All the weird things people say when they learn I'm going to an all-girl college
Ah, college. It’s highly-anticipated… and a little feared. There’s so much that goes into picking a college, like if you’ll fit in, if you’ll like what they offer for your major, and how much money you’ll have to spend on tuition, books, and housing. With all these factors to consider, the college search can get pretty stressful. The last thing you need is for someone to come along and pile more useless stress onto you regarding college.
But lately, that’s what’s been happening to me. Here’s a quick rundown of the situation: I’m going to commute, and I want to major in dance. Here in Pennsylvania, I’m pretty limited when it comes to schools that meet those needs. I have three awesome choices for college: Muhlenberg, DeSales, and Cedar Crest. Cedar Crest happens to be an all-girls college. You can probably guess that commuting and majoring in dance aren’t the root of the problem I’m having when it comes to unnecessary college stress.
I would need more than the two hands I have to tally every time I have received a negative comment or look when I tell people that I’m interested in Cedar Crest. And sadly, these negative reactions to my school of choice are almost always about boys — or the lack thereof, actually. I’ve heard a lot, so let’s address the worst ones.
“But what about boys? That’s what college is for!”
Um, what? I’m sorry, but last time I checked, the point of going to college was to further your education, not find yourself a boyfriend. I’m not paying over $30,000 a year to go on a boy hunt, and anyone who is must be out of her mind. Ladies, never put a relationship before your education! If you go to college and put more importance on the cute boy who sits in front of you than the professor teaching that class, you will regret it.
Love is important (I’m honestly such a hopeless romantic, so I really do believe in love and all that fun stuff), but so is your education! College is for learning, and if you find a boy (or girl or any human you connect with) along the way that’s great! But remember what you’re there for. The best kind of love comes looking for you. Real love isn’t something you can search for. Overall, the idea that college is primarily for spending time with boys is, well, old fashioned and harmful.
“Most people meet their husbands at college, though!”
They do? Where does this statistic even come from? Somehow, I seriously think that this is not that true. And even if it is true, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m not going to college to find my husband. If he’s there, cool. If not, he’s somewhere else. I don’t care where I meet him, and no one else should be that picky about it either.
“Are you a lesbian?”
Sorry, I just have to let out a big sigh before I can even go on. I think this question might be the one that irritates me the most. First of all, it’s really not cool to just ask someone about their sexuality based on something totally unrelated, like what college they decide to attend. Since the question comes up so much, I’ve gotten used to clarifying that I’m not, but so what if I were? Love is love and it’s beautiful no matter the genders of the people involved.
The real reason this question bothers me so much is that it still plays into the idea that college is primarily about romance. Once I’ve established that I don’t plan to use my four years in college to find a boyfriend/husband, the next assumption isn’t that I’m really focused on my education, it’s that I must just be interested in a different gender. Because what else would I do at college other than flirt with people I find attractive, right? It’s so frustrating.
I’m no scientist, but based on the evidence I’ve collected as I tell people about my college plans, there seems to be a major, problematic misconception about college and why young people (or at very least young women) want to go. People seem to think that college is all about romance or hook ups, but it’s not! To me, college is genuinely about learning and growing as a person.
To all my fellow ladies: Don’t be discouraged about going to an all-girls school if that’s the best fit for you. Women rock and if I’m lucky enough to attend Cedar Crest, I will love meeting so many different girls from different background and walks of life. We women have to stick together and support one another.
So no, I’m not considering Cedar Crest because I’m a lesbian, and I’m not worried that there won’t be boys there. I’m considering it because their tuition is $32,600 (and that fits in my budget). Because their class size is about 20 and I like small class sizes. Because their student-faculty ratio it 10:1 and I like being close with my teachers and superiors. Because their campus is beautiful and I want to enjoy my environment. Because their dance program has what I’m looking for. Because their acceptance rate is high at 62%.
I’m considering going to an all-girls college, and it doesn’t give anyone the right to question my choices and tell me what I should prioritize while I’m at college.