I'd advise any incoming college first-years to deeply consider their preferences and personal goals before choosing Wellesley (or any school, of course). If you're most focused on a liberal arts education and an academically intense four years, Wellesley might be right for you. Otherwise, I'd encourage you to consider other schools. Even with access to Boston, campus becomes isolating and often toxic. When I visited other Boston schools, I was shocked by the friendliness of most students compared to those at Wellesley. Within my first weeks on campus, I felt like no one actually wanted to be there. I'll always cherish my academic experience at Wellesley, but am thankful I found ways to socialize at other colleges and universities.
If you are okay with not having the "typical" college experience, and if you are extremely devoted to academics day-in and day-out, then perhaps Wellesley is the school for you. It is constantly laden with stress, but also filled with the most hardworking, driven women you will ever meet. If you want a social life, then you will have one (but you have to make it happen). You will enjoy Wellesley more if you do not procrastinate (see above- I repeat, extreme stress, blood, sweat, and tears are daily occurrences); try to remember, too, though that time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time at all. Sometimes Wellesley students are so caught up in academics and work that they forget to simply be young undergraduates who are still figuring things out. Cherish every opportunity that comes your way. And sleep. Please sleep.
Wellesley is an amazing place for people who are extremely dedicated to academics. The alumni network is incredibly strong, and it's a very safe place to live and learn. There is a generally supportive community of students and opportunities for every student to be involved in organizations, clubs, and student government. Research and study abroad options abound, and financial aid has been excellent in my experience. That said, the stress culture can be overwhelming - students tend to be competitive and shadow grading makes exams incredibly anxiety-inducing. Additionally, the "Wellesley bubble," while often comforting, can at times feel suffocating, especially for students who may not be used to the unique frustrations of small town living.
Overall, Wellesley College has a wonderful environment and atmosphere and is a wonderful place to attend with incredible people. The professors are incredibly helpful and supportive, as they want you to succeed. Administration provides some challenges, but it gives students the opportunities to fight back and make the changes they want to see within the college.
A place filled with supportive and great people!
I hate it but I love it and I really want to graduate from here but I don't want to actually go through the 4 years here. The academics are off the charts but the social scene makes me cringe and Wellesley town sucks but Boston is great but Wellesley is close and Boston is so far away.
Wellesley is an amazing and extremely special place. The academics are second to none and the people are phenomenal. It's a diverse and supportive environment overall. There are so many opportunities for growth, both personally and academically. The campus is also beautiful.
Wellesley fosters a truly unique environment. Everybody is kind and interested in learning. The classes are difficult but rewarding, and the professors are incredibly dedicated. The campus is absolutely stunning and I feel so lucky to walk past the lake every day.
Wellesley College is a wonderful place to go, especially because of their financial aid policy. There are many opportunities for aspiring women leaders, including the Freedom Project and Albright Fellowships. You can also do the Wellesley in Washington program!
I just recently graduated form an all-girl boarding school and so Wellesley, to me, is an extension of my high school experience, which is what I wanted. I applied Early Decision on somewhat of a whim, & I enrolled without having ever visited the school in-person. But I knew since Wellesley's visit at my school that Wellesley College is the right college for me! That said, Wellesley is a very rigorous institution that challenges its students in a myriad of ways. And as many issues that may have surfaced in the past year, there is still no other undergraduate institution that I would rather attend than Wellesley College.
Wellesley college is a beautiful place to learn and grow. The student body is filled with peers that all aim for success, and the campus holds wide varieties of clubs and activities that suit everyone's interests. Wellesley is also the place that rarely "lacks" anything, since the student body is so driven that if a student wished a certain kind of club existed, they would just start one. It's definitely a place for do-ers. That being said, Wellesley can be a daunting place to be, especially considering the student-procured stress culture. There is an abundance of motivated students, and everyone can feel a bit of imposter syndrome at times.
Overall, Wellesley College is a great place to be for any woman. Class discussions are vibrant and interesting, the professors really care about both what they're teaching and the people they're teaching to, and the campus itself is incredibly beautiful (exploring is a really soothing way to spend a few stress-free hours). They also do a better job than most of taking care of students with dietary restrictions or other health needs, which shows just how much the administration cares about its student body.
Wellesley is an incredibly supportive and intellectual community. Both peers and professors are inspiring and always doing amazing things. The academics are challenging but everyone is supportive--there is more competition with self than competition with other students, everyone is excited to learn.
I love my school. It has made me grow into a strong woman who is not afraid to have a voice. With times like the ones we are going through, it is crucial that women of color SPEAK UP. I have been told this before, and it truly resonates with me: find a college that make your values stronger, and not weaker. I already knew what my ideals and beliefs were before coming to college, but now they're stronger than ever, and I am willing to fight for what I believe.
