Wesleyan University Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?




I would tell myself to follow my heart and remember that everything happens for a reason. When I was applying, it felt like the end of the world when I got deferred from my first choice school. Looking back now I see that had I not gone to Wesleyan, I may have never had the opportunity to meet the people most important in my life or partake in the activites that make my Wesleyan experience a unique and memorable four years. I would tell myself to find a place that found the balance between academics and athletics and, most importantly, a place where I could have fun and grow as a person.


Enjoy every minute of it! This is an amazing experience, a wonderful community, and a place full of opportunity.


My college experience has, so far, been an extremely formative time for me. When I started college I had no idea what I wanted to study, let alone how I wanted to use my degree when I graduated. In my time at college, I had a number of experiences that lead me to declaring Neuroscience as my major, which when I tell my friends from home, they are still surprised because I was never a science buff in high school. Being at school, I was able to discover myself in an academic way as someone who had strengths that I had not previously recognized. In terms of my personal development, college has allowed me to grow and evaluate what is important to me in my relationships with other people and my relationship with myself.


Although I am just a sophomore, my college experience, so far, has given me perspective on what my values in life are. As I excitedly exited high school with a simplistic idea of what college would bring –– dorm rooms, parties, books, new friends, and boys –– I was met with all of those things, but so much more, in and beyond the classroom. First of all, I learned that in no way would I have survived the academic struggles I faced in my classes if I hadn't had my new friends to support me. I realized that the something I truly hold dear to are the friendships I form with others. Secondly, I discovered that creating strong friendships required a relationship built on honesty and truthfulness. The virtue of honesty was thereafter inflected towards a relationship I had with myself –– and with my sexuality. After my freshman year, I came to terms with being bisexual and have come out to most of my friends this past semester. Since then, my friendships have only grown stronger, and as I have grown more comfortable and honest with myself, I have thrived in my schoolwork and activities.


My college experience, howver shot it may be at the moment as a freshman only two-thirds the way through his first semester, has taught me a lot about independence, academic integrity, human nature, the history of education, and many other numerous facts about life.. My attendence here at Wesleyan is valuable on many levels, by allowing me access to many academic and volunteer services and opportunities, and by allowing me the opportunity to delve into an academically challenging, sustainable, reliable, interesting, culturally diverse, and amazing environment.


In college, I have learned to appreciate the beauty of learning. Learning is not only an educational endeavour, but a life-long pursuit. I find myself listening more to my peers, to my coworkers, to my professors; to everyone that I encounter. There is so much to be gleaned from even the most brief of meetings, and I value every one in them as they help me to understand more about myself and about the workings of this culture. Attending college has placed me in an unfamiliar environment where I have, luckily, been encouraged to enjoy myself as much as possible. I have learned to be independent and self-sufficient, but also to truly appreciate the wonderfully diverse community of people in which I am a member. I find myself constantly revising my opinions and beliefs, and am delighted to see that my peers and professors are doing so as well. My college is a place where I am constantly becoming. The beauty of this process is too comlpex and wonderful to even begin to describe.


Wesleyan demands your highest contributions. The campus and the student body give you the tools to realize your greatest talents while expecting you to apply it towards the greater community. They provide endless resources and opportunities to achieve beyond what you imagined for your future. It is an experience that I absolutely attribute my current and future sucesses to.


Going to Wesleyan has changed my life by opening my eyes to a promising career path, boosting my work ethic and allowing me to make great friends. Between sports and field trips, professors and friends, I have grown and changed since I first set foot on this campus. Since that day in August when I said good bye to my dad I became my own person. I discovered a passion for learning when attending my first Earth Science class and found a whole set of careers in Earth Science that I had never before considered. As I strive to finish my undergraduate degree, enroll in a master?s program and become some kind of a geologist I find myself studying material that I enjoy for the first time in my life. Being on the varisty hockey are crew teams has given me a great work ethic and taught me to be a better student. The most valuable thing I have gained since coming to college is a group of lifelong friends. I love, trust and cherish the friends I have made and know that they?ll be a part of my life for many years to come.


