Written by: Becca Pachl, 2017 Women's Leadership Participant
About a month ago, as I half-heartedly scrolled through meaningless Facebook chatter and blurbs, I stumbled upon Wellesley's Contemporary Women's Leadership program through HerCampus. As a show-me-the-money kind of girl, I skimmed the article to gather three things--summer, rigor, and college courses-- and I clicked out of that article as quickly as it came, quite sure I had no interest in spending my summer break doing exactly what I needed a break from. As much as I hate to admit it now, I had no real interest in the program until my mom randomly found the program and suggested I reconsider.
Now, here at Wellesley College and immersed in its Contemporary Women’s Leadership program, I could not imagine being anywhere else. As it turns out (when you actually reads things completely) there are other elements to this program besides classes and rigor, though the classes and rigor might just become the best part. It sounds crazy, I know, but from skepticism to deep appreciation, here are 5 reasons why I chose to participate (and love!) the Wellesley Contemporary Women's Leadership Program.
I found the most appealing part of the WCWL program to be the various opportunities to grow and empower myself. Essentially, I was going to study what it meant to be a female leader in our society, while discovering what it meant to be a female leader for myself too. I was thrilled that in my five weeks on Wellesley’s campus, I would have the opportunity to hear from professional women in marketing, business, journalism, non-profit, etc., all making the world a better place. I felt that hearing personal experiences from women who are perhaps the singular definition of the word “goals” was as opportunity I could not bear to miss.
Starting with my first day on campus, it was evident that I was not offered a place in this amazing program just to sit in a classroom for five weeks. The WCWL program knows that growth happens in more than just in academic settings, and oh does my itinerary show it. If you are looking for a relaxing week-night, watch a movie at the Davis Museum with free popcorn or play board-games with the RAs. On weekends, get ready to explore Boston, see some history, spot some whales, eat some food, and enjoy a summer filled with what seems like endless opportunities. Trust me, I was not bored.
I know: I vowed I would not step foot in a classroom during the summer, because some things, like summer, are meant to be sacred. However, I did not consider that these were no ordinary classes-- they were taught by renowned faculty who we essentially had the opportunity to monopolize in such a small setting. I was immediately impressed by the fact that three hour classes were engaging and fun here at Wellesley. Not to mention, we talk about women’s issues, material that I can relate to and find endlessly fascinating. Case in
point: In my Women’s and Gender Studies course, I am doing a group presentation about the
masculinity and cultural assumptions of a WWII GI Joe doll. HOW COOL IS THAT?
Strike up a conversation with someone new at lunch or discuss interesting theories in class; either way, be prepared to learn something new! Everyone in this program, and on Wellesley’s campus for that matter, has a rich and unique background. The WCWL program is a wonderful opportunity to meet so many great people, and it is the friendships you make here that make the more mundane moments some of the most memorable. My friends and I, for example, got caught taking a selfie with a cut-out of Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69 right before our first class started. Those are the memories that I will look back on most fondly.
Everyone has a different reason for coming to participate in the Contemporary Women's Leadership Program at Wellesley. For me, once I began to understand the incredible opportunities I was being offered, the concerns I had about the difficulty of the work did not matter. Of course in this program you will have work, and you will be challenged-- what would the point be otherwise? I realized a summer well spent was one growing, and at Wellesley in the WCWL program I believed I could. I was presented five weeks to test myself, enjoy myself, and grow in areas I feel passionately in-- and I have loved every minute of it.
For more information, please visit wellesley.edu/summer today!