Student Perspectives & Advice

Advice, encouragement, and musings from current Wellesley students— as you ponder the (life-altering!) decision to become a Wellesley woman.

Adele
Adele '17 Caroline '14  Dylan '16 Imara '17 Lamisa '17
Maggie '14 Mara '15 Neha '15 Seraphina '16

Taylor '15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More perspectives from current students at: "Why Wellesley?"

Adele

Adele Watkins

Class of 2017
Undeclared
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Why Wellesley?

Wellesley was my dream school. I knew the first time I visited that I wanted to come here, so as soon as I got in, I enrolled. I loved Wellesley because the students seemed to be everything that I wanted to be, and they were only a few years older than me.

Best things about Wellesley

The Lake: I have walked around the lake more times than I ever thought I would. I walk around the lake with my friends, I walked around the lake with my mom, and I walk around the lake when I need time to myself. It is a surprising feature of Wellesley that I love more than I could have imagined.

Funding for two internships: I will have funding for two summer internships; interning for these two summers would not have been possible without Wellesley's financial support! What was important to me is that there was communication to students that funding is available through various sources! I was surprised that there was so much available funding and that I could do an internship without having finances be a barrier.

Favorite course

Routes of Exile: Jews and Muslims (HIST 115). 
Read Adele's comments

A fun outing

My friends and I went to Veggie Galaxy on a whim, and now we go all the time! Its fun to find places to frequent, especially diners!

Unique opportunity

I went to a lecture given by Pamela Melroy, an alum who was an astronaut/NASA Space Shuttle pilot and commander. After the lecture, she opened up the floor to a Q&A and a student said that she was interested in the same major as Pamela and wanted to know if she had any advice. Pamela's response was to offer to stay after the lecture to talk to her about summer opportunities and programs she should apply for. This is a great example about the lengths to which alums will go for current students, and how powerful the Wellesley network is.

Advice

If you are looking for a place where you have ownership of your campus, where your voice is heard, and where you feel accepted, come to Wellesley! The one trait that all Wellesley students share is our passion for anything and everything. Aside from this, our interests differ greatly. Wellesley is the best because no two students are the same

 

 

Caroline Templeton

Class of 2014
Geosciences
Sarasota, Florida

Why Wellesley?

I attended my mother's reunion the summer before my senior year and just fell in love. It was amazing to meet so many successful, intelligent, and independent women all in one place. Hearing their stories about their time at Wellesley and beyond and getting advice about my future made me feel so welcome. Their willingness to help and provide support obviously stemmed from their amazing experiences at Wellesley. It really made me want to be part of this elite group of extraordinary women.

Best things about Wellesley

My best friends that I met during orientation first year. We all lived on the same floor, Stone 2nd short.

Favorite course

Volcanology with Wintersession Lab in Hawaii (GEOS 220).
Read Caroline's comments.

A fun outing

Yesterday (March 5) I decided at the last minute to meet my friend on Boston Common to go ice skating on the Frog Pond. I had been studying at MIT and she was at her internship in Boston, so we met up around lunchtime for some wintertime ice skating. It was a great last-minute decision!

Unique opportunity

Joining the Wellesley College Cross Country Ski Team was the best decision I could have ever made. For a girl from Florida, it was an exciting way to force myself outside during the winter. While it is a small team, the kindness of my teammates helped me work through the difficulties and pain of learning how to ski. As a co-captain of the team now in my last year, it has made me incredibly happy to have learned how to ski, teach others how to ski, and experience New England winter.

Advice

You might feel like you have everything planned out perfectly but you will find something new when you come to college that you love. Allow yourself to try everything.

 

Dylan McGarvey

Class of 2016
History
New Fairfield, Connecticut

Why Wellesley?

I chose Wellesley because of its students. There are a lot of liberal arts colleges, but I thought Wellesley was distinctive because of how committed its students are to each other and to the fields they are passionate about.

