I've gone through a lot of changes in my life. I've changed the label I associate with my sexuality; I've changed careers; I've moved all over the country; I've been in relationships and single; I've just generally experienced all the shifts associated with life. Since 2005, the one dependable constant in all of that has been Wellesley. I knew I was entering the perfect college for me that fall when I arrived at Wellesley; I didn't yet know that I was also entering into a lifelong family of graduates and student siblings who would have my back and support me no matter what.
No one at Wellesley has ever said, "Are you sure?" to me when I've talked about my feelings, intuitions, and general opinion as to where I am in my life. I've received only unparalleled support, advice, and encouragement. I've received remarkable education from my siblings inside and outside the classroom, and I've made friendships that will last my entire life.
Whenever I've moved to new places, I've reached out to local alumnae in the area, and always been welcomed warmly and enthusiastically. There's a strange and unique bond that ties us together across generation, background, and experience. When I meet another Wellesley graduate or student, we connect almost immediately, even if we're different in every other way. When job-seeking, reaching out to my siblings has always led to immediate help and connections. Likewise, now that I'm moving ahead in my career, I try to do everything I can for the younger generation if and when they contact me. It's a "Pay it Forward" sort of thing: I know if they receive the assistance that I have from my Wellesley family, they'll pass along whatever resources they have in the future.
And even our more illustrious graduates are there to support their siblings when possible. I remember when I was living in New York looking for a job in DC, I reached out to the State Department. Hillary Clinton was still Secretary of State, and I sent a letter mentioning that I was a Wellesley graduate, that I admired Mrs. Clinton immensely, and also that I spent three of my four years in the same dorm that she was in at Wellesley (true!) Within two weeks, I received a note from her office saying they always try to reach out to Wellesley women, and inviting me for an introductory interview, though there were no positions open. No matter who we are or what we become, we always remember our time at Wellesley, as well as our younger siblings.
I honestly don't know where I would be or how I would have fared without knowing that every day, I can log into my Facebook and have a whole network of safety there if I need advice, support, or if I just want to read what my brilliant siblings have to say today. Wellesley is so, so important, and I'm honored to be a part of the community.
(Attached: Images of Wellesley alum meetups in Washington, DC and Baton Rouge, LA.)