Notes on being a student at a Women’s College

It’s an odd thing to go to a women’s college in the 21st century. Since most colleges have been made co-educational since the 1970’s, women’s colleges seem almost anachronic in this day and age.

The absence of men on campus as most definitely affected the social life, the way of learning, and the general vibe on campus in ways that make me feel both empowered and bored.

I love Wellesley for both reasons.

  1. My time is important, and my time is fleeting. You need to plan hours in advance if you want to leave campus. The Peter Pan is always late, your professors start on time or you’re on the waitlist, and time is money.
  2. Look, Jane, see Dick. Men who do come to campus experience their first and probably only objectification by the hands of women curious to see the opposite sex, and remember what the real world looks like. That, and:
  3. You will find out whether you’re Straight as an arrow, double-edged as a sword, or gay as can be. You will be painfully affirmed in your sexuality at a single-sex school. It’s as if the lack of the other sex makes you more focused and decisive. I am straighter than an arrow. No amount of beautiful, intelligent, funny and fun women could change that.
  4. You learned what?! You learn more about your abilities here than at a co-ed school, especially in the sciences. You learn to ask for a payraise, to take lead, to say no. You have no idea how many people are surprised that I learned how to solder wires, codes responsive websites, use MAT-Lab and other science data processing programs, and still like pearl blue while at Wellesley.
  5. It makes you career aggressive. The Wendy is alive and well here.
  6. It will make you a feminist, even if you decide not to call yourself by that name. I still can’t put the words on my t-shirt, but I believe more than ever that women’s abilities are second-guessed simply because we’re women, and that needs to change.

The funny thing is, I can’t imagine being happier at any other college, coed or not. Wellesley lets me be myself, and chastizes me when I try to be someone else. And it’s that push and pull, that tough love that parents and siblings and really good friends give you that makes me love Wellesley so much.

Women’s colleges are not for everyone, but for the people that they’re made for, it’s a match made in heaven.

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