Best things about Wellesley

Thanks to Student Financial Services, Wellesley was more affordable than any other school I was accepted to, public or private. I've gone to the SFS office in the middle of the day and spoken to a financial aid counselor within minutes, no appointment necessary.

Unique opportunity

Going to a small women's college can get a little intense sometimes, but I think it has allowed me to grow as a person in ways I wouldn't have elsewhere. I've learned so much from my brilliant professors, our friendly staff, and my incredible friends.

Advice

Don't be too committed to what you think you want to do as an incoming first year. Be open to new friends and interests, and allow yourself to change and grow.

 

Imara McMillan

Class of 2017
Undeclared
Chicago, Illinois

Why Wellesley?

I honestly took a leap of faith. I wasn't sure that I wanted the "all-women's" experiences, but it was either hardcore partying I wasn't comfortable with, or the middle of nowhere. Wellesley was a nice in-between, near to friends, near(ish) to family, and I'm glad I chose it.

Best things about Wellesley

The campus— it is GORGEOUS!

The professors, who will answer your emails and questions anytime, anywhere. Also they write amazing letters of recommendation!

The seniors (well, the students in general)— they are welcoming and ready to make Wellesley your home when the first year gets rough.

Favorite course

History of Education (EDUC 212). Read Imara's comments.
 

A fun outing

Cambridge (Kendall Cinema): They show all sorts of neat movies, like the Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts and "Kaze Tachinu," Miyazaki's last film. Its pretty close to The Friendly Toast, and eclectic diner/breakfast place that is open until 2 am. Make it dinner and a movie night, and head back on the Senate bus with ease from the 77 Mass Ave. stop!

The MFA and the Isabella Gardner Museum: If your name is Isabella, you get in to the Gardner Museum free, but luckily for everyone else, both the MFA and the Gardner Museum are free for Wellesley students! For a more traditional museum experience, the MFA is one of the finest museums in the nation, hosting TONS of art from all around the world. I would definitely suggest the Japanese Temple Room - amazing, and as close as you can get to an actual Japanese Temple (that I know of) for free without heading to Japan!

Unique opportunity

Being able to choose to hear from so many different lecturers, for free, without leaving campus. I've learned so much in class, but the out-of-class supplements from people who are in the top of their field is really nice too.

Advice

I think that all students should trust their gut. Ignore the rankings. Ignore what your friends say. Ignore your parents, unless they are telling you they can't afford it. Look at what YOU want. Make a list; mine was small, liberal arts college, East Coast, near city but not in city. Look at what you want to study, how you want to study, if you want to be near or far from family, near or far from friends. Think logistics: can you be home for break? Can you do what you want to do? Just break down the process step by step by step. 

And to add a more specifically Wellesley point, if all-women's is what's getting you hung up, ignore it. I did, and I'm very happy.

 

 

Lamisa Hossain

Class of 2017
Undeclared
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Why Wellesley?

The incredible opportunity to live on a beautiful, prestigious, all-women's campus within an hour's drive from the student hub that is Boston. 

Also, I knew a few people who were studying at Wellesley and when I spoke to them, they all seemed so happy and content! Wellesley seemed like the perfect option because not only would it challenge me academically, but also it would also provide a bolstering environment that would help to balance the busy college life—and Wellesley has certainly lived up to these expectations.

Best things about Wellesley

Being able to embrace the nerd within—because you know everyone around you is just as motivated as you are. In addition:

  • The knowledge that you are surrounded by women who are just as passionate and driven as you are is definitely a constant source of inspiration.
  • Ice cream in the dining halls all the time!
  • The brilliant, supportive and—most importantly—humorous faculty who get most of the credit in helping students figure out what to do (or not to do) with their lives.
  • The wonderful Wellesley alumnae network and CWS, who are always willing to help in any way they can.
  • A sunset run along the gorgeous path around Lake Waban.
  • Slater International Center: the people, the food and Taboo (the game).
Favorite course

Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment (POL2-204). Read Lamisa's comments.

