Class of 2024: ask questions about Wellesley here!

Hey peeps, I’m a current first year at Wellesley College and knew that I had a lot of questions when I applied and even coming in so feel free to ask anything (literally anything) and I will try to reply as best as I can :))

MODERATOR’S NOTE: Anyone is free to ask or answer questions in this thread.

What’s something that you didn’t know when apply but wish you did? And what’s the biggest “shock” Wellesley gave you? Thanks !!

Not OP but I’d say something I didn’t know (and was pleasantly surprised by) is much I like the semi-rural campus. It’s very quiet on campus, so after you have your fun in the city you can always look forwards to returning to somewhere away from the nightlife (added plus—train station that goes to Boston is about a 5-10 minute walk from campus, and $10 unlimited rides on weekends). I know that’s not ideal for some who don’t like going out of their way for a big social life, but I really like the idea of kicking back and relaxing after whatever you’ve done in Boston or Cambridge and just going to the Campus Center to drink hot cocoa in front of the fireplace or watching a movie with friends in the TV room. When it snows it’s absolutely beautiful too—I was lucky to have my first snow be a full 8 inches of wow. They do a great job plowing away the snow so it doesn’t block the roads, and sledding down Severance Hill is something you just HAVE to do. The campus is pretty quiet and sometimes it’s nice to sit on the snowbanks by the lake and just look up at the stars.

Also what I didn’t know and shocked me the most was the stress culture. There’s a lot of people who stress and cry over Bs because somehow that’s going to destroy their future and prevent them from getting jobs. I know first-years who apply to countless orgs just so they can have something on their resume and not because they’re actually interested in the group. When I was first deciding between colleges, I only had a vague idea that Wellesley would be more academically challenging than, say, NYU or BU. But somehow Wellesley manages to take this stress up to another level. I definitely am not a fan of people obsessing to the point of extreme anxiety over grades even when they’re shadow-graded and the grades don’t matter yet.

Still, I don’t regret choosing Wellesley and I’ve yet to meet anyone who does. The professors are so kind and open and just available to you, unlike what’d you see in a bigger university. There are so many opportunities open for students, and Wellesley alums are great resources when you need advice.

is it very difficult to take classes at MIT as Wellesley student, both logistically and rigor.

hi, it’s so sweet of you to make this thread! I had a question about how often it is you see people double majoring/major-minoring in courses across disciplinaries, and how hard it is to keep up with all the work :slight_smile:

Thank you !!

My d got in Ed 2024 class. However fin aid is very low. Can I appeal the decision? What are chances

Hi, I’m a current first year and had bad finaid last year when I was accepted. In my personal experience, appealing did little to nothing (leaning towards nothing) for my finaid. It was a lengthy and troubling process because the financial services dept. is very hard to deal with and my family didn’t get very far appealing. Instead, I’m hoping to graduate early to lessen the cost.

I’ve never taken a class at MIT, but it is a 40-60 minute bus ride into Boston, so if you take a 1 hr class at MIT, you need to block out at least 3 hours of your day just to do so. Therefore it requires lots of planning and scheduling to make it all work. I know most people take advantage of conducting research at MIT during the school year in their later years, but I would discourage trying to take a class at MIT your first semester or first year since you’re still learning the ropes to managing your time at college and there are a surprisingly large array of courses on campus.

Are you the parent of a new Wellesley Class of 2024 student? Join us over at this Facebook group: Parents of Wellesley Class of 2020-2024. You have questions, we have answers

Hi @Pop2024,

I had that exact same question when I first arrived at Wellesley. When I asked upperclassmen, they told me that the transit was sometimes cumbersome (like what @Hippoge said, the overall one-way ride to MIT is about ~40 minutes normally and can easily go up to 2 hours in bad weather), and you have to prepare for the unpredictability. Sometimes classes are a bit of a walk from where the bus drops you off, as MIT has a much bigger campus than Wellesley. It is definitely a bit inconvenient, but I know quite a few people who do designate days for their MIT classes.

MIT does have its reputation for a reason, and their classes are definitely harder than what is taught at Wellesley. Econ, for example, in Wellesley only needs a Calc I foundation while taking Econ at MIT would require multi-variable. However, the classes at MIT are also curved more than those at Wellesley. You won’t be able to take classes there until sophomore year, so you’ll have plenty of time to view the pros and cons of taking a cross-registered class.


When taking two disciplines, Wellesley only allows you to either double-major or major-minor (so no major-minor-minor or major-major-minor). The major requirements for each discipline is available on the website, so you should check out your intended majors when you have time. You won’t declare a major until the end of sophomore year, but knowing what you want to do early on esp for double major is important because you will have to squeeze in a lot of classes if you want to graduate on time.

The first semester is shadow-graded (only P/F, doesn’t go on transcript), so it’s a good idea to take a class from both of the majors you want and try them out to see if it’ll work for you. I think about half of the school double-majors last I checked so it is definitely achievable, albeit much more work than only declaring one major or doing a minor. One of the upperclassmen I know is a double-major in CS and Neuroscience and gets ~4 hours of sleep a day.

