I love what Wellesley College is saying in their admissions video. I’d like to take the concept a step further. Obviously, you do not need to be a Wellesley student or alum to choose to make such a place–a positive, empowering mindset within yourself; a set of core values you always fall back on, however you get knocked around in life; a view of the world that includes women succeeding on their own terms, regardless of what other negative messages we get from society or our peers; in other words, a shrine within yourself, as a woman, where no one can violate your dreams.
I’m celebrating my tenth anniversary as a Wellesley alum this year, and this message is one I carried around on campus and still hold close under my steel breastplate as I go out in the world. I do remember someone getting in front of the microphone at a campus event, even way back then, and saying, “every woman should have a little Wellesley space in her heart.” Why? Because life is hard, because other things in life can get in the way and feel like they’re grinding you down to a nub. But you can still remember who you are, why you care so much, and stay focused on that self-love. I never forgot that, and the message is still so pervasive now.
So go on, “take something so meaningful, so audacious, and push it past the point of no return.” Do that, knowing there are plenty of other women who are with you, whatever their background, wherever they’ve been in life, no matter what college they went to, or didn’t go to… Make sure you always have a place inside where you believe in yourself as a woman and will never relent. Where you say a Rosie the Riveter “Yes We Can!” to yourself, and then keep on going. This is the place you need to build inside… a message that is definitely for every woman.