Advice

Having always studied at schools with small class sizes, I had taken this dynamic for granted. The student-teacher ratio isn't something I thought about when I picked schools I was applying to, and so my one piece of advice would be to take a good look at this when choosing where to go because it's indicative of how much personal attention you'll receive as a student. There's no doubt that the relationships you form with your professors and advisors are some of the most important for your university career. I got lucky because Wellesley has very small class sizes, and this allows us to form close ties with the professors and our classmates and have an active participant role in the classrooms. The punchline is: come to Wellesley!

 

 

 

Maggie McConnell

Class of 2014
Psychology
Marietta, Georgia

A fun outing

I love Boston, so I can give you about a hundred-- The summer after my first year I lived at an MIT fraternity when the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup (hockey) The parade the city hosted all along downtown was absolutely amazing-- same for the most recent Boston Red Sox World Series! Cheering in the street with 100,000 of your closest friends is an experience like no other. 

The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum (right next to the Museum of Fine Arts— also AMAZING!) is a beautiful, quiet, homey art museum that was home to one of the last unsolved "art heists." It's a cozy and inspiring place with a beautiful indoor garden. I like to go and recharge sometimes during the semester. 

I have worked at the J.Crew in Copley (by the Prudential Center) since my first year at Wellesley. I have the awesome experience of seeing customers I've helped all over the place (recently saw a woman I styled for her wedding photos at the Whole Foods in the Vil with her new daughter. We exchanged numbers for me to babysit!), but also a wonderful excuse to get into the city every week. I used sophomore year to try to eat dinner after work at a different place each week— some top contenders are Boloco Burritos, B-Good, Sweetgreen Salads, and the time a friend and I snuck McDonald's into a movie theatre to see the Hunger Games!

Unique opportunity

I was lucky enough to receive a really wonderful stipend this past summer for the Summer Internships in Psychology. Most psychology internships are unpaid— since research and other things are not for profit, it's hard to find paid positions. The grant I received from the Center for Work and Service allowed me to pay for my summer housing, food, gas for my car, and still have a good amount left over to put in savings.  I've had a ton of really amazing Wellesley-specific experiences. I participated in the Summer Internships in Psychology at the Walker School in Needham, which allowed me to work in a one on one setting with kids with emotional, behavioral and psychological disorders. I have also been lucky to do research at Harvard in the Psychology Department through a Wellesley alumna. It was one of my favorite summers of college.

I think the biggest opportunity for me has come from my interactions with the Psychology Department. I have always known that I wanted to be a psychology major, but found myself needing some direction in how I wanted to approach it during my senior fall. The faculty in the Psychology Department have been so amazing and supportive— several of them sat down for hour-long meetings with me to talk about their experience and give suggestions for what I could do. The head of the department helped me with an independent study and has been so supportive. I can't say enough about the professors at Wellesley and the way they help and guide the students.

 

Mara Elissa Palmer

Class of 2015
Political Science
Easthampton, Massachusetts

Why Wellesley?

Wellesley's mission is to equip women with the tools to become better students, people, and leaders in order to be positive forces of change in their communities. All I read and all I heard about Wellesley made me want to come here for college specifically because I wanted to be part of the movement of women taking on leadership positions in their communities, in their workplaces, and in the world.

Best things about Wellesley

There are so many things that it's difficult to pick just a few! Professor Stacie Goddard is my hero, role model, favorite lecturer, and all-around rockstar professor who inspires me to pursue political science in the future.

The Shakespeare Society has given me the best family (Sonnet LXV!), friends, creative outlet, and theatre space on campus, which has made me into a better person and artist.

The Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs was one of the most spectacular, challenging, and enlightening three weeks I have ever been through. The people I met and the other students I worked with continue to inspire me to be a better global citizen, leader, and person. My friends keep me sane and happy, challenge me to keep improving, laugh at all my good (and bad) puns, and give me hugs whenever I have had a bad day.

