I knew since I was a sophomore in high school that I wanted to go to Wellesley. To be candid, it was first appealing due to its high ranking and disproportionately high acceptance rate. I knew that I was a good student, but I also knew I lacked the resources to stand a chance in an applicant pool that accepted less than 18% of the people that applied. Those elite schools were out of my reach.
Freshman year of high school was not the best, and I did not perform as well academically (or socially, for that matter) as I know I could have. Once I became a sophomore, I raised my standards, and my lifestyle drastically changed. Unfortunately, the B’s present from my first year of high school were not going to get me into Ivy Leagues or any other comparable institution. Then, I found out about Wellesley.
At first, I was taken aback by the women’s college side, and figured it would be worth looking into if it meant the possibility for me to get a first-class education at a school with some serious name recognition. Like the cold weather, I could handle it for four short years of my life.
Extensive reading on the topic had made me a women’s college advocate within the month. Women’s colleges, I learned, produced some of the most astounding and successful people. All of the alumnae credited their experiences at women’s colleges for their current day success. The community, perseverance, and belief in the success of women in male-dominated fields endowed them with the confidence to take the work world by storm. Oh, and they did (see Zora Neale Hurston, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Madeline Korbel Albright, Nora Ephron, Diane Sawyer, Meryl Streep, Sylvia Plath, Betty Friedan, Barbara Bush, Katharine Hepburn, Martha Stewart, and Margaret Mead for examples).
I was obsessed with the Seven Sisters, but specifically Wellesley. I visited all of their beautiful campuses, and found that Barnard was too small, Mount Holyoke and Smith were too far from a city, and Bryn Mawr was too close to home. Wellesley was one that had access to a city, but not the city I grew up in.
Multiple campus visits and overnight hostesses later, I decided to apply Early Decision to Wellesley. This surprised no one; my family had been sending me off to Boston for Admissions events and teachers knew of my eagerness for recommendation letters at the end of my junior year of high school. At first, I didn’t think I was going to get in. Two people had applied ED to Wellesley from my high school: me and the valedictorian. Wellesley could only accept one, or so I thought, and they would obviously choose her – she was much more dedicated to her school, and was very involved with band.
On December 11th, 2014, I was at a debate meet in my high school. I found out whether or not I got into Wellesley at 5pm, which was conveniently between my first and second debates for this month’s meet. At 5, I loaded up the applicant portal and slowly awaited my fate (the service in my high school is terrible, for context).
For some odd reason, Wellesley did not write their decision letters in a conventional way. Instead of starting off with a “Congratulations!” or a “We regret to inform you,” they went on for a few sentences about the strength of the applicant pool this year. While I was reading this, I honestly thought I didn’t get in. I was taken aback when they started the second paragraph with something along the lines of “You have been selected to be a part of Wellesley’s Class of 2019.”
A few screams and hugs later, I called my mom, then went to my next debate match. I’m pretty sure I won, by the way.
Today, I’m loving life at Wellesley. I’m involved in College Government as a Senator from Claflin Hall, I became a member of the literary society Zeta Alpha, and I help other students register to vote with the Committee for Political and Legislative Awareness. The friends I have created here will last me a lifetime, and support me throughout all my endeavors. My Wellesley community is to die for – and totally worth the freaky obsession with Women’s Colleges I had in high school.