Why choose Wellesley? Friendship, ethos of sisterhood, kindred spirits, talented women, access to professors, the best social and intellectual environment for women, the network, the network, and the network ...
Patrice Caldwell '15, Political Science, Arlington, Texas
It seems like so long ago that I was sitting at the computer writing the “Why Wellesley” supplement of the Common App. I remember including things about how Wellesley would enable me to grow into the woman I wanted to be and how being in a community that has produced alumnae that are at the top of their chosen fields would give me the resources I needed to succeed. But the funny thing is that when I came here, I forgot all of that and instead focused on making friends and on the challenging yet amazing courses I was taking. In fact it wasn’t until I went home for winter break, after my first semester at Wellesley, that I was truly able to articulate “Why Wellesley” once again. See, because in the midst of all my classes, and hanging out with friends, and attending cultural events on and off campus, I’d lost sight of why Wellesley was so special to me.
The thing is, Wellesley to me is a college like no other. Yes, I am sure I could have attended another college and done just as well, if not better; however, my experience wouldn’t be as rich. I wouldn’t have gotten to have a writing class and 200-level political science class with seven people my first year. I wouldn’t have met people who are so different from me in every way and had them become some of my best friends with some of our only similarities being our love for “Mean Girls,” trips to the MFA, and the pursuit of knowledge. I don’t think I would hold the officer positions I do in various organizations, nor would I have been able to do research with the head of the Sociology Department as a sophomore. I’m not saying Wellesley is perfect, because it isn’t; but I do consider it to be a second home for me, a place where I feel safe, yet at the same time am able to strike out on my own and carve my own path with the help of the tools and resources Wellesley gives me.
Nora Mishanec '14, Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences, Schenectady, New York
I attended community college for a year, and that's where I realized that I wanted to go to a school with small classes and lots of access to professors. I babysat the son of an alumna for many years. After putting him to bed, I would always pick up her copy of the College's alumnae magazine. I loved reading about Wellesley but never considered going here because I dismissed it as too expensive. When I told her that I was thinking about transferring to a liberal arts school, she convinced me to apply and helped me through the transfer process. Her love for Wellesley came through loud and clear, and that's how I wanted to feel about my school. I visited the campus and drove home hoping that I would get accepted. Luckily, I did!
Katie Joh '14, International Relations/Political Science, Millbrae, California
I knew I had to come to Wellesley when I heard an alumna talk about her experiences staying up all night talking with friends: about everything, from religion, politics, tolerance and indifference, and yes, feminism. As the most outspoken girl at my high school, this sounded like heaven to me, and Wellesley has not disappointed over the past three years. I have found kindred spirits here who will discuss just about anything as animatedly and as copiously as I, and the bond I share with some of these friends goes deeper than words. It is true that professors and peers alike at Wellesley will push you beyond your comfort zone at times, but I have found that I have grown the most precisely because of the challenges I have faced here. And at the end of the day, I have always felt safe at Wellesley because underpinning everything at this campus is an ethos of sisterhood: a dedication to ceaselessly respect, protect, and love one another unconditionally.
Kellen Kartub '14, Chemistry and Music, Manhattan Beach, California
Honestly, I never intended on choosing all women's college. I visited Wellesley on a whim, to check it out and just get a feel for the atmosphere. But something about the campus really spoke to me, and I found myself hooked. It didn't take much; after a few seconds of walking around I knew this place would be a good fit for me. There is this wonderful sense of drive, focus, and beauty on campus that is really inspiring. I love to sing. I am heavily involved with the Wellesley College Choir, and I love it. We have been having such a great year so far, and I'm filled with so much happiness and pride when I think about all the progress choir has made. We just had our fall concert and it went so well! The music was so beautiful; I had such a blast singing. My friends told me that I looked really happy on stage, and that's because I was. It felt amazing to finally share all the great pieces we've been working on.
Loriade Akin-Olugbade '14, French and Psychology, Lagos, Nigeria
I came to Wellesley mostly because of the W Network and all the resources that are available to students for internships, work experience, etc. At Wellesley, I like the fact that I can say what I want without feeling the pressure to "sound smart" or control how I say things. No males, not even my male professors, get special treatments anymore!
The reasons I chose to come to Wellesley and why I would never leave are innumerable. I love how at Wellesley students are treated like daughters. There are small classes and professors are very approachable. The campus is beautiful and we have our own lake. As for a women's college, the whole environment is very comfortable. You can walk around in sweatpants and talk about almost anything and people won't judge you. Everyone at Wellesley is special and there is no cut-throat competition.
Aimee Kang '13, English, Osaka, Japan
Living half way across the world and somehow always busy during school breaks, I had to do all my college shopping online. I randomly contacted current students and alums in hopes of gaining a better insight into schools. Immediately, Wellesley stood out from all the others—no other school had students and alums more excited to talk at length about their amazing time at college! The more I heard about Wellesley, the more it felt perfect to me—like home, even from half way around the world. Of course, there were other factors that I liked, including Wellesley's reputation, size, location, and wealth of opportunities that are usually unavailable to students at large, coed universities. In the end, I saw these student/alum responses and stories as the ultimate testaments to Wellesley's community and empowering undergraduate experience. I wasn't wrong!