Favorite course

Weapons, Strategy, and War (POL3 379). Read Mara's comments.

A fun outing

A group of my friends and I recently went into Boston to watch a filmed screening of the London National Theatre's production of "Coriolanus" by William Shakespeare, with the lead role played by one of my favorite British actors. It was on a Monday night and we were all thrilled to go on an excursion on a weekday (there was no school!). Three of us went for dinner at one of my favorite pizza places and one of my friends from Maine said that the pizza chain came from her home state! After dinner, we went to the Coolidge Corner Theater for the show and a glorious two-and-a-half hours later, we immediately jumped into analysis of the show and the actors' performances. It was a chilly walk back to the bus stop but all of us still talk about our night out!

Unique opportunity

I have had several amazing opportunities thanks to Wellesley! I traveled to Berlin, Germany, during Wintersession my sophomore year, which marked the first time I had ever been to Europe. I would not have gone on the trip if I had not begun taking German as my language here. The summer before junior year, I interned at the Massachusetts State House through the Lumpkin Service Summer Institute which provided housing, funding, and weekly lectures that covered the non-profit sectors in the Boston area. I was a Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs Fellow the Wintersession of my junior year, which was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from global leaders, scholars, and each other. The Albright Institute is at Wellesley because one of our alumnae invested in our education! Thanks to the Institute, I am also able to apply for international global affairs-related internships and am even encouraged to find internships specifically in a new country.

Advice

As an admitted student, you should consider where you feel you would have the most room to grow as a person, where you feel you could make a great contribution to a college community, and where the other students make you think more deeply and seriously about the world at large.

 

 

Neha Doshi

Class of 2015
Economics
Hixson, Tennessee

Why Wellesley?

When I first visited Wellesley for Spring Open Campus, I deviated from the schedule and found myself chatting with physics professors, attending a debate between Ambassador Lodhi and Ambassador Patterson (Wellesley alum!), and having an absolutely fabulous and intellectually stimulating time! This sounds cliche, but I just knew it was the right place for me.

Best things about Wellesley

Friendships! I've developed some amazing friendships with my classmates over the past three years. They're incredibly supportive, fun, and will be your source of sanity during midterms and finals season. Professors! I love my professors. They're insanely smart, friendly, and available. Green Tea ice cream: Wellesley has an ice cream endowment, and our newest flavor is Green Tea. It's absolutely delicious.

Favorite course

Empathy, Perspective Taking, and Moral Judgment (PHIL 345). Read Neha's comments

Fun outing

Going out to Pho Basil, LA Burdick, Flour, and so many other great food places!

Unique opportunity

I was fortunate to be selected as a Challenges of an Urban Future Fellow through the Albright Institute. Through this program, I traveled to China, and worked with my peers from Wellesley and Peking University. For two weeks, we attended lectures, attacked issues related to urbanization, and had lots of fun! This was a great personal and academic experience!

Advice

Don't sweat the small things (or big), have lots of fun, and try new things! Wellesley is such special place filled with interesting people and things to do. As a first year, I remember spending so much of my time stressing out about academics, internships, etc. that I didn't take time to enjoy Wellesley for what it is. And most importantly, forgive yourself! It's okay if you make a bad grade, spend your weekend not being productive, and don't get an internship that you want. Learn from the experience and do better next time!

 

 

 

Seraphina Oney

Class of 2016
History
Claremont, California

 

Why Wellesley?

I love the close knit community that Wellesley offers as well as the variety of friends you can accumulate here. My friends have a wide diversity of interests, and participate in many different orgs, and yet we all have something in common: we are all Wellesley students.

 

Best things about Wellesley

I wanted a school where I felt safe and that also offered the opportunity for me to cultivate my interests. I wanted a school that was located in the suburbs but had easy access to a city. And above all, I wanted a school that highly valued academia, with strong departments in all subjects from the sciences to the humanities.