There are many ways to describe my emotions of college. Scared, worried, excited and among other things challenged. West Liberty University is a very rewarding experience. You meet new people, exposed to new things and introduced to a new environment. I have never lived in the countryside or in a predominately Caucasian surrounding. Although it can be hard adjusting to a new life dealing with classes, Social Work, English, Biology, being away from home and keeping up with old friends, it is still exciting. I have met people from different walks of life and even some from my own. Where I come from, I could just get up and go. There was a bus or a train at my expense. Here, I?m stuck up on a hill ! I can honestly say the experience is rewarding, very worthwhile. I highly encourage people to try on a different environment then their used to. They'd really be surprised. Me personally, I?ve met people here I?d never imagine having the opportunity of meeting if I hadn?t come here. I am grateful. In fact, I wouldn?t trade it for the world.


College is more than a nurturing ground of an education for the future. Although few would argue that this is important, I am enthralled by the stimulating environment of being surrounded by fellow students thirsty for knowledge. College is where thousands of students can each thrive on their unique passions. Living and learning in this atmosphere, I begin to understand that school in itself is such a valuable experience. This kind of educational experience is what cultivates a person into a social and able citizen, and the type of learning that I value the greatest.


I would advise myself to get involved in as many activities as possible during my freshman year of college. Freshman year is a time for new beginnings; it's the year when your eyes are most open to your new environment. You are less tied up by committments and routines than you will be at any future point in your college career. Try to meet new people every day and get to know them in a setting where you can discuss, ask questions, and learn from them about what your school offers. Upperclassmen are a tremendous resource because they were most recently in your position. Getting involved in clubs, student groups and other activities will connect you to upperclassmen with similar interests who can give you specific advice. Take the time to expose yourself to a wide spectrum of your campus' options during your first year so that you pick your path with informed confidence. If you narrow down your options and your social circle too quickly, you could prevent yourself from discovering opportunities that are right under your nose! Be open and curious; freshman year should be a time for exploration.


OK, self, first of all, don't be so nervous about the changes that everyone tells you college brings. Yes, there are big changes, but you do not have to be a passive fish lost in a vast sea of new experiences; rather, you can be an active agent in shaping your new life. Also remember that getting into college is probably harder than any single assignment you will have to complete during your time at college, so, once again, don't worry. Focus on being involved in outside activities, such as volunteering, social activities, and clubs --- these will complement what you learn in classes. In terms of course selection, try to sample a wide variety of classes, but don't be too hesitant to specialize in a subject area, or to take all the classes offered by your favorite professor. On a lighter note, I would advise you to study the campus map and explore widely in the beginning of the first semester --- learn all of the shortcuts and unknown secrets of the university. You will be glad you did.


Experience. I feel like, for one reason or another, I dedicated more than enough time to simple academic tasks rather than experiencing and enjoying the world around me. I was privileged enough to grow up in a vastly diverse country like Ecuador, where some of the most unique environments in the world are closely intermixed within a small territory, but I feel as if I forsaked the many opportunities my setting provided in favor of academics. It?s clear to me that it was my academic record that got me into Wesleyan University, but I neverthless feel like perhaps too much of my time was absorbed by my own relentless attitude towards learning just that which was taught in class. Today, I know that I could have learnt even more valuable lessons simply by discovering and experiencing the knowledge that already surrounded me; from the peculiarities of isolated environmental systems in the mountains, to the social dilemmas of agriculturally-dependent indigenous communities. Every day, I woke up in this world, but I never paid any attention to it, I took it for granted. It was a mistake of the past. Upon my return, I will make up for lost time.