  1. Something I really wish I knew coming here is the stress culture. I went to a HS that was very stressful because of the amount of work and the pressure that professors put on students but Wellesley is different. People will make you stressed about not stressing out. The trick is to not let it get to you by finding something non-academic to do whenever you feel too stressed! I personally like to go into the city and visit museums or hang out with friends who go to other schools :slight_smile: Also please take advantage of shadow grading to adjust to Wellesley!!!
  2. A lot of people double-major! I think it’s not extremely hard to do if you love both subjects you’re taking! The only major that makes it hard to double major is IR because it is 14 credits and already a double major in itself.
  3. I don’t really know about appealing because I was satisfied with my financial aid package but hopefully other people can reply to your question!
  4. MIT Classes: you can take them in your first year just not the first semester. I am actually taking one next semester and know upperclasswomen who are currently taking some! I agree with hiohbye that it’s a big time commitment because commuting takes time -there are plenty of ways to use your time on the bus productively though. However, a bunch of MIT classes are reputed to be easier than at Wellesley because they’re large classes/humanities classes. I would definitely recommend taking intro classes at Wellesley because you get personalized support, more office hours and smaller classes which makes it easier to ask questions. Cross registering is quite easy: you just show up to the first MIT class with a cross-registration form that your instructor, the MIT registrar, and the Wellesley registrar have to sign. Once you do this, you should be good! You’ll just need to get an MIT ID and sign up for an MIT email address. You’ll also get some dining hall credit: $8 for lunch or $14 for dinner I think, only on weekdays. This will be on your MIT ID which you can also recharge to use as a CharlieCard (subway)

@niesgirl can you please send FB page link for parents of Wellesley college class of 2024. My daughter has been admitted as ED 1 applicant. I would like to visit the page but I could not find any. Thankyou for your help

Hi, College Confidential won’t allow me to post a link to the group’s page. Just go to Facebook and do a search on Parents of Wellesley Class of 2020-2024 and you’ll find us! Welcome.

Hi, question for international Alumnae, how was your journey from student to real world. very broad query but some insights will help. Thanks in advance

Hmmm. I tried joining the Parents of Wellesley Class of 2020-2024 FB group and had no luck, and now appear to be blocked from even seeing it in search. Not sure what the issue is, but not an auspicious welcome.

Perhaps this is instead the place to ask one of the first questions that has come up as we plan to send our daughter off to W next fall (she is an ED1 admit). Both my wife and I went across the country to college by ourselves, and thought our daughter would do the same. She’s quite independent, and has travelled solo before, but times change, and Wellesley seems pretty far from Logan if you’re hauling a couple of big suitcases. Does anyone have thoughts on this topic? We both wouldn’t have particularly wanted our parents around for orientation when we were freshmen, but is that uncommon at Wellesley? Are there parent-specific events during move-in/orientation that we (or our D) would regret missing? Thanks!

BTW, we definitely plan to visit later in the fall, when she can be the expert and we the tourists.

Hi, everyone! I’m a current first-year here at Wellesley, and I know I’m a little late to the game, but since I have some free time over winter break, I thought it’d be nice to talk about Wellesley for anyone considering it :slight_smile:

Regarding stress culture - Yes, Wellesley, like any college, can be very stressful. I know Wellesley in particular has a reputation for being rigorous, but in my experience, it wasn’t terrible like I expected it to be, and maybe that’s due to the ending of the grade deflation policy. I was so scared of the stress culture I kept reading about prior to my first semester, but I honestly got myself worked up over nothing. Stress is real here, but it’s not worse than it was at my high school, or, according to my friends, at many, if not most, top colleges. I wouldn’t want to scare any prospective students off by saying that stress is a defining trait of Wellesley (since there are so many other amazing qualities of this college that I’ve found override any sense of stress culture) or that their time here is guaranteed to be overwhelmed by stress. I’ve found that stress levels can depend a lot on the people with whom you surround yourself, the time you take to relax, and the pressure you (or others) place upon yourself. It’s really just school in the end, and we’re all here to make mistakes and learn; try not to push yourself too hard :slight_smile:

Regarding MIT classes - Since I’ve only spent one semester at Wellesley so far, I haven’t been allowed to take any MIT classes yet, but I’ll hopefully be attending my first one next semester. The commute is fairly long (~40 minutes one way), but I don’t mind it (though my commute during high school was longer, so YMMV). As for the level of rigor, what I’ve heard has varied. Some people think MIT classes are harder, and others think Wellesley classes are harder. I think there are a lot of factors that determine your success in a course and how difficult you find it, including the style of teaching, the instructor, the course, the department, the optimal learning type of the student, etc. I will say that from what I’ve heard, MIT classes allow for less interaction with professors and less/less accessible support outside of class, since we’re not always on MIT campus, so some students may struggle with that more than others. But no worries about not cross-registering at MIT/Babson/Olin if you don’t wish to, whether due to the length of commute or another reason - there’s plenty right here at Wellesley :slight_smile:

I guess my overall advice is to take everything with a grain of salt. People have had bad experiences, academically and otherwise, at Wellesley, but they and others have had life-changing experiences as well and have thrived here. Any college will have its issues and its share of unhappy students. Don’t let a few negative stories scare you away, and don’t let a few positive ones completely sway your decision

@somanyaliases - my D graduated from Wellesley a few years ago, so this might not be up to date, but when our D started school, there were move-in day events just for parents, and some events just for new students. Of course there were combined events as well.

At least in our experience, most new students seemed to have a parent there at move-in.

Hi I’m an international applicant. I have a question that I heard Wellesley loves Type A students that show great ambitions. Is that ok if my ps in Common App mainly emphasize a personality that is kinda thoughtful and quiet( personally speaking I’m an outgoing and ambitious girl of course but I think the ps only shows one part of me)

of cuz I know that ps is really important. so will this affect my chance to Wellesley?