Impressions Of
Spelman College

Academic Experience

Female Mathematics Major C/O 2020

How accessible are your professors?
They are accessible. They do make known what their office hours are. Sometimes, because professors teach multiple classes, we run into a jam during their office hours, but they also provide a way for you to meet with them one on one if you need.

How has going to an HBCU impacted your academic experience?
I think it has had quite an impact. I do not know what I would be doing if I had not attended an HBCU. To me, an HBCU allows me to be the majority for once, which is something I appreciate. Also, going to an all-women HBCU is a plus because, to me, Black women aren’t idolized or praised as much as they should be. Being around Black women who are striving towards excellence is something that will always be memorable for my experience.

Female Economics Major C/O 2020

How accessible are your professors?
Most of my professors are accessible. I use email a lot to communicate with them but I know that some people prefer to go to office hours to meet face to face. That’s harder, especially for upperclassmen, because our schedules usually don’t mesh with the professors. Especially throughout the Economics department, all of my professors use email and have been helpful.

How has going to an HBCU influenced your academic experience?
I definitely think going to an HBCU has allowed me to be my best self and develop into my best self. The culture of support from your peers and professors is great. Also, Spelman is somewhat competitive in that everyone wants to do great things, so I think that pushes you. I’ve always felt that I have to work to do something great. I like that I’m getting top-tier academic knowledge and I’m also learning about myself and what it means to be a Black woman in the world. I like learning that early on instead of figuring it out as I go.

Female Educational Studies Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
They ensure that their students consider different career options, graduate on time, and are enrolled in the correct courses. We are presented with various career opportunities as well as furthering our education. They’ll show you options that aren’t being a teacher where you can use the Education Studies major.

Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice so far?
I chose it because while I have a passion for education, I don’t foresee myself having a career in the classroom. My major is a non-teaching certification track so I can still study the subjects I want to at a larger scale.

Social Opportunities

Female Mathematics Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
I’m so boring. I like to read and do some yoga on the weekends. The weekends are the most time that I do have to do those things.

What kinds of activities do you like to do with your friends?
We just like to hang out together in the house.

What are some of your favorite events on campus to go to?
We have Market Fridays where different vendors come to campus. If I’m up for it, I’ll swing by and see if they’re selling anything that I like.

If at all, how has being LGBT influenced your weekend options?
I haven’t been the most open about that. It can be iffy on Spelman’s campus, especially because you have to take into people’s preferred pronouns, which was new to me my freshman year, so I haven’t engaged in the community very much. People are pretty open to it, but there are some instances where people might do one thing and they say another or say one thing to your face and something else behind your back, so I stay away from it all. [See article, “‘F**k You Freaks’: Homophobia Strikes Spelman’s Campus And Answers Are Demanded.”]

Female Economics Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
Freshman year there was always a big party or a club type thing. I definitely enjoyed that my first year. Now, I’ve been going out and enjoying Atlanta. There are so many restaurants, black-owned businesses, live music, and art galleries to take advantage of. I don’t have classes on Friday, so if I am going out I go out either on Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Now, I go out once every few months. It’s not because there aren’t things to do, I just also work and usually don’t have the energy.

What are some of your favorite events on campus?
People call our library “Club Woody.” When I lived on campus I would just go to the library to see who I bumped into. There are also talent shows and the organizations that are having events.

How happy are you with weekend options at Spelman? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m very happy with it. I’m at a new stage where I like more laid-back stuff, so I enjoy hanging out with friends more, but that’s more of a me thing. There are lots of options and things to do.

Female Educational Studies Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
I do a little bit of everything. I enjoy going to concerts and festivals, I like trying new places to eat, and I’ve gone to some of the bars. Thursday nights are pretty active. There are different restaurants that might have discounted drinks and happy hours that students go to, and then Friday and Saturday are pretty active. Academically, I’ve gone to some conferences in the city.

What’s the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
The fraternities and sororities have parties and around Homecoming some of them have their annual party. They won’t have parties on a weekly basis, but they do throw big parties annually. There will be off-campus parties that are hosted in apartments and houses and sometimes the people hosting it will all be in the same fraternity and sometimes not.

Campus Culture

Female Economics Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the overall social scene?
When people think about Spelman being all women they think there is very little social life, but I would say that’s not the case. When you think about the Spelman social scene you have to think about the AUC social scene, and that is very, very active. There’s always something to do and someone to talk to.

How has going to an HBCU impacted your social experience?
Both going to an all-female school and going to an HBCU has helped me realize my value and what I bring to the table. It’s helped me see that we’re all human but I have a very unique background and history and that adds to who I am and has helped me to be more confident and want to do bigger and better things. I’ve started looking into more [higher up leadership positions in the groups I’m in on campus] and I don’t think that would have happened if I hadn’t attended Spelman. I think if I hadn’t attended Spelman I would be okay with what’s comfortable.