I am constantly challenged to defy what I'm taught and think for myself. Professors are amazing individuals that can develop into mentors or friendships.
The community is overall supportive, and the stereotypes of "cattyness" or etc that can be sexist remarks of women are not true at all, but rather, the opposite. We try to make each other stronger and encourage each other.
Working for the alumnae office, I can attest to the amazing alumnae network we have. It's not just your current peers in school, but the thousands of alumnae that exist all around the world willing to support you.
I am excited to graduate, and encounter a world that I know the largest women's network has my back.
They aren't kidding when they say Wellesley is for a very specific sort of person. Wellesley's campus has its own particular aesthetic, and the students match--we're beautifully put together and collegiate on the outside, but -here and there- failing on the inside. Don't get me wrong, in comparison to other schools the facilities are excellent, but here and there you will see some flaws. The academics are truly incredible and you will not find such caring teachers anywhere else, but beware of grade-deflation (though the admin is talking of getting rid of it soon, there's hope!)
Wellesley College is academically challenging. There is a high sense of sibling hood and community across campus, which makes it easy to cope with the academic rigor. Wellesley College offers many opportunities for personal, academic and personal growth. You can create your own courses, make your own major, create your own summer project (which will be funded), and so much more. They are very generous with financial aid. As a first generation college student, their financial aid has allowed me to achieve my goal of attending college.
I have a few complains. If you come from a city, the food seems very limited. The school serves a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. however the menu lacks comfort food dishes. The school is an hour away from the city, and if you are an urban person like me, the change of scenery can make you quite homesick. The campus is so beautiful. We have our own lake! Sometimes I just miss the hustle and bustle of the big city and it has taken me a while to make this adjustment. Overall though, Wellesley College is a great school for young womxn to attend.
POOR CHOICE TO HAVE HILLARY CLINTON TO SPEAK. THE WOMAN SHOULD BE IN JAIL. YOU ARE SENDING A WRONG MESSGAGE
I loved my time at Wellesley though it was not always easy. As an alum is when you realize the power of the Wellesley network, and can fully appreciate the Wellesley experience. If you’re looking for a top academic experience, I would recommend Wellesley. However, I do recommend a campus visit before deciding to attend (I believe it’s free to apply so you might as well). While I barely noticed the women’s college thing during the school week it definitely isn’t for everyone.
So here's the deal. Wellesley is for a very specific type of person. You have to be enormously academically motivated; grade deflation is a huge thing here. I had a 4.2 in high school and am scraping for a 3.7 at Wellesley. The social scene is also basically nonexistent. Sure, you can go off campus into Cambridge and party, but on-campus it's basically a dead zone unless you join a society, which are kind of like sororities. It's also crazy expensive and the administration doesn't do a great job of responding to student concerns.
However, for the right people, Wellesley can be an absolute haven. I've met my absolute best friends there, and it's an environment that I thrive in. Once you find your place at Wellesley, you're surrounded by an incredible, welcoming community. Their academic program is world-class, and we have distinguished speakers from all over the globe coming in on a weekly basis. Also, the alum network and the Wellesley name-brand open up a lot of doors for research/jobs that might be hard to get in other places. The food is good as long as you're not a picky eater.
Wellesley College is a great place for students who are motivated, compassionate and looking for a tight-knight community. Academics is rigorous but gratifying. We learn a lot from discussions that happen in the classroom and outside. Although we do not have a greek life, the college has societies and you do not have to go to far to find a good party
I applied to Wellesley because it fit every logistic I felt I needed to be able to survive college: need-blind applications, 100% of need-based financial aid awarded, a wide variety of student-run organizations, small class sizes, amazing faculty, and lots of opportunity. When I got to Wellesley this summer, I received all of that- but I also got so much more. I walked into an environment set around community. I was instantly surrounded by upperclasswomen and faculty that were determined to support me in my college experience. Wellesley College itself is very focused on giving women from all different demographics personalized aid so everyone who desires will have the same opportunities: Wellesley is one of the few institutions I have experience with that is focused on equity across demographics rather than just having multiple demographics. Personally, I am first-generation college student. Before I even stepped foot on campus for my first day of orientation, I was invited to be a part of a program called WellesleyPlus that is designed to be a support network for first-gen students. They are dedicated to offering us as many resources we need and to inspire us to be the first in our families to finish college. But the best thing about programs like this is the aforementioned community. I have never felt more at home than at programs like WellesleyPlus. And this feeling doesn’t end there- I walk into my dorm, across campus, or even into classes I’m taking just to fill a distribution requirement and I feel like I am at a home away from home. I could go on and on about class size and student to faculty ratios but an admissions pamphlet could do that. No amount of pamphlets or campus tours can truly capture the community and family that I have found at Wellesley.
