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The officials at Spelman were not supportive of her activism. Their aim was to produce ladies, not activists. So in 1963, unhappy with college life at Spelman, Alice uneasily accepted a scholarship she had been awarded to attend the liberal arts institution, Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, New York. In 1964, after her junior year at Sarah Lawrence, she traveled to the continent of Africa, where Alice spent a summer as an exchange student in the country of Uganda.
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During her senior year at Sarah Lawrence, Alice discovered that she was pregnant. After finding out, Alice grew literally sick from worry. She worried about the disappointment that she will cause her mother, father and entire community who have supported her in her pursuit for a college degree. She attempted to find a doctor to perform an aborition for her, but can not find one. Distraught, for three days, Alice could not sleep or eat. She slept with a razor underneath her pillow and contemplates suicide.
Alice had always contemplated suicide since entering college and read the treaties about suicide by philosophers Nietzsche and Albert Camus when she had first entered college. But the option took on a more desirable option once she discovered she was pregnant. She believed her parents would miss her some if she committed suicide. But she felt as if they would not miss her much after they discovered the reason she killed herself was because she was pregnant.
She revealed her secret to three friends who consoled her, but whom she felt really didn't understand her predicament. One of her friends finally succeeded in finding a doctor to perform an abortion for Alice. Alice was anxious during the entire procedure because her mother had always considered abortion a sin.
After the abortion, Alice slipped into a deep depression. Just like the time following her accident when she lost her right eye, her only comfort is her writing. Alice wrote poetry as a means of dealing with her feelings of pain and anxiety. She slipped her finished poetry on sheets of paper underneath the door of her writing professor and mentor, Muriel Rekeyser. Her professor, impressed with Alice's poems, submitted them to her agent at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. As a result, they become the basis of her first published work of poetry, Once which was published three years later when she turned 24-years-old.
Alice graduated from Sarah Lawrence in the winter of 1964.