There’s something for everyone in Boston and Cambridge, and a (reasonably priced) bus to get you there.
Watching whales, enjoying ballet, strolling in the North End, entertaining "little sisters". . .
When I first applied to college, campus location was not a major factor in my decision. I did not realize how much the proximity of Wellesley to Boston would enhance my social experience! After growing up in a small midwestern town, life on the East Coast has been such an exciting change. In my opinion, Wellesley is the perfect location, combining the intimacy of a small campus with convenient access to a cultured, fun city.
Some of my favorite memories about Wellesley do not occur in the classroom, but in the city, spending time with friends and unwinding from the busy week. This fall, to celebrate the beginning of our sophomore year, my close friends Kate Corcoran, Aliya Khan, and I (in photo) visited Flour Bakery and Cafe, feasting on warm bread and buns. Aliya's "big sister" had introduced her to it last year and we had heard rave reviews. It’s conveniently located on Massachusetts Avenue, right near MIT’s campus, so we were able to use the Senate bus and get off at the Mass Ave stop.
We took our own first-year “little sisters” (one of my favorite Wellesley traditions) and chatted about how their years were going. Next, we walked to Toscaninis, which is famous for having the best ice cream in Boston. I ate their signature flavor, burnt caramel, which was strong but delicious.
Food is not Boston’s only highlight! I also love shopping on Newbury Street, hanging out on Boston Common, and strolling around the historic North End. In only my short time at Wellesley, I have countless fond memories of exploring Boston with my friends. I have been whale watching at the New England Aquarium, seen the Boston Ballet perform the Nutcracker, and visited Walden Pond in Concord. Yet so much remains that I want to do! —Sarah Herman '15, an English major from Granville, Ohio
Visiting the Gardner Museum, enjoying a best first date, interning in Chinatown, thrift shopping, studying (yes, studying) . . .
Wellesley is a beautiful campus, but being from a city myself, I can get stir crazy quite easily - so the transportation Wellesley provides into Boston is crucial for maintaining my sanity during midterms week. I've been going into Boston at least once a week since my first week at Wellesley. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love Swelles and there are many things to do here, but Boston is a great mini-vacation from life here. Usually I take shorter trips in to have a meal, often on Friday evening after I get off work, or longer trips to explore a favorite neighborhood or find a cafe to study in. Some of my favorite excursions include:
- Visiting the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum! (pictured above) It's within walking distance from the MFA and is a much-underrated museum. The museum used to be the home of Ms. Gardner and it is incredible anyone ever lived surrounded by so many beautiful things. It is also the site of the biggest museum robbery in history, and you can still see where the stolen paintings would have hung.
- The best first date I ever went on was at Trident Cafe. They make the most delicious sandwiches I have ever had. My personal favorite is the Avocado and Havarti Melt. It's like heaven on a slice of bread!
- I had an internship my second semester in Chinatown at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center assisting in an after-school program for grade school kids. This was the first time I had ever been in a teacher position in a classroom, and it was such a great learning experience that I am now an Education Studies minor and getting a teaching certificate.
- Thrift shopping all over the city is one of my favorite ways to spend a day (wear comfortable shoes because Boston does not have the best sidewalks). Going shopping in the suburbs surrounding Wellesley is usually limited to the giant shopping mall in Natick, which is nice, but for those with an adventurous spirit and who want to keep their wallets a little fuller, shopping in Boston is the way to go. There are tons of thrift stores all over the city like Goodwill and Salvation Army but the most famous is the Garment District. It's a great place to find a Halloween costume or that sweater that is the perfect combination of ugly and cute.
- Studying. That's right, I said it. It's perhaps not the most exciting thing to put in an essay on what to do in Boston, but it is one of my most common activities. I like to go into Boston to study because it makes me feel more productive and I like studying better in busy spaces. Some of my favorite places to study are the Boston Public Library, Diesel Cafe, Jamaica Pond, or Boston Common when it's warm outside, or one of the dozens of cafes on Newbury Street when I want to be close to a Peter Pan bus stop. —Lily Harper ’15, an American studies major from Kalamazoo, Michigan
Volunteering on a political campaign, having gained inspiration from a political science class . . .
Not only are there fun and entertaining things to do in Beantown, but also there is a wide range of professional opportunities here in the Greater Boston area. During my first few weeks at Wellesley, I began volunteering on a political campaign for one of my political science classes. Through this experience I learned about the various internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities available for us at our fingertips. I kept in close contact with the candidate who ran for office and received the opportunity to work at Cambridge City Hall. It just goes to show that there are various avenues to help you gain technical skills, street smarts (such as navigating the T), and real life experiences that will stick with you forever. —Jessica Shin '18, undeclared, Irvine, California
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