices that you have been making throughout the Sophomore Planning Process.

Preparing to write your reflection essay

Articulating your reasons for your choice of study is an important skill.  It helps you understand yourself and also helps others understand your accomplishments and goals. It will also be useful for you to read your reflection essay at the end of your college journey as a way of measuring what remains consistent and what changes in your outlook. 

As you draft your reflection, you might ask yourself the following questions. 

  1. Why have I selected this major? What aspect of it interests me the most?
  2. If I'm proposing a double-major, why? What is my reasoning?
  3. What role will my elective courses play in my program?  Am I looking for broadening experiences that take me outside my comfort zone? Do I want to develop a secondary focus via a minor, a concentration, or a second major?
  4. Will I supplement my Bryn Mawr education with courses beyond the BiCo? For example, by taking summer courses at another school? Or by taking courses at Penn or Swarthmore during the academic year? Or by studying away during the academic year? If so, how might these experiences impact my studies?
  5. Similarly, how might additional opportunities for learning, such as volunteer work, summer internships, research with a faculty member, 360 course, or Praxis courses enhance my experience?
  6. How do my past and planned experiences outside the classroom (jobs, internships, volunteer service and other co-curricular commitments) complement my academic experiences?
  7. After graduation, what might I do in my personal, professional and community life?  Do those plans impact my academic decisions?
  8. Are there any questions or concerns about my plans that I would like to share with my major adviser and dean?

You might find it helpful to talk with someone about your responses to these questions—another student or a member of the faculty and staff—before trying to put them on paper.

Writing and submitting your reflection essay

Your 300-500 word reflection will provide your major adviser and your dean a greater understanding of why you have selected your major and your goals for the remainder of your time at Bryn Mawr. Your essay is intended to explicate your major plan and your plan to complete college-wide requirements. The more thoughtful and clearly written it is, the better. While you needn’t make this your most polished work of the sophomore year, keep in mind that it will be read by your dean and your major adviser and constitute part of your permanent academic record at Bryn Mawr. 

Once you’ve written it, you’ll need to upload it in "Sophomore Essay" under Sophomore Plan for Class of 2016 in your Student Center in BIONIC where it will remain visible to your dean who will review it during your Sophomore Plan Submission Appointment.


Back to Sophomore Planning Process