Why I Went to a Women’s College

Seemed sort-of frightening at the time

Seemed sort-of frightening at the time

When I was 16 and submitting my college applications, I only wanted to apply to women’s colleges.  My father didn’t understand this and kept asking me why. Or rather, he kept asking me why I wouldn’t want to go to a school like Pepperdine, a small co-ed college nestled in the hills of Malibu, California. I couldn’t articulate it at the time, but looking back, I knew I wanted to be taken seriously as a student and learn how to speak up for myself and present ideas thoughtfully.

I was still fighting shyness at that age (although I’m completely over it now, obviously) and wouldn’t often participate in class. Some of it had to do with the fact that I went to 4 high schools and was always the new kid. Most of it was because I didn’t value my voice and didn’t trust that I had something important to contribute. I also could tell that the attention I did get was not, shall we say, intellectually focused. I thought a women’s college would change this. And I was right. Mainly, it was my perception of myself that changed.

Me & Friends at Mount Holyoke College

Me & Friends at Mount Holyoke College

I learned to formulate theories and cogently present them.  My fellow students and I were interacting mainly on a scholastic level. Most important, being in classes without men helped me gain self confidence in my academic abilities.

This is the good side of women’s education and why there’s still a need for colleges comprising only female students. Sometimes individuals need extra support in a nurturing environment to realize their potential.

I was one of these students.

I benefited from attending a women’s college and wholeheartedly support women-only education today.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 26th, 2009 and is filed under Erin Then.

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