Monica Gates and friends
Major: Undecided, science
Hometown: Edina, Minnesota


Monica Gates '15

4-13-12

What made you choose Wellesley? What were you looking for in a college? Did any one thing tip your decision towards Wellesley?

I was looking for a great academic college in a welcoming environment. When I first visited campus I knew I was coming here: I loved how inviting the students were, the fact that I was able to swim at Wellesley, that the professors I met were so helpful and gracious, and that the faculty/student ratio was amazingly low. I don’t think I could have picked a better fit.

What has been your most memorable class thus far? Why?

I’ve had so many memorable classes! The humanities courses will expand your horizons (Education 212, History 272, and CAMS 105s have all done so for me), the science labs will make you lasting friends, the science classes are small and great, and all of the professors are wonderful. I only wish I could take more courses.

What’s your favorite spot on campus? Why?

I really like the Keohane Sports Center, because I’ll always see a friend there. Likewise for the Science Center, especially the center area filled with sunlight, space, and mechanical light-up neurons.

Describe any research, internship, cross-registration, or co-curricular experience you may have had at Wellesley.

I’m working in Professor Arumainayagam’s research lab right now and love it. The people are awesome, and I understand so much more about his research than when I first came in. I read one of the graduating seniors’ theses the other day and it demonstrated to me just how much I’ve grown from the first time I was handed a thesis on low-energy electron irradiation in ultravacuum conditions and told to edit it. I especially love that at Wellesley you can start doing research as a first-year student, and that Professor Arumainayagam includes us in every stage of the process so that we can learn to run our own experiments in the next few years.

How has Wellesley surprised you?

It’s actually surprised me how safe I feel at college. I didn’t think I’d feel as comfortable at college as I do at home, and I wasn’t expecting an environment without my family to feel so normal. I love that everything’s so close, my friends are a two minute walk away, there are so many activities on campus, and I that I really enjoy living here.

What (quick) advice would you give a prospective student who is considering Wellesley?

Do some research on the College. Find out what you’re interested in; see if those activities and courses are offered here. It’s an academic institution first and foremost—make sure that’s important to you. After that, check out the sports, the clubs, the opportunities. Talk to people on campus—email us or ask around. And VISIT! Once you’ve done all your research, you need to get on campus and make an instinctual reaction to whether this environment’s right for you, and if you could belong here.