Wesleyan University Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


Hipsters. Hipsters everywhere.


Over the years, the sports teams at Wesleyan have really started to assert themselves. In soccer, volleyball, crew, cross-country and lacrosse, the teams really excel. Are Wesleyan students hipsters? Well, some of them, but not many. There are plenty of jocks at the school - in fact, more than there used to be. There are also fraternities. Our rival schools don't have fraternities anymore. Pot smoking isn't that huge. Opinions, chalking, protests and political passion are rampant, but that's a good thing!


Two members of the men’s varsity baseball team discuss stereotypes that divide athletes and non-athletes.


Two members of the men’s varsity baseball team discuss stereotypes that divide athletes and non-athletes.


Two freshmen discuss stereotypes.


Two freshmen discuss stereotypes.


A senior reflects on the stereotypes he has encountered at Wesleyan. Good interview!


A senior reflects on the stereotypes he has encountered at Wesleyan. Good interview!


For the most part


Yes, all stereotypes seem to come from some truth. However, while there are pot-smoking liberal hippies, there are also those who live to be "hipsters," those who wear Abercrombie, and those who are "jocks." The best part of Wesleyan is that you can be anything - weird, or not, just yourself, and almost everyone on campus will love you and accept you unconditionally.


i think they are true for a lot of students--except I am someone who is very poor...


This stereotype is an extreme of one aspect you can find on campus. Although you can certainly find people that exemplify these stereotypes, you can also avoid it all together.


The hipster character is overwhelmingly present. Hippies, not so much - we don't do that kind of sincerity.


yes and no


Some of the stereotypes about Wesleyan are accurate in describing some of the students. Fortunately, we are actually a diverse enough campus that students have a host of different interests they pursue, and we can't all be heaped together as liberal hipis or hipsters or whatever. However it is true that we are actually Wellesley. Completely.


partly, but not entirely.


(see above)


Not really. There are a handful of hippies, and a handful of hipsters, but it's not that divided. People get along, and there are a lot of types of people. Heck, there are even a lot of types of hippies and hipsters. And, sure the school and its students are generally really accepting of everyone regardless of their gender and sexuality, but it's really only part of the population, and not an overwhelmingly large part. And I know plenty of people here who got into Brown and other Ivy League schools but chose to come here because it's more relaxed, and the people are great.


Each stereotype can find a student to support it. Those who are super radical, very gay, and part of the film department are good at making themselves seen and heard. But in fact there are not many of them and the only reason they have formed the stereotype is because they force themselves to be seen/heard. There are moderates. For example I am gay but do not feel the need to flaunt it. I am also a moderate when it comes to politics and I don't feel like I am snubbed by liberals.


In isolated cases, yes. Vising the campus for the first time, I got a sense of that negative impression. But the REAL activism on campus is less visible, because these students are having professional meetings with all levels of staff and faculty and making HUGE differences on a wide variety of fronts.


Yes and no. There is a lot of political homogeneity, but there are some disenting voices. People are to the left for sure, but pretty clever. A lot of different types of students so most people will find something that interests them.


Not necessarily, there's a variety of personalities. Although I'd imagine hippies represent a higher percentage of the population at Wesleyan then they do in the real world.


We have writers, homosexuals, and artists but it's not so cut and dry.


In a sense they are fairly accurate. The school is very liberal and many of the students are. However, like any school it is very easy to find a niche. The school is very diverse and not only racially. There are many like minded kids but there are also many other kids who don't quite fit the Wesleyan stereotype.


Most Wes students will tell you that they adore Wes, and that they love it because of the student body. Wes kids are involved in a million projects and yes, have their idiosyncracies. It's a diverse campus which is home to many disparate groups of students, from hipsters, to hippies, to athletes, to artists, to musicians, to fraternity brothers, from American students to African, Phillipino, Indian, British, and South American students, just to name a few. The students at Wes are, for the most part, aiming to save the world, or at least make a tremendous impact upon it. The greatest number of Wes seniors are hired by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, The Peace Corps and Teach for America. The academics at Wesleyan are rigorous, but competitive only amongst those acruing pre-med requirements. Among students majoring in the humanities, intellectual conversations are far more frequent than discussions about grades and achievement.


