My bright and slightly perfectionistic daughter, a junior this year, is trying to decide between Johns Hopkins and Wellesley to apply early decision next fall. She has a strong goal of being active in some way in shaping environmental policy, in government or as an environmental lawyer or writing about the issues. Her college counselor (and her private prep school has a good reputation for counselors who know this stuff) says Wellesley ED would be a likely for her and Johns Hopkins ED a reach but quite possible. We visited both and the writing department people at Johns Hopkins were interested in her because of the science writing thing and because her grandmother (my mother) is a novelist - a couple of faculty members chatted with her for a while. Unfortunately when we went to Wellesley it was the Saturday before Easter and hardly anybody was around - we didn't get an information session and the tour wasn't very informative. Still, she thinks Wellesley is probably the better choice for her because of the women in politics thing, but she worries she won't have any fun there. She hasn't dated much in high school due to studying all the time but would like to date (guys) in college. Any thoughts? Thanks for any input.
Hmmm...I personally think, why doesn't your daughter visit when school's in session in Wellesley? I think that would be a great help to her...may be stay overnight and get a feel for what she thinks and where she feels comfortable. If she still can't make up her mind, may be she isn't ready for ED. May be ED wouldn't be the best option because for that decision to happen, you must really want to go somewhere regardless and above all others. She still has the summer to think about this, so give her time and try and schedule another tour.
It does seem like she should visit Wellesley when she'd have a chance to see what the college is really like. I agree with the overnight visit - I did overnights at 3 schools I'd applied to (many years ago). The visits let me eliminate 2 schools from my list of favorites, and I ended up attending the third. I really like the Boston area, and I wasn't crazy about Baltimore the one and only time I visited (driving around trying to get to JHU but not knowing where you're going isn't much fun, so I probably am not being very fair to Baltimore here).
You can't go wrong with either choice. The only way for her to tell is to visit, stay over for 2-3 days and sit in on classes, and socialize. The schools are so different that I think if she were to do this, she would have a clear choice. I wouldn't limit it to those two though, perhaps visits to other LAC-size schools are in order.
on the whole dating guys in college thing--i'm in the same boat as your daughter; i didn't get to really date either because i had so much studying to do on the weekends!
i'm considering applying to wellesley ED next year, but I can't decide between wellesley and university of chicago. first, i think you should maybe visit overnight when wellesley's in session..as for the dating situation, =\ i don't really know either.
Why are the options only Wellesley and JHU? Barnard. Mt. Holyoke and Smith all have strong women's initiatives, environmental studies, some kind of policy studies + boys. Barnard has a very strong writing program. Middlebury is known for environmental studies. I think your daughter can get even closer to her ideal school (and this may be true for the poster as well.
Both are really great schools. I'm sure if your daughter was to choose attending between the two, she'll get a great education from either one.
That intangible "right school for me" feeling can't be gotten without spending some quality time on campus. I echo the other posts in encouraging an overnight stay at Wellesley. You'll be able to do that once classes start again in the fall.
As to having fun at Wellesley, I think your daughter's personality will have a large effect on how much she'll enjoy her time. Will being able to date guys be a priority for her? If so, how much effort does she want to put forth? Realistically, it'll be easier for her to meet guys at JHU just because its a co-ed campus. However, Wellesley isn't a nunnery and many students date guys. But again, there'll be more effort involved because guys won't be in your classes.
I had a lot of fun at Wellesley. Some of it involved guys, some didn't.
They are definitely both amazing schools but, personally, I wouldn't apply early decision anywhere unless I had that gut feeling that this is where I want to spend the next four years of my life. While you might be able to get practical answers about the advantages of either school from this board, ultimately, only your daughter will know the right answer for her by visiting both schools and just soaking up the atmosphere. For me, I was choosing between Bryn Mawr and Wellesley, both amazing schools with amazing opportunities. I had visited both my junior year and just didn't feel right at Bryn Mawr. I applied anyway and, over the course of the year, convinced myself that there were alot of great aspects of the school and I shouldn't rule it out; however, when I returned for Spring Open Campus as a senior, I had the same feeling (I actually left after only an hour!). When I went to Wellesley, on the other hand, I felt right. I was actually sad to leave the campus! You have to find that fit.
I'm a Wellesley student from the Ft. lauderdale area. I'd second the statements that Wellesley shouldn't be ruled out entirely on the dating issue. Obviously if she is shy / introverted or hasn't dated much she might not feel entirely confortable with going to off-campus parties and trying to meet people there. IMO events, activities, and mulit-campus groups are much better means to meeting guys. Another thing to question is wheather this is part of her personality that really wouldn't change even if she did go to a co-ed school. She sounds like she would do great academically at either school so it's really a matter of preference. I understand the visit predicament because at first I was only able to visit Wellesley during the summer. But as others have said it is usually the most fair way to get an idea of what the school is really like. Feel free to PM me or reply If you have any other questions.
Many Wellesley students get involved in public service programs run by Harvard students through the Phillips Brooks House Association. Check out www.pbha.org if you want to find out more. It is a great way to be a part of student-run service and meet people from other schools, whether your interest is the Harvard Sqare Homeless Shelter or an after-school program in Mission Hill neighborhood. PBHA also hires college students in the summer to teach or direct in the Summer urban Program. While most are Harvard students, many are also from Wellesley and other schools.