Meet Susannah Hollander-Cima

College can be crazily overwhelming at times, which is why it’s important to have great friends to rely on. Susannah was one of the first friends I made at Bryn Mawr, and she’s also a fellow Midwesterner, so I’m excited for you all to get to know her here!

Photo courtesy of Susannah Hollander-Cima

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Major: Undeclared

Class: 2020

What’s something people should know about you?

People usually think of me as shy and “calm” at first, but once you get to know me, I’m very energetic, talk a lot and am usually trying to find something new to do.

What’s something people should know about you? -answered by a friend

Apparently, I’m a good listener.

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

I honestly think I chose Bryn Mawr in part because of Tumblr. I saw the buildings and some of the aspects of the culture and found it really interesting. I was stuck between Bryn Mawr, a very artsy small college in upstate New York and a large state university where I’m from. I ended up deciding on Bryn Mawr because I wanted to be away from home. When I finally visited, I found the student body to be very supportive and serious about their studies, so I decided that I wanted to be in that environment.

I did have some tough times my first year here, mostly because I was leaving family members in vulnerable places without my support, which is something I’ve never done before. My mom has Multiple Sclerosis, so most of my free time in high school was spent with her, and coming here was a huge adjustment from that, but I ended up staying because I made an effort to branch out and meet really supportive and nice friends and take advantage of what Bryn Mawr has to offer, such as traditions and clubs and other events on campus. Even though there were many times that I missed home, Bryn Mawr now feels like a second home to me and I’m really glad I made the decision to come here.

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

I really loved WTF week. I was very negative about it initially, because I felt like it was difficult for me as a shy person to find a person to ask, and I knew some other first-years who weren’t participating, but I ended up finding a great person to ask and you can always go to the mixers, so there’s no reason for anyone to be left out! WTF week really helped make me feel at home at Bryn Mawr and gave me an opportunity to meet new people, especially people in my WTF Family, who are now really good friends of mine. I think it’s really special that Bryn Mawr has a tradition that offers that sense of family throughout your years here.

What’s your favorite method of self-care?

I really like going for walks around campus and spending time with friends, whether it be doing homework together, catching up in each other’s rooms and watching movies or going out. Sometimes just lying in bed by myself and watching Netflix is a really good way to destress too. Getting ice cream at Erdman or making myself tea also makes me feel good when things are stressful.

What are your favorite spots in Bryn Mawr or Philly?

I love going to Arncliffe! Last year a friend of mine passed away so I spent most of my nights during that period painting in the middle of the night; it really helped me process and it’s something I still enjoy doing whenever I get the urge to. Sometimes I don’t even do art there but just go and do work.

I need to visit Philly more often, but when I go I usually go to South Street or Center City. Sushi Land is my favorite restaurant in Bryn Mawr, and Hothouse Coffee and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute are really great places to go to when I have time.

What are some things you’re up to, and how can we support you?

I’ve been focusing on dismantling rape culture and the sexualization of women and femmepresenting people and their bodies a lot lately. I think it’s really important for people to feel comfortable in their bodies and in how they present themselves and not have to face a constant threat of abuse or exploitation. I haven’t decided my major or career path yet, but one idea I have is going into law and working with issues of gender-based discrimination. I don’t want anyone to have to live in silence about acts of violence against them and I think people need to be held accountable for their actions and treatment of others.

Anything else you’d like the Bryn Mawr community to know about you?

My family has a lot of artists so I grew up around that influence, and although I don’t really feel like making art most of the time because I’m lazy, when I get the urge to or if it’s for an assignment, it’s something that really matters to me. I spent a lot of time in the studio in high school, which made a lot of my teachers think I was planning on going to art school, which didn’t really interest me, obviously, but it’s definitely something that’s important to me and I need to do it more often.

Thank you for your time Susannah!