Students share their experiences on campus after Wellesley was named one of the 20 most beautiful campuses in the United States
The Wellesley campus has a lot to offer in terms of nature and scenery. Photos posted on social media and college brochures of the winding paths shaded by ominous pines, the vast expanses of vibrant lawns and the shimmering sun bouncing off Lake Waban do not do the campus landscape justice. This is why, for some students, it is not surprising that Wellesley College was named the 19th most beautiful campus in the country by the Travel + Leisure Magazine – the only Massachusetts college to make the list.
Travel + Leisure has described the Wellesley campus as “another world, with trails winding through sprawling meadows, groves of evergreen and deciduous trees that surround peaceful Lake Waban, and 19th-century brick buildings nestled in. the wooded hills ”.
Sasha Behar ’24 cites the beauty of the Wellesley campus as an important factor in her decision to apply.
“I wasn’t sure to apply until I went on tour, then I was definitely convinced,” she said.
She remembers falling in love with the Gothic style of Wellesley’s older buildings, as well as the daring and modern Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center. While on campus, she appreciated the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors at any time of the day.
“It was really nice to be able to walk around at night, because the campus is super safe,” she said.
Even those who hadn’t visited Wellesley before committing described their enthusiasm for campus offerings. Joelle Garcia ’24 remembers the frenzy of YouTube videos uploaded by Wellesley students when the pandemic prevented her from touring in person.
“I watched as many YouTube videos as I could on Wellesley and its campus because it was the only exposure I had,” she said.
For Garcia, the ability to enjoy a campus teeming with nature and wildlife, while still being close to Boston, a major metropolitan center, was a major draw for Wellesley.
“If you want you can have a beautiful campus that is very natural and has your own space, but Boston is also only 15 minutes away if you want to explore the city.”
In order to facilitate a safe return to Wellesley amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of campus life have been drastically changed. To maintain the Wellesley “bubble” and limit travel outside of campus, many students have found themselves more frequently taking advantage of Wellesley’s outdoor offerings rather than commuting into town. Abigail Martinage ’24 found opportunities to socialize and study with friends while observing health and safety precautions.
“I love Tupelo Point and have been there with friends… early in the morning to study or go out,” she said.
She also appreciated the teachers’ creativity in connecting with students by arranging office hours outside.
“I had teachers who worked outside office hours [of] The founders, and I used to go to dinner with my friends sometimes. I’m really glad we got all the outdoor space we made.
Even though the restrictions on campus life weren’t ideal circumstances for most, distance learning presented an even greater challenge for students who complained about its isolating nature. Martinage remembers missing out on spontaneous opportunities to interact with friends and acquaintances while living on campus.
“It’s really nice to be in a shared space where you can meet people. On Zoom you have to be a lot more intentional in socializing, ”she said.
Some students who studied remotely lacked the independence and sense of freedom associated with campus life.
“Even though we were limited on what we could do, I still felt like I was going to college [in the fall]”Garcia said.” During the spring semester and being on Zoom, I felt like I was still in high school. “
In Wellesley’s ranking in the Top 20 of the most beautiful university campuses in the country, Behar, Martinage and Garcia agreed that this place was well deserved. They plan to return to campus in the fall and look forward to more relaxed security protocols.