Favorite course

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Anatomy of Evil (WRIT 146).
Read Seraphina's comments.

A fun outing

I love doing the historic walking tour in Boston. Boston's streets are teeming with history. The best way to end a trip in Boston is to go ice skating at frog pond and drink a cup of hot chocolate.

 

 

taylor

Taylor Rondestvedt

Class of 2015
History
Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

Why Wellesley?

The campus, the incredible professors, the opportunities to do amazing things outside the classroom, the traditions, the fireplaces, the location... the list is endless, but I knew, from the moment I first stepped foot here that there was nowhere else I could be as happy for four years. There is a general drive on campus that fuels my desire to learn more, write more, discuss more, read more and just be a student for the sake of learning, not necessarily for the sake of doing better than someone else.

It's not utopia, it's Wellesley! I have met the most interesting people, made friendships that will last my entire lifetime and exposed myself to new subjects, activities and ways of thinking. It can be challenging, busy and different, but it's also rewarding, supportive and most of all, it's home.

 

Best things about Wellesley

There are so many wonderful things about Wellesley, so I'll try to stick to just a few! I love the people, because Wellesley students are fascinating, driven, creative, and all around brilliant. It's fun to turn to a new neighbor in class and get to know them. The Tower Great Hall, one of my favorite spots on campus, is the perfect place to camp out with your friends to make working a fun (and warm! There's a fireplace!) experience. There's the Art Library, for when you need a quiet place to do work, the Hoop for when you want a delicious late night snack, beautiful residence halls to live in, a lake to explore... there's so much here that make it so wonderful and so interesting!

Unique opportunity

I've watched Madeline Albright make a sandwich, eaten my weight in smores and ice cream, listened to the dean of students read a bedtime story, studied abroad in Copenhagen, debated different types of feminism, sung a capella down by the lake, learned a totally new sport, attended lectures by incredible people outside my department, shared meals with professors, taken classes far outside my comfort zone, chatted with (MA Congressman) Joe Kennedy, watched my professors comment on CNN, made new and incredible friends young and old, and generally had the most challenging, most interesting and most wonderful three years of my life!

Favorite course

History of the American West: Manifest Destiny to Pacific Imperialism (HIST 244). Read Taylor's comments.

Fun outings

The things I love about Boston are numerous and varied! I love the Museum of Fine Arts (we get free admission, so I try and go as often as possible!), the Isabella Gardner Museum, studying in the beautiful Boston Public Library, walking along the harbor, Charles Street in Beacon Hill, having brunch in Harvard Square, relaxing in the Boston Common, studying at Trident (it's the world's greatest book store) and meeting up with friends to just hang out.

Boston is a great city, and we're close enough to experience it often, but far enough removed that our campus feels like a totally different place. It's the "best of both worlds," and the city is always there if you need a break or want a change of scene.

Advice

Wellesley has so many incredible opportunities, both inside the classroom and out, but unlike high school, no one is going to tell you to take advantage of them except for, well, you! Wellesley has taught me that help and advice are always there, you just have to ask for it. If you are willing to advocate for yourself and your passions, there are classes, internships, trips, organizations, cultural institutions, alums, professors and more who want to make your time here as rich and full (and busy!) as possible. Ask tons of questions. Go to office hours, because your professors, other than being incredibly willing to help you, are also very interesting individuals doing cool projects, writing awesome pieces and all-around passionate about teaching and learning. Same goes for the upperclasswomen, who are always excited to pass down their tips, tricks and hints to new students.

 

Related

Best Things About Wellesley
(and about being at a women's college)
1. Intelligent and fabulous women
2. Caring professors
3. Academics
4. The sense of community
5. Extensive resources
6. Amazing opportunities
7. Global network
8. The alumnae
9. Small classes
10. Proximity to Boston/Cambridge
11. Beautiful campus
12. No immature boys!


Beautiful campus,
great community! 

Sebiha Abdullahi '15
Biological Chemistry
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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