Is A Women's College The Right Choice For You?

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As your senior year of high school flies by, you’re faced with a million choices about where you want to go to college next year. One huge consideration that doesn’t even cross most senior girls’ minds, though, is whether or not they should attend a single-sex university.

There are negative connotations associated with girls-only schools, the majority of which are entirely false. It’s these preconceived notions that keep most collegiettes from even considering attending a single-sex university. However, there are countless benefits associated with attending a girls-only school. Is a women’s college the right choice for you?

The Stereotypes

When someone announces their decision to attend a single sex university, the response that they get is usually a stifled jaw-drop and a polite nod with wide, disbelieving eyes. “A school full of nothing but girls? Are you nuts?” seems to be their underlying message.

“You Go to a Women’s College? You Must Be a Lesbian.”
There are negative stereotypes associated with students who choose to attend single-sex universities. People assume that women’s college attendees are either super religious (and therefore chaste) or lesbians. Those assumptions lead the majority of the female population to coed universities when, in reality, single-sex universities have a lot to offer too.

Elizabeth Schmitt from Mount Holyoke College spoke a bit on this topic. “A lot of my friends in high school joked about me being a lesbian [when I chose to attend a women’s college], but it never bothered me. I knew that my reasons to attend Mount Holyoke were so much more important than the lesbian stereotype.”

When asked about the LGBT community on Mount Holyoke’s campus, Elizabeth said, “I’d say that there’s a very vocal minority of gay and transgender women here, but most girls are straight. The assumption [that we are all lesbians] is quite petty, and I think it unfortunately deters some students from women’s colleges. We are a supportive and allied environment if you are gay or transgendered, but I think the assumption that we are all gay is grossly inaccurate.”

“There Must Be So Much Drama All The Time!”
Generally when a lot of girls are put in one place, the catty escapades of a teenage TV series like Gossip Girl tend to ensue (or so we think). Girls are notorious for their inability to interact without injecting unnecessary drama into a situation. That’s why the idea of living on a campus full of thousands of females can put someone who likes her life to be drama-free a little bit on edge.

However, Elizabeth had nothing but positive things to say about the girls-only atmosphere.

“I think we have an extremely strong sense of community and solidarity," Elizabeth said. "It’s not like high school where there’s a lot of cattiness. We are all here because of the amazing academics and community, and I don’t ever feel overwhelmed by that!”

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About The Author

Alicia is the national Career Editor of Her Campus. She's a junior at Penn State with majors in journalism and Spanish and a minor in sociology. Alicia is currently interning at DoSomething.org in New York City for the summer. She is also the community manager of Penn State's blog, Onward State, the Marketing Chair for an annual conference called State of State, a volunteer for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, and will be studying at La Universidad de Sevilla in the spring. When she's not writing or plowing through 24-packs of Diet Coke, Alicia enjoys baking, dancing, jamming to Jack Johnson, hanging out with her Friends (you know-- Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe?), cheering on the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium, and city-hopping her way across the globe.