When a woman decides to attend an all-women’s college, it is a huge decision. Not only is she making a major financial investment, but she also is deciding where she will spend the next four years of her life.
Once a woman makes the decision to attend a women’s college, she also has to battle several myths about attending an all women’s college. From a student at Simmons College, which is the only women’s college remaining in Boston proper, here are “8 Myths” that students often encounter during their time in school:
1. We are less prepared to enter the “real world”
False. Some people think we are academically and socially deprived, and will not be able to succeed in the real world, having been surrounded by women for our college experience. Actually, research shows that women who graduate from all women’s colleges are more successful and do very well in their lives and careers. The majority of women leave all-women’s colleges with more confidence, outgoing personalities, and feeling overall more powerful. Several famous and successful women have also graduated from all women’s colleges such as Rehema Ellis, Gabby Giffords, Katharine Hepburn, Hillary Clinton, Martha Stewart, Allison Schwartz, Julia Child, and Meryl Streep, just a few of the several in the world.
2. We are all either boy deprived or never meet boys.
False. Many of us have boyfriends or go out on the weekends to meet boys. It is not like the college refuses to let us meet or ever see boys. Back in the old days, the all women’s colleges used to set up mixers with the coed schools and host dances and invite boys only so the women could meet men.
3. We are all major feminists who are concerned with women’s issues.
While some women at women’s colleges do fit this description, not everyone on campus is like this. We all vary differently based on our different backgrounds, experiences, etc.
4. We are very cliquish (i.e. the popular girls, the jocks, the smart girls, etc.).
False. Going to an all women’s college allows you to meet all different kinds of people. Also since the school is usually not that large, it is easy to meet and get to know all kinds of different women. While yes, the athletes might hang out more together and the nursing students all go out together, it does not mean that you have to find a group and stick with them for the rest of your college experience. That is the whole point of college, to break out and make friends with people you might have never thought had anything in common with you.
5. We are actually just a modern day finishing school.
False. We do not spend our days in class learning how to sew, make dinners, plan parties, run a household, etc. Women’s colleges are accredited nationally and we are expected to learn all the same things a student would in a coed college. We are scientists, nurses, business leaders, educators, and communicators. We take the same standard requirements just like at any other college.
6. For fun, we have late night pillow fights in our underwear.
False. Sorry men, but that is still just a fantasy, dream, or something you see in the movies.
7. We eat too much and do not dress up because there is no one to impress.
False. While, yes, we do have our bad days when we want to just curl up and eat Ben & Jerrys, we do dress up for class and watch what we eat. We are just lucky to have the option of not having to dress up because we have no boys to impress in class and dressing a certain way does not have an influence on how we are graded. Teachers want us in class to learn, not for a fashion show.
8. We are all super wealthy.
The myth that we are all wealthy is completely false. While some students do have more money than others, not all of us are part of the 1% like many might assume. Many students are on financial aid, scholarships, etc. to help them get through college. The exact same as if they were going to a co-ed college.
Krista Evans wrote this post for boston.com/yourtown in March when she was a senior at Simmons College with a double major in Political Science and History and a minor in Business Metrics. For a video addressing other myths at a women's school, see this video from a freshman.