the-next-day-youre-out asked: Hi Yenelsa, I received an email from you today on my way home from a deathly day of school (I am taking my IB exams at the moment) and it made me so happy. I have been stalking random Smithies on facebook and reading tons of online reviews. I have very specific questions about Smith. How did you feel at Smith your first year? Was it hard to get used to all girls? Is it hard to meet boys and hang with boys regularly (as friends or as more than friends)? Under what circumstances r boys on campus?
Hi! I’m glad my email did a little something to your long day :)
I love answering specific questions! I broke them down by questions:
How did you feel at Smith your first year?
During my first year at Smith I felt overwhelmed with all the changes, but I personally loved all the new things I encountered at Smith. I was part of the Bridge program, which is a pre-orientation program for students from underrepresented backgrounds and those five days set up a strong foundation for the support and friends I have today. Then during orientation, we had so many opportunities to get to know the rest of our class. When the rest of the Smithies arrived, I got to know the people from my house, our traditions, our house spirit and so on. All together, these events were so fun and a great way to get to know my home for the next four years.
The academics here were another thing that I had to learn to adapt to. As you probably know, Smith’s academics are rigorous and intellectually stimulating. Fortunately, during my first few weeks at Smith before classes, I learned about all the resources I have access to for support. I think that’s what made my first year such a great one; I knew that I wasn’t alone in my struggles. The classes are always tough but since we get to chose our own classes (no general education requirements—yay!) my natural interest in the subjects drove my ambition.
Was it hard to get used to all girls? Is it hard to meet boys and hang with boys regularly (as friends or as more than friends)? Under what circumstances r boys on campus?
These three are all related so here we go.
I was not hard to get used to being around women for the majority of my semester. These are women (and students with other gender preferences) that are ambitious, powerful and inspiring leaders. Being on campus with Smithies that work to make change happen, both on campus and all over the world, reminds me that I can also do the same. At Smith I feel like there’s this sense of unity as students that I did not feel at other schools and I really appreciate that.
It is not at all hard to meet boys. Since we are part of the five college consortium, we have access to visit the other schools (FREE rides on the bus) and can mingle elsewhere. There are many reasons to visit the other schools; you can take a class there, attend events that the students host, go to a career fair, go to a concert and so on. From these events, you can definitely make friends/more than friends. In the org I’m in, I’m the 5 college representative so I collaborate with similar orgs at the other campuses. Since I got this position, I have made some great friends. Just like we can go off campus to meet people, students from the other schools can also do the same. We also hold many events that attract students from the other schools.
Thanks for coming to ask questions and let me know if you have any more questions :)