Meet Becca Tabb, Health Center Advisory Board Member

Whenever anyone asks me who the most interesting person I’ve ever met is, one of the first people that always comes to mind is Becca Tabb. We were in the same customs group (on the same floor) our first year at Bryn Mawr, and she has made my life a little bit brighter every day. She’s constantly full of surprises and keeps life exciting, and I’m so excited to share this interview with her today!

Photo courtesy of Becca Tabb

Pronouns: she/her/hers 

Major: English

Minor: Africana Studies, Creative Writing  

Class: 2020

What’s something people should know about you?

I’m a sophomore at Bryn Mawr College. I LOVE potatoes, hiking and music. The color that describes me best is orange because anyone who has met me knows that I’m very loud, but also very loving.  

Why did you choose Bryn Mawr, and why did you choose to stay?

I chose Bryn Mawr because it was exactly what I wanted when I began looking for colleges: a small liberal arts college on the east coast, far enough away from home that I would be forced to grow up in the “real world.” I’ve since learned, through a rude awakening from a few friends I made during my first semester, that I knew absolutely nothing about what I wanted from college. If someone had told me during my senior year that my first semester of college would be one of the hardest and most emotionally challenging experiences thus far, I very well might have packed up and moved to the woods for the rest of eternity.

Having come out of that first semester and grown into a much more socially aware person than when I started, I can assure you that coming back was worthwhile. When I went home for winter break last year, I wanted to transfer because I was afraid that returning to campus would mean starting over. I was right, but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it’d be. I moved to a dorm closer to campus and found people who I now consider my best friends. I wanted to leave Bryn Mawr because I thought that the community was toxic and that I couldn’t possibly learn how to be a good person if I was so afraid to make mistakes. I chose to stay at Bryn Mawr because I realized that I would learn more here than I would anywhere else, and now I’ve dedicated the rest of my academic career to empowering silenced voices. I know my learning will be a long, unending process.  

What’s your favorite memory from your time at Bryn Mawr?

My favorite memory at Bryn Mawr is probably the night my friends and I rented out the SGA kitchen for the evening. We made our own ravioli with pesto, and for dessert we whipped up a delicious carrot cake. It took a long time to get everyone organized and prepared, but it was so worth it. The only thing that could have made it better was a visit from our dear friend Kestrel who now goes to school in New York.  

What activities are you involved with on campus? Off campus?

To be super honest, school keeps me busy enough. I don’t have much time to go off campus and get involved. That’s why having an active on-campus network of clubs and activities is really helpful. I’m currently in Fem-Co, which is the feminist majority on campus. Unfortunately, I haven’t participated so much in Fem-Co because of my involvement in the Health Center Advisory Board (HCAB), a board of students appointed by the SGA who work closely with the health center staff to advocate for student concerns and improve on-campus health care. The HCAB takes up a fair bit of energy—being a mediating force is exhausting but worth it.  

Could you tell us more about the HCAB? What do you do and what do you hope to address?

No member of the HCAB has a particular “job” per-say. There are roles that we assume based on our strengths, which works out really well because another board member can always fill in if someone gets too tired or stressed. The best part about being on the HCAB is the real-world experience of facilitating productive conversations—it’s arguably the biggest part of our job. I believe one of the main issues facing young people’s social experiences is a lack of accountability. We’re constantly faced with situations in the world that we don’t like, things that upset us or that make us question our identities. There are so many factors that contribute to how we see ourselves participating in larger social circles, and when something is said or done that forces us to question an element of our Self in a way that feels harmful, nobody is held accountable. In a small community such as Bryn Mawr, I believe we should be able to develop systems of accountability that allow students to participate in a way that feels comfortable to them. And sometimes that means speaking their mind to a group of people who genuinely care and want to help them feel their best self. Be it mental health, gender or sexuality, race, religion or ability/diffability, each identity should be accounted for and validated. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case at Bryn Mawr, especially in the Health Center. While the problem isn’t unique to our campus, it’s something we should be able to work towards fixing. I wanted to be on the HCAB because keeping people accountable is something I am pretty good at, something I’d like to do even more of. I want to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and a productive conversation results. The best way I know how to do that is to get involved.    

What’s your favorite method of self-care?

I love a good spa day. I finish work and class on Fridays by 10:00, so I usually crawl back to my dorm to shower. Just being able to play my tunes, use all my favorite soaps, lotions and face masks makes me feel like a queen. I’d go so far as to rename self-care “soul-care.” You found it here first ;)  

What are you most looking forward to this year?

One of the biggest things I’m looking forward to this year is finishing all twelve of Toni Morrison’s novels. I am currently in a fantastic class called Toni Morrison and the Art of Narrative Conjure taught by Professor Linda-Susan Beard. If I’m being honest, the class is a little overwhelming. But it’ll feel like a huge accomplishment once I’ve finished!

Thank you for your time and everything you do Becca!