It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post because I’ve been preparing for college and attending orientation (and I’ll be the first to admit it…I’m full of excuses). Before I left for Wellesley, I visited my boyfriend David for a few days to wish him luck on his exciting adventure of studying abroad in Prague (the capital of the Czech Republic) this fall. People have always been curious about our long distance relationship (it’ll be 3 years in December!), but there’s some truth in the cheesy-romantic-comedy saying: “distance makes the heart grows fonder”. To me, if you and your partner can both grow separately while growing together, the relationship is one worthy of being held on to. (That doesn’t mean we aren’t already counting the days until we next see each other…) But I digress, long distance relationships are something to discuss another time.
[How cute is David's cat Vegas? He's soo fluffy!]
Now that I’ve finally moved into college and the first three days of orientation are over, I have some time to reflect on this transition. I’m only beginning to fully understand how attending a women’s college is a truly unique experience. While our friends at larger, co-ed schools across the nation tell us about the frat parties they’ve attended, the crazy stuff happening in their dorms, and the generally daunting social atmosphere, we’re becoming good friends with the people in our residence halls, chatting strangers up about their goals and dreams, becoming awestruck by our approachable and passionate faculty, having important discussions on self-care, sexual violence, mental health, diversity, gender and sexuality, and community, and celebrating sisterhood. For the first time in too long, I feel like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. I couldn’t be happier, or more grateful for this opportunity.
[Me at 2 years old and me now. Location: Boston Commons]
Going into orientation, I wasn’t sure what to expect. How would upperclass(wo)men treat us? How would we react to each other? Would certain groups of people metaphorically “fall through the cracks” in social settings? Would people be ultra competitive about their accomplishments? During the summer I read too many comments on sites like College Confidential and College Prowler from people who were clearly not a good fit for the school. But once I got here, I realized that my worries were silly and only held me back from enjoying everything that is waiting for me here.
[This is my home, Tower Court! Everyday the beauty of the architecture here on campus takes my breath away. Oh, and we also have a gorgeous lake to hike around and paddle on!]
The truth is, sadly, I doubt that many places like Wellesley still remain. (By “places” I mean not the physical beauty of the campus, but the community and the spirit of support and mentorship here.) The number of women’s colleges has shrunk vastly (despite stunning evidence that proves the necessity of women’s colleges) and stereotypes about women’s colleges instantly turn off many high school girls from even applying (Wellesley received less than 5,000 applications last year, whereas MIT, our “brother” school, received nearly 19,000 applications for just 400 more seats in their class).
My biggest piece of advice for high school girls currently navigating through the college application process is really a no-brainer considering I just finished raving about Wellesley, but here it is: open yourself up to the possibility of attending a women’s college. At the very least, make a genuine attempt to research and understand the opportunities they provide before making a decision. Let yourself explore an option that is less taken advantage of.
I hope to see you on campus next year. Let’s go grab lunch at the Lulu and talk social justice sometime.