Thursday, June 23, 2016

Green Wellesley to Bositerous Quincy

Boston vibes.

If I have to describe my day in one word, it would be: fun!

Our day began with a chilly morning and some drinks, donuts, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches at the local Dunkin Donuts. We then set out for Wellesley College for the information session and tour.

On the way there, we observed a few differences in the way the road works in the East Coast compared to the West Coast. We noticed that many drivers are in a rush and many pedestrians are carefree while crossing the streets. Compared to the Bay Area, people in the East love to honk frequently. This makes me realize that comparison is so deeply embedded in human behavior. 

Anyway, once we arrived in Wellesley College, we had about two hours to spare. During this time, we wandered around the campus. We explored the Wellesley chapel, an enormous library, and Wellesley's most prized quality: the nature around it.
Tackling Wellesley!
Cool chapel
What I saw in every direction
When it was about time, we trekked through Wellesley's huge campus after getting lost a couple of times to the admissions office for the information session and tour. I walked in with the mindset that I am not interested in going to an all girls' college. That idea changed very quickly. 

The information session was lead by Maria, a rising senior majoring in economics, and supported by the two tour guides: Clellie, a rising junior majoring in history, and Martha, a rising junior majoring in political science. 

Maria began by informing us about the flexible academic curriculum and the vast choices for classes and majors. I was impressed by how Wellesley has more than 1,000 classes to offer to its students. I love how Wellesley allows its freshmen to not worry about their grades in first semester as they do not show up on transcripts. This allows freshmen to transition from high school and adapt to college life. 

I love how Wellesley has a small class size and teachers know their students. Maria and Marly shared wonderful stories of how their professors took them and their peers out to dinner or organized small parties. The interactions between the professor and student seem amazing! 

Maria also discussed how students at Wellesley can take classes at its exchange partner universities, such as Bowdin, Dartmouth, Trinity, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I loved Wellesley's study abroad program as it transfers the student's financial aid to the program to relieve them of the costs. Maria shared how she spent her whole junior year studying in Bologna, Italy. I am very excited for Clellie as she will be spending her junior year studying in Oxford. 

Then Maria moved on to discussing the financial aid and the application process. I was relieved to hear that Wellesley meets almost one hundred percent of the demonstrated financial need. She also informed us that Wellesley accepts the Common App along with two supplements and either the SAT with two subject tests or the ACT. I was glad to hear that it has a holistic approach to admissions. Something interesting I found out about the admissions process is that the process involves an admissions officer, a faculty member, and a student.

Finally, Maria approached the biggest concern--what they called the elephant in the room--that Wellesley is an all girls college. The way Maria, Clellie, and Marly approached and explained this subject made my mindset change. They emphasized that the all girls institution serves to bring out the true potential of its students. It gets rid of the competition there may be among genders. It does not pressurize women to compete with their male peers, instead it teaches them to collaborate with others and realize and develop their interest. Being in a college town and of an exchange partner college witch is linked to several coed universities, Wellesley students have plenty of opportunities to engage with other students. 

After the info session, we headed to the college tour. My tour guide was Clellie. She was an amazing tour guide! She answered the bazillion questions I had with lots of information and funny and interesting stories. Check out a vlog by Clellie:

With the end of the tour, us ILCers and Clellie, Maria, and Vanessa, a rising junior, sat in a circle and had an interesting conversation. The three students answered all of our questions with interesting information. Clellie shared an interesting article she read which states that according to statistics, women are interrupted more than men because they leave more pauses in their conversation, meaning they are more collaborative. This fell back to Wellesely's motto of collaboration and its huge alumni network. The three also informed us how college is very different from high school and that it is much, much harder. With a group picture, our discussion came to an end. 
Our small discussion circle.
We were once again on the dangerous road of Boston. We decided to go to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market for lunch and shopping. The food court was huge with all types of food one could think of. I decided to go for pizza. After feasting, we shopped for souvenirs. Being the indecisive human I am, it took me forever to choose souvenirs. Bailey and I played an epic round of checkers. It was intense. After exploring the bustling marketplace, we headed back to the hotel in wait for tomorrow's adventures. 
The vast food court of Qincy
Feasting at Quincy market.

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