Wellesley, MA: For years I dreaded beginning the infamous college search, having already witnessed the toll it took on three siblings. Over the last eight years I have probably visited every college in the New England area, and understandably I was not looking forward to seeing those we had missed on earlier trips. It was for this reason that when my parents took me to Wellesley College last spring for their Junior Open House they literally dragged me.

Since we were early, we began the day by roaming around the campus, which proved to be the most beautiful setting known to mankind. Spread over an area of 500 acres of woods, hills, lake and even a golf course, the beauty of the school hides the fact that over 2,300 students reside there. The grounds themselves were meticulously cared for, and the tour guide we eventually acquired appeared truly embarrassed when she noticed that there were a number of twigs scattered on the grass. However, since this was due to a nor’easter the week before, those in the group assured her that it was alright. The students we met during the day were all very enthusiastic about their college choice. And all spoke highly of classes and claimed that they felt that they had more access to professors than did their counterparts at other schools.

The buildings all appeared to be in top shape, and, though most were closed due to exams, we were able to see the Library and Science Center. Both proved to have exceptional study and research areas, Wellesley having supplemented the stereotypically drab table-and-chair atmosphere with bright colors, state-of-the-art computers. All were situated to provide privacy, as well as numerous couches and ottomans on which to recline while studying or researching. The athletic center proved to be of exceptional quality, probably the nicest I’ve seen, offering an indoor pool, several squash, tennis and racquetball courts, a weight-training room, and numerous dance and rehearsal spaces.

The dorms also were magnificently clean and well cared for. All dorm rooms offer Internet capability, and the houses included eating and common/social areas. Though the rooms were fairly small, they certainly were not unreasonable, especially when compared to the quality of housing offered by other universities.

Outside of school, this college provides a wonderful social opportunity for students. Located in the virtual center of a suburban town, students are within walking distance of a surprisingly large variety of stores. Also, buses are hourly (or even more frequently), depending on the day, and run from the campus to nearby MIT. This service allows constant access to the city, while also allowing the student to retreat to a more “country” setting when they’re just not in a “city” mode.

I admit at first I was skeptical of an all-women’s school, but between Wellesley’s

cross registration with neighboring universities, including MIT and BU, as well as its frequent visits from men of other institutions, this ended-up as a non-issue. Wellesley is a small school, which provides its students with a plethora of opportunities and an unparalleled environment in which to grow and become the women of the future. So, for any female looking for a small, intimate college setting, with the easy access to the city and all of its treasures, look up Wellesley. It’ll be worth it. f

Reviewed in 1998