Arlevea Freeman '15, Economics, Chicago, Illinois
I choose Wellesley because of the women I met on and off campus who continue to inspire and awe me. When I came for Fall Open Campus, I was overjoyed over the conversations, lessons, and new friends I was able to have. That was over one weekend! I knew Wellesley was a place I could truly call home. Being a part of the Wellesley Choir is an experience that has shaped my musical and social life. I’ve gotten the chance to learn Portuguese, Russian, and Latin, as well as make and eat the best blondies I have ever had, all while singing along to Cinderella, the musical, with amazing singers.
Davina Huang '13, History, Singapore
I actually placed a deposit in another college but changed my mind after attending a Wellesley alumnae gathering in my hometown (Singapore). At the event, I met very accomplished Wellesley women who were not only confident in themselves, but also very eager to help me. That was when I first experienced the power of the Wellesley network and, even till now, I'm still keeping in touch with the alums I met back then. I came into Wellesley not knowing what to do with my life. I applied "undecided," thinking that I will find out during my four years in Wellesley. Now in my junior year, I have to say that I still don't have a blueprint for my life. But unlike the previous me, I am not afraid of that uncertainty because I have gained in Wellesley the drive and confidence to explore every opportunity that comes my way! Wellesley has opened my eyes to the range of possibilities in the future and has shown me that there is no one definition of success.
Aryanne de Silva '13, Psychology, Trincity, Trinidad
I chose Wellesley because of its excellent reputation and because of its incredible alumnae network. I also knew that I would be able to form lifelong bonds with talented women here, and I would be able to find a place among them. I love the community of strong, independent women, who share similar interests and goals. I also really enjoy the intellectual aspect of Wellesley. Here I can partake in dynamic discussions about a variety of topics, but particularly on topics related to women, both in and out of the classroom.
Laura Yan '14, History and Middle Eastern Studies, Hong Kong
I didn’t realize that I would fall in love with Wellesley until after I had been accepted; all I knew at the time of applying was that I wanted to attend a liberal arts college. I wasn’t aware of how gorgeous the campus is or how friendly the people are here. All it took to make my decision was the knowledge that I could be part of one of the best intellectual and social environments for women in the world. After that, my decision was clear! Since coming to Wellesley, I’ve become much more open to trying new things. I started studying Arabic on a whim and I never thought that I would eventually become a Middle Eastern Studies major, especially because it’s not a very popular subject in Hong Kong. But I decided to pursue what I am truly passionate about and it has been such a great experience so far.
And a few more comments from students from the Class of 2012.
Olivia Hulme '12, Chemistry, Alma, Michigan
I chose Wellesley because of the outstanding opportunities in the science fields to become involved in research with a professor. As a chemistry major, I have had the opportunity to work closely with faculty as an integral part of their laboratory group. The strength of departments outside of my anticipated major was also appealing to me. I was excited to take advantage of the “liberal arts” nature of Wellesley. My four years on the Swimming & Diving team has been my favorite group of memories. I have a family on the team and have learned and grown from my experiences and the women I have had the opportunity to know on the team.
Merene Botsio '12, Africana Studies & International Relations, Accra, Ghana
A quote from my Why Wellesley essay on my application: "Another reason why I love Wellesley so much is the strong alumnae network and the caliber of women that the school churns out. I have always admired Hillary Clinton, and it has always been my greatest desire to attend the college that helped shape her into the successful woman and politician she is today. Hopefully one day, with the vast experience I would have amassed from Wellesley, I would be able to make a difference in this world and enter the annals of the school’s history as one of its greatest." Today, not only have I met Hillary Clinton, thanks to Wellesley, but also I can say with confidence that I am well on my way to achieving my dreams.
Rachel Haberman '12, Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences, Sudbury, Massachusetts
I grew up in the town next door and informed my parents that I wanted to go to Wellesley when I was about five years old. Fast-forward 12 years, and I told them I wanted to study music in a conservatory. I transferred to Wellesley after realizing that I wanted more out of my education, and when I came back to visit I found out that that gut feeling I'd had back in kindergarten was right—I just knew that this was the place for me.
Phoebe Handler '12, Environmental Studies, Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Though I decided to apply to Wellesley because of its reputation as an elite liberal arts institution, I found that I was always a bit skeptical about how the school would “fit” me. Even coming from an all-girls high school, I was unconvinced that any single-sex college would be the right place for me. It took about an hour of my Spring Open Campus visit for me to realize that Wellesley was actually the perfect “fit” for me. Never before had I felt so engaged by my peers – I was surrounded by women like me who were interested, engaged, and ambitious about their passions. That was the environment I wanted to spend four years in!
To be frank, I wasn't keen on Wellesley until I spent time on campus. Coming from a large, urban, public, coed high school, I was afraid to attend a small, suburban, all-women's, private college because it was unlike anything I had ever done before. After I spent some time on campus and met some students, my fears went away and I realized Wellesley students were actually normal and approachable. Even though I knew I wasn't as cultured, intelligent, or well rounded as the students I met when I visited as a prospie, I met people I aspired to be like. I chose Wellesley because of the mentors and role models I knew I would have here, helping me grow until I could help others.