Wes is the most diverse place I have ever EVER been. We have a little bit of everything, and the best part is--nobody cares! Plenty of people shower, most people don't actually have dreads, there is nothing wrong with American Apparel and unisex pants, sometimes a good protest is a good time, and there is nothing better than supporting your friends at whatever they do, from athletic events (because, yes, we have athletes), to dance productions, to art shows, to concerts. No matter who you like to surround yourself with, you will find those people, as well as have your entire image on the world opened up by spending time with people unlike those you have ever met before.


1. Definitely! While "body drugs" like coke are in relative wide usage, more of the student body is into trying out new things to expands their heads, from pot on up to Leary-esque questing after psychedelic truth 2. Not quite...students are generally lefty, and political debate is lively and progressively slanted on the campus, but I'd say that relative few students are truly engaged in national political issues, Washington often seeming too fascist and conservative to be saved by or even to listen to the kind of political ideas widely accepted by Wes studemts. 3. Yes, no doubt if you come to Wes you will definitely come to ask probing questions about your sexual identity and broad sexual norms, whether you ever do anything about it or not, 4. YES! The art-making in all fields (except maybe theater) is rarely too far behind the NYC and international cutting edge. The best liberal arts college bar none to study contemporary artistic practices. 5. Hippies not so much. Hipsters...quite a few, but they restrict themselves to a tight knit community around the eclectic house. 6.Yes, for the most part. 7. Only if you consider the vocal expressio of our rejection of mainstream American values and norms to be whining.


somewhat. but i found a lot more apathetic and fashionable people here...like a lot of people care more about having their skinny jeans be from the right store than Darfur, you know?


to an extent. While students are predominantly politically liberal, they tend to be very open minded and logical about their political beliefs, therefore, while the campus is very liberal, it is by no means an unwelcome place for a political or social conservative. There is fairly widespread recreational drug use. The student body is by no means wealthy or pretentious. Wesleyan is very generous with their financial aid, as well as outreach to many culturally, geographically, and economically diverse communities. As a result the student body is diverse in many ways, particularly economically.


To some extent. BUT you can find conservatives and I know a lot of people who have never even tried pot before.


To a degree, yes.


This stereotype has some root in reality, but is actually far from accurate. Yes, most Wesleyan students are liberal. Yes, many Wesleyan students are politically aware. But this alone does not seperate Wesleyan from its peer institutions. Most liberal arts colleges are predominantly liberal, and many college students happen to be interested in politics. What sets Wesleyan apart is how vocal and outgoing students can be when they want their voices heard. I have yet to meet someone at this school who does not have some particular passion that they wouldn't pursue to the end of the world.


Obviously that wild image is not exactly accurate. But that's not to say that the hippy culture is gone from Wesleyan, it's just less obvious. Students may not be clad in tie-dye, but the spirit is still there.


yes and no. a lot of girls are really pretty!!! however, you definitely don't see too many of the stereotypically pretty sorority-girl types. The football team, at least, sucks. The hipster-jock divide is true in the sense the both ends of the spectrum stay in their respective corners. however, if you don't want that stereotype to be true, many people cross those boundaries easily. Yes, students are incredibly liberal. I know of 3 self-professed republicans, and i only know one of them personally. I don't know any hillary supporters.


With the exception of Teach for America, no. Seriously...a lot of kids here do Teach for America. The truth is that the kids here are just a bunch of smart kids that don't fit neatly into any one box. The same football DKE brother in your econ class is in an a cappella group or something equally surprising. Drugs are around (its a college campus after all), but kids here know their shit and get it done well. We like to play but know playing is only fun if your still managing to get a degree at the end of the day.