It took me several years to heal from my experience at Wellesley. Looking back, the campus culture was extremely toxic. It wasn't just the "Wendy Wellesley," overachieving mentality. But rather, it was the woman-on-woman cruelty that made college life harder than it needed to be. Bullying was often political, although I can name plenty of campus-wide incidents that didn't fall into that category. I'll provide a specific example because I don't think a vague summary will paint a clear enough picture for you. I was a new writer on one of the school's publications when I was a Sophomore. During my first month, my editor (white, from WI) sent me ( white, from CA) on an assignment to something called a "solidarity meeting," which would begin in 30 minutes. I wasn't briefed, had no idea what I was walking into, but received permission from the event organizers beforehand and continued to ask for consent to stay as a reporter throughout the night. They demanded a "multicultural space" during the meeting, so in a follow-up e-mail, I asked them to define what they meant by "multicultural space." Three days later and two hours before my deadline, all six organizers sent me a signed letter telling me that I had violated their guidelines. They demanded an op-ed in place of my article, in which they would write about their demands and denounce the publication (and me, specifically). The Editor-in-Chief (Indian, from MA), organized a private chat with all of the eight section editors (two white, six non-white), and excluded me from the conversation. They published my article without the interview after three weeks of deliberation and also allowed the event organizers to publish their own article. Everywhere I went for the next month, I heard people I knew, didn't know or had seen once or twice gossiping about that racist idiot who offended everyone at the Solidarity meeting. Particularly after Trump was elected and political commentators began talking about how the white women who had turned out for Obama in 2008 didn't do the same for Clinton. It didn't matter what they studied, most students (or perhaps the most vocal students) believed that this data proved that white women were responsible for the election of a racist, misogynist pig. Humiliating white women was sport. People reveled in it, even (or especially) white women, because by partaking in the slander, they felt like they were reinforcing their place among the "good whites." With the phrase, "educate yourself," it was easy to erase any possibility of nuance. Before that incident, I thought that I was doing the right thing. I took political theory and started immersing myself in the PC language that was mainstream on campus, but that I (and many of my peers) hadn't grown up using. But, with one incident, I was branded. Most faculty are afraid to speak out when they see "call-out culture" go too far because they fear being called-out themselves. After the article, I had no choice but to keep writing for the publication because the Editor-in-Chief instituted a hostage clause in the organization's constitution. Nobody could leave without securing a replacement, or else violate the Wellesley honor code. Nobody wanted to take my place. I was stuck. So, I reached out to my Dean. She told me that there was nothing she could do to help me. So for a year, I would walk into the publication's classroom and hear the other editors and writers talking about me. I would try to speak with someone and inwardly cower from their smug expressions. Sometimes, I was outright shunned. And it wasn't just me. Every few weeks, another "dumb white girl story" would make the rounds. Before I became one of these stories, I thought that these women brought it upon themselves. There was a student who had to transfer after wearing a Pocahontas costume to a party, for example. But after my incident, I genuinely didn't know what to believe. By the time news got to me, it could have been twisted by over a hundred people to the point that the woman in the story was a caricature of her true self. I think that it's wonderful that Wellesley has one of the most diverse campuses in the states. But don’t go if you can’t take the heat. And don’t think that just because you aren’t white, you won’t also be villainized at some point. Passing privilege, straight privilege, cis privilege and more will not be met with an enlightening conversation if they offend the wrong people. You could easily end up the next scarlet letter bearer. And believe me, the shame you will experience will not leave you for years, and potentially even your entire life. It isn't just "discomfort." You will want to die if it happens to you.
Wellesley has a wonderful campus and great academic programs. Students can learn in small classroom settings and really get to know classmates and professors. Wellesley is close to Boston, so students have the opportunity to go into the city or Cambridge via shuttle. Overall, great academics, studious student body, and stressful women at times.
My impressions before coming to this school were lukewarm, but I was drawn to the strong academic programs and reputation. I saw the school as competitive and uptight, and so far my impressions have been confirmed. Nobody speaks to each other in my classes, nor in any of my friends' classes. Students obsess over grades and race to be the most overbooked on campus. The academics are great, social life outside of class is pretty good, but people come here for capital S Success, and do not seem to have a collaborative mindset in class.
Wellesley College is good for a certain type of person: the kind of person who chooses to go to a private, competitive, all-women's college in one of the wealthiest towns in Massachusetts. That should paint a picture of what it's like. Academics are priority number one for almost every student. If your professor assigns an extra credit essay over the weekend, you can bet 90% of your class will take it up. A lot of students are super serious to the point they're OCD about grades. I personally knew 2 people who had nervous breakdowns because their GPA was "ruined" (i.e., they got a B in a class). I do not recommend this place for the fainthearted. Alternatively, you CAN find a group of people who are mostly chill and fun to be around, just like every other college. But you have to make an effort to find them. Find those people, and you won't go insane from the stress.
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