Wake is the only college I applied to, and I have never questioned my decision (this was thanks to the early decision-single choice application they offer, if you love it here, do it!! Makes senior year a breeze ;-)) The size right now is a little more than 4,000 students, but they are implementing a plan to grow a couple thousand over the next few years. Personally, I think the size is great. It is big enough that you do not know everybody, but you can't go anywhere without seeing people you know (which I suppose could be considered a downside at times). Before you even get a chance to get sick of this, though, it's your junior year, which is when most people choose to go abroad. Spring at Wake is amazing, with lots of stuff going on (including lots of day drinking on the weekends) so most people go abroad in the Fall (sororities and fraternities are really really big here, too, and the new pledge classes are selected in the spring--even more reason to be on campus). Wake is a really good school, and people across the country are definitely starting to take notice. When I first started at Wake, people recognized the name because of our basketball program and Chris Paul, but the academics are getting more and more notice now. People definitely do not seem to have trouble getting jobs right out of college. Wake doesn't have the greatest nightlife outside of our "bubble" if you are underage. There were 3 bars that fraternities have parties at at least once a week, but Wake bought them up this year, so it's not entirely clear what will be going on there. For those of age, there are some very popular bars that are popular pretty much every night of the week in case you finish that homework early. Overall, people who go to Wake, absolutely love it. You have to suffer through a lot of papers, tests, and presentations, but the fun you have with all your friends when the work is done (or when you can afford to push it off) makes it all totally worth it.
Like the students it attracts and accepts, Wake is well-rounded. It's small enough to form relationships with professors, to never walk around without seeing someone you know, to guarantee on-campus housing, to network, and to reach any part of campus in under ten minutes . It's big enough to always meet new people, to attract professors highly-involved in the professional world, to compete competitively in sports, to host top graduate programs, and to call Maya Angelou our own. When you say you go to Wake Forest, people are impressed. Oftentimes though, they can't quite remember where it is. That would be Winston-Salem, NC, known for Hanes Brand and tobacco but not known so much as a college town--which is probably one of the main complaints consistently heard from Wake students in addition to the Campus Police's incompetence to deal reasonably and consistently with on-campus drinking. In a most recent discussion with Administration, students complained that if the school wants to move parties safely back to campus, there needs to be a safe, fun place to drink on campus. Impressively, the Administration immediately answered with new social venue, "The Barn"--success to be determined, perhaps. In the meantime, many students enjoy mild socializing in on-campus locations such as Starbucks, dorm lounges and courtyards, as well as my personal favorite hangout: student-run coffee shop, Campus Grounds. There's someplace for everyone--even if it is one of the seven floors of the ZSR library (which is often the case.)
One thing I'd change: I would take power away from the trustees who pretty much run this school and seem to see it more as a money making organization than an educational institution. The school is a good size, but they keep accepting more Freshman, which means it will inevitably grow. I am embarrassed to tell people I go to Wake, so I usually don't volunteer the information unless someone inquires. I spend most of my time in the student run coffee shop on campus, in the building Tribble (which houses English, philosophy, political science, and education classes), and in the bookstore where I work. Winston-Salem is not so much a college town, but perhaps it could be one if people actually made an effort to leave campus and explore. I do not like the administration. There are actually huge controversies going on right now concerning a long list of announcements that were made about some changes coming up. They are increasing tuition by 6 or 7 thousand dollars, charging a student health fee, charging $500 to park your car on campus, they are kicking out the faculty and staff from their on campus apartments in order to let students live there, and they are planning on spending 25 million dollars transforming Deacon Blvd. into a hang out place for Wake Students. All of these things apall me. There is a lot of school pride, yes. Anything unusual? We have an underground tunnel system that is restricted, but people go down there anyway.
The best thing about Wake Forest: BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS What I, personally, would change: The elitist and ridiculous process of being admitted into the social stratosphere known as GREEK LIFE School size: If you're trying to avoid someone, you can't. You'll probably see them at least 3 times per week Reactions: When I tell people I go to Wake Forest, generally they know it's a Top 25-ranked university Time well-spent: THE ZSR aka the LIBRARY. We have had an open relationship since my freshman year here. College town: Fallacious Administration: Natty O. is our president. Sometimes I see him, most of the time I get his emails which he may or may not actually write himself. Controversy on campus; In order of most controversial, 1) Greek life, 2) Politics, 3) What party to go to on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and 4) On which floor of the library should I study today? School pride: Black and Gold. Mainly at basketball games. Football games are apparently for Lilly Pulitzer dresses and Vineyard Vine button-downs Unusual things: the high number of girls with eating disorders and the dearth of boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. Hook-ups are prominent Experience I'll remember: Creating a team for Hit-the-Bricks to raise money for cancer research Student complaints- THE PIT (cafeteria) gets old real fast, not enough seats available in the library, TOO MUCH WORK, not enough alcohol
The best thing about Wake is that it is small enough to know at least one person in your class but it's big enough to meet someone new every time you go out. I think the size is just right. The campus is too small to expand on the number of students. When I tell people I go to Wake they are immediately impressed or they have no idea what Wake Forest University is. Some people know that it's a good school but they just know that it's close to UNC and Duke. As for Winston Salem being a "college town"...no, it's not. If you want to see a college town, go to Gainesville. I have never had a problem with Wake's administration but since I am an athlete I don't really have to deal with any of it. I spend most of my time with my team, working out and practicing. When I'm not doing that I'm either in class, studying or sleeping. Wake's school pride is there when the sports teams are successful. If a team isn't having a good season the fan base and pride drops tremendously. Also, the fan base is only decent for the football team and the men's basketball team. There are other teams on campus that are among the best in the nation and their stands are empty. The one experience I'll always remember is watching the field hockey team with the National Championship in 2004 and the experience of playing my sport in front of a packed gym and winning.