Female Educational Studies Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s really great. There’s something for everyone which I think is awesome. There are lots of different clubs and organizations that are not just at our school but also at two neighboring colleges, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta. A lot of students are able to participate in organizations that are throughout all three campuses or just at one of them, which is great.

To what extent do people of different sexual orientations mix socially?
I would say they mix, but I think there is a lot of homophobia across the campuses, so it can be challenging as far as hanging out with each other. It can be an issue among the Black Christian community, which is the predominant religion on campus, and it’s also because we’re in the South. [See The Nation article, “It’s Time for HBCUs to Address Homophobia and Transphobia on Their Campuses.”]

Female Comparative Women's Studies Major C/O 2020

How do you like going to an all-female school? How has that impacted your experience?
I don’t think it makes a difference just because Morehouse and Clark are connected. It doesn’t bother me at all. It is encouraging being surrounded by other Black women who have the same interests as me. Because of that, I like it actually.

To what extent do people of different sexual orientations mix socially?
I have a lot of gay friends actually and they seem to be my favorite friends [laughs]. At Spelman, people are pretty inclusive of everybody.

How do you like the size of your school in terms of undergraduate enrollment?
I think it’s perfect because it allows the students to really get hands-on experience from the professors. Even when we do group work it’s helpful because it’s easy for us to all contribute our perspectives. The campus also isn’t all that large, so it’s great.

Atlanta, GA

Pros of

  • “It’s a growing city so there are always events to attend, places to eat, etc.”
  • “The weather.”
  • “The support. You have thousands of people around you with Morehouse, Clark, and Spelman who are all trying to be successful.”
  • “There are students here from all different backgrounds. I realized being in the AUC is not just meeting Black/African-American people, people come from all over the world. That’s also good to see how their perspective changes when they come to the U.S. and learn about their cultural background.”

Cons of

  • “Because Atlanta is a Black cultural capital, students in the AUC will focus on fashion and popularity. Being around all Black/African-American students can create a bit of competition.”
  • “Public transportation is not developed. It’s difficult to take it anywhere you go. You usually have to use a combination of ride-share and public transportation.”
  • “Sometimes people don’t get out of the AUC. You sometimes forget that you’re in Atlanta and you have to remember to take advantage of everything that’s going on in the city.”
  • “The AUC is small. It can feel like high school in that if you know somebody the chances are that they know you or know somebody else who knows you.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Mathematics Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Spelman before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how different people were. It was shocking my freshman year to learn how different people thought, but I’ve had to understand that everybody comes from different paths and backgrounds so their thought processes aren’t going to be the same as mine. For example, I was raised not to curse around your elders and then you meet people who don’t have the same respect. [Spelman students come from 43 different states and 10 foreign countries.]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
The department they’re interested in. Go to the building and see the list of professors so you can do your own research before entering that major.

Female Economics Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Spelman before entering as a freshman?
When you make the choice to go to an all-female school it is a little intimidating at first and you get a lot of feedback from people who don’t understand the benefit of it. I wish I would have known that Spelman is so full of opportunities and that when I signed up for Spelman I was not just going to get a good education but I also would learn what it means to be a Black woman in the world and how to be my best self.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
I never went, but people really like the accepted students weekend because they get to see the actual interaction between the girls and get a feel for that Spelman sisterly vibe.

Female Comparative Women's Studies Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Spelman before entering as a freshman?
I wish I would have known about the coursework and the workload because freshman year it was tough. I wish I would have known how much time management matters. I also wish I took advantage of more academic resources my freshman year.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
Students don’t have a chance to actually speak with a professor or an advisor about routes they can go while as an undergrad, so if they can possibly do that I think it would be very helpful.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Spelman College

To Attend

  • “It’s the number one HBCU, so that speaks for itself. It’s the only place where you can get a top education and also learn about what it means to be a Black woman in the world.”
  • “It’s a super motivating environment and everyone around you has done great things and wants to do great things. It’s encouraging for your future.”
  • “The study abroad opportunities are amazing. A high percentage of students study abroad.” [In 2017-2018 406 students studied abroad in 28 different countries.]
  • “The fact that you have four years of not being discriminated against racially or by gender. You’ll never be able to get that again.”

To Not Attend

  • “Don’t come to Spelman if you don’t know how to self-advocate. No one is necessarily going to speak for you. Spelman is very individualistic in that sense.”
  • “The cafeteria food isn’t all that great.”
  • “It’s very easy to get engulfed in certain aspects of Spelman’s social life and certain friend groups that skew your judgment. It can feel like a popularity contest.”
  • “I do think Spelman doesn’t fit for everyone. If you’re somebody who doesn’t want to have an impact on the world, I don’t think Spelman is the right place for you.”
Notice: Spelman College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Spelman College.

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