Wesleyan is such a special place because, while it is predominantly liberal and does host individuals or small groups of people that fit these stereotypes, it is the kind of school where practically everybody can feel comfortable. Most students are pretty down to earth, and stereotypes are typically not the basis of friendships. While Wesleyan stereotypes are often accurate, I don't think that reflects badly on the student body. We have a diverse collection of stereotypes, which makes for a rich academic and social environment.


There are stoners and hipsters at Wesleyan, but there are also serious athletes, Orthodox Jews, accomplished opera singers, and future doctors (and not a few students who span more than one of these categories). And while it often feels like the student body as a whole produces more noise than action, there are groups and individual students who do amazing work to improve the working conditions of the campus dining staff, the educational conditions of kids in Middletown, the living conditions of farmers in the Dominican Republic, and the environmental conditions of the world at large.


to some extent, but not really


Both Hippies and Hipsters are present, and yes, a lot of people have some experience with illicit substances, but Wesleyan is so much more than that. I've found to campus to be remarkably socially diverse. Any and every group you can imagine is present here, and people interact freely and openly with everyone else. It's hard to feel like no one else is like you here.


maybe the first two, but most of us do shower.




There is a noticeable about of blind liberalism, which itself is just as ridiculous as the mentality it attacks. Most students are a lot more real than that.


It's true that on the whole Wesleyan students are liberal, but the diversity on this campus is pretty mind-blowing. There are a couple hippies, hipsters, athletes, artists, people of all kind. Even conservatives. And on the whole, the students have a very deep understanding of inequity and are tremendously self-critical in a way that allows for each person to truly transform over the course of 4 years. Although Wesleyan is probably one of the most politically active campuses in the country, many students expected there to be more happening on that front. That seems to be related to the general (apathetic) political climate, and seems to be changing for the better.


The first one is only partially true. Wes does admit a certain percentage of minority students, the exact number of which can probably be found in most basic college search books. I know that there is a push right now to admit more international students, and Wes has a very supportive queer community. However, I have found that some minority groups (especially racial/ethnic/international) tend to keep to themselves, and don't kid yourself into thinking that there are anywhere near as many non-white students as there are white students. What Wes really is, at least in my experience, is a sort of a microcosm of a city, where there is certainly tension, but also understanding and coming together. As for activism, there is a small group of Wes students who are extremely active politically, environmentally, etc., but it certainly doesn't dominate campus. In other words, activism could potentially define your Wes experience, but you could also spend four years here without being at all involved, and still leave with a great, fulfilling education.


watch the movie pcu. its based on wesleyan. now take that movie and make it 734852862757 times whiter (yes its possible, its sad) and 2486356293486916 jillion times more annoying and conservative on the low. yes, again it is possible i am sorry to say.


yes and no. definitely a very liberal social atmosphere.. there are a lot of radical thinkers and a generally accepted queer population. but there are many different "types" of people. many defy easy categorization. people dress however they want, which doesnt mean there aren't some preppy kids.


There are some students here who protest more or less indiscriminately. There are also plenty of students who remain completely apathetic. However, I have found that more than at other schools, Wesleyan students really care about world issues and when they do speak out, they have worked hard to gain a complete understanding of what they're doing. The sixties thing is kind of true though- Zonker Harris day was like a trip back in time. Colorful ribbons and ladies' underwear in the trees, furniture outside, bands playing, girls in fairy costumes, open drug use, frisbees flying. I don't think there are that many places where such an event would achieve such irony-free levels of participation.


Basically. But there's not as much militancy or emphasis on political correctness as you might expect--in general it's more a down-for-whatever hedonism, not as much yelling about communism communism rah rah rah. Also many of the students are as smart as they are pluralistic, so it's hard for a lot to take a hard stance on issues. If you want to make stuff about stuff you'll be great. If you want to talk about stuff, yes let's talk about stuff. And if you DO want to take up an issue you're passionate about and fight for it, the door is wide open.


In some cases, yes. Obviously, not all students fit the mold described above, and I think that, oftentimes, a few particularly loud voices become paradigms for the student body as a whole. Generally, lots of Wesleyan kids are very opinionated and enjoy flinging their opinions out into the community, sometimes just to see who gets riled up.