I think Wake Forest is the perfect balance of several factors that students consider when choosing a college. The size is just right for the student who wants individual attention and small class sizes, but does not want to attend a tiny school where they feel like they know everyone. I have made personal connections with almost all of my professors and I have grown academically through the small class discussions that are typical in classes. However, I have also enjoyed the feeling of being on a decent sized campus and the opportunity to meet new people all of the time. Wake Forest is the perfect mix of the small academic environment and the Division I sports of a large university. I think that this school also allows for students to find balance between school and outside activities. Obviously our academic reputation is stellar and we are commonly referred to as "Work Forest." Academics are a definite emphasis and the work load can be overwhelming. However, there are so many opportunities to get involved on campus and in the community. Most students are involved in at least three activities outside of their school work and they find ways to make time for fun. I have been so grateful for the friends I have made here, who have been understanding whenever I need to cancel a social activity for school work, but are always willing to take fun study breaks.
The campus is utterly breathtaking. The historic architecture set against the progressive backdrop of the seasons is just plain easy on the eyes. In terms of size, if you live on campus you avoid that winded feeling of a marathon runner you might get traveling between classes on a larger campus because everything is relatively close. Even on the worst days it takes 10 minutes at most to get to your farthest class. Yet you never feel smothered or cloistered by the people or surroundings. I'd say Wake Forest hits a relative sweet spot in terms of size. The quality you'll be most thankful for is the low student to teacher ratio. Learning is much more engaging when it has the chance to be interactive. The library is amazingly huge and has an in-house Starbucks that is a godsend on some days, and a computer trouble-shooting office. Wake Forest does a great job of accommodating students' needs. I've seldom had difficulty getting something done. Some detractions are that if you don't have a car there's isn't any good social hotspots nearby and social events on campus are largely directed at frats and sororities.
I think that it is too small, but I thought that when I chose to come here. I like that the school is focused on the students, and the undergraduate experience. I like the idea of the thinkpad program, but not the actual thinkpads Winston-Salem isn't a college town, there is no argument about that. The school is too small and the town is too big. On the bright side, the cities and the people of W-S and Wake Forest get along. I am from Michigan, so either the reaction when I say I go to Wake is "oh... where is that again...? don't they have a good basketball or football team or something?" or you can tell that have connections in the south, and it immediately clicks, and they are like "oh! really! wow! that is a good school. i never hear of people going there" I think that most of the "issues" on campus are all things that are issues at every school. "We want a bigger gym"- who doesn't. "the administration doesn't care"- you can't please 4000 people at the same time. etc.
The best thing about what is the professors. They are willing to go out of their way to help you with anything--coming up wiht paper topics, helping you find sources (even for other classes), even suggestions for careers. Also, the internet is really reliable, strong, and consistantly available all over campus. I wish we had other social activities available besides Greek-related events. I also wish the meal plans/food and the dorms were better. Both completely suck. I like the size, but some think it's too small. I just think it's nice to know such a huge percentage of the student population. When I tell people I go to wake, about 1/2 say they've never heard of it. Another 1/4 say something about our sports and how we used to be good but they have been disappointed in us recently. Another 1/4 comment on how good the academics are reputed to be. On campus, I spend most of my time in my room or in the library studying. At leat 6 hours a night, Id say.
Best thing about Wake -- it's size, we're a close student body. I would change the dorms -- they're too small and students often move off campus to have a larger space. Just right in size. When I say I go to Wake people usually are impressed. I spend most of my time on campus in my room doing work/sleeping our in my sorority lounge. "what college town." I generally like the administration but I don't know if they always have our best interests at heart. Biggest controversy -- Riley Skinner's naked pictures. Definitely a lot of school pride. Unusual about Wake -- it's very small but we have great involvement, lots of activities, lots of opportunity to do great things, and we're a student body that generally excels after graduation. An experience I will always remember is rolling the quad after the win against Maryland after a huge comeback. Most frequent student complaints are that classes are too difficult, and that professors schedule things back-to-back.