Friday, July 19, 2013

Women’s Colleges, Providing the Figuring It Out Space

Several of my friends have daughters in college and now that summer break is here, I hear how some of their daughters are still trying to figure things out.

All of these friend’s daughters attend a coed college and while I have nothing against coed colleges, I wonder how their lives might be different if they attended a women’s college.

What’s so unique about women’s colleges is the environment . . . it’s supportive, nurturing, and empowering. It’s a place where you can simply be who you are without worrying about what anyone else thinks.

It’s a place where you can “figure things out” without feeling pressured.

Coed colleges, no matter how hard they try, can’t provide this environment – simply because as a coed college they serve both men and women; where women come first at a women’s college.

Earlier this year, I quoted a classmate of mine Gretchen Van Ness and wanted to post part of her quote again.

“We live in such a gendered world that it is almost invisible to us, but most would agree that women are still held to very different expectations than men, girls are treated very differently than boys, sexual harassment is prevalent in high school, middle school, and even elementary school, etc. There is virtually no time in a young woman's life when she can just BE -- be herself without having to look pleasing to someone else, be interested in something without worrying whether a boy will think she's weird or too smart, be adventurous without worrying that she's not feminine enough, be a leader without worrying about being called some pretty awful names. Ironically, women's colleges give women perhaps the only chance in their lives to be free of gender expectations and limitations. . . .

Do you know what the best preparation for life is? Knowing yourself. It's just about impossible to grow up in our culture not knowing a lot about boys and men. But it's almost impossible in our culture to grow up knowing everything you are capable of if you are a woman. As long as that remains true, there will be a place for women's colleges.”

As you think about going to college, I encourage you to consider attending a women’s college. Research the many women's colleges available (I have a list on the right navigation bar of this blog), identifying the ones that have the program(s) you are wanting, and then visit several campuses. 

If you would like some assistance in the college selection process, contact me and I will connect you with a College Adviser that can assist you.

And after careful consider, if you feel a coed college is right for you, then I say go for it! Only you know which environment is best for YOU!

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