As a senior in high school, I was terrified of starting college. For one thing, I didn?t get into my first choice, and was less than enthusiastic about the options I had left, mostly because I had never pictured myself anywhere else. I was also worried about making friends; I?m very shy, and I?d gone to school with the same kids since kindergarten. I didn?t even remember the last time I?d made a new friend, and the thought of immersing myself in a community composed entirely of people I?d never met was petrifying. I wish I could have told myself not to worry about it so much. When I began college this fall, I soon realized there was nowhere else I?d rather be. And even though it was hard to make friends at first, I soon found people to be close to just by being myself. I would have tried to convince my high school self that WHERE I went to college wasn?t important. What was important was opening myself up to the experience of attending college and embracing all the new things this stage of my life has to offer.


Are you ready to live by yourself and take full responsibility of yourself? Are you ready to study hard? or rather, use your time wisely to do all your studying? Are you ready to take intensive courses where you need to break your barrier to participate and express your ideas? Are you ready to focus? Are you ready to make decisions by yourself? Are you ready to be away from family? Are you ready to encounter new and different people from all over the place? Are you ready to face the realities of students being different from what you ever thought of them? Are you ready to fight yourself? Are you ready to be challenged in your faith/belief? Are you ready to engage in wonderful conversations with your professors? Are you ready to expand your knowledge? Are you ready to think differently and much deeper than ever before? Are you ready to share your wisdom with your peers and people around you? Are you ready for your future? Are you ready to be who you want to be? Are you ready to make yourself valuable? Are you ready to stop thinking/talking and start acting? Are you ready?


The advice that I would give to myself is to practice making choices for myself, and not letting myself get influenced by outside factors. In college, there are no parents telling you that you need to study. The professors don't tell you to do your homework (problem sets), they expect you to do it. You make up your own schedule, you chose your classes, you decide to go to a party on friday night or not, you decide to drink, or not. Everyday, you are faced with choices, and high school wasn't like that, we did not have the choice for many of things....You are your own university because you can choose to do the work, attend the lectures, and succeed, but if you don't, then college won't really mean anything. You make up your own rules, and you will pay the price at the end.The ultimate advice would be that the 4 years of high school, getting good grades, staying out of trouble, and well everything in between, no party, no drinking, no smoking pot, weed, and all that other stuff; being in college makes it worth it.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself I would tell myself to work on time management and to be more independent. I relied so heavily on my parents that when I went to this out of state college, it was very hard to transition into a life on my own. In making the move to college life I would tell myself to never forget family, but to also not make them your main source of companionship. I would tell myself not to be afraid to be outspoken and make new friends and most importantly to take classes I would never think to take. College is all about new experiences and part of that is having an open mind to take in the new and unexpected. Without this mindset I would never have taken my first anthropology class and would never have known how much I loved the material. I would also tell myself to mentally prepare for the amount of work coming, because high school was a breeze in comparison, but I would also tell myself that all of the work is so worth the knowledge attained.


Ignore the rankings. Ignore the prestige. Talk to the students, eat in the dining hall, sit in on a class. You're going to be here for four years. You want to make sure that you'll be happy and that you'll learn a lot.


really think about what you want in a school.


Visit the campus of the school you're interested. Talk with current students and students that chose to transfer.


When choosing the right college for you, it's amazing the difference a campus visit can make. You can read all the college guides out there but it's hard to really know where you fit until you set foot on the campus and see how it feels, what the students are doing, and whether or not you can see yourself there. When you're visiting, make sure to step outside of the organized tour to talk with actual students and find out what they like and don't like about the school, because their experience can be a better litmus test of a campus atmosphere than the tour is. And, of course, figure out what your priorities are in a school--do you want big classrooms or small ones, do you want athletics to be a big part of your experience, and what sort of people do you typically get along with best? While focusing on the college experience is important, don't forget to think about your future too. Consider the cost of the education, and the employment/graduate school situation of most recent graduates. Good luck, and have fun with it!


The best advice I could give a student who is trying to decide on a college is to visit any schools he or she is interested in. Don't just take the word of books, friends and relatives, or even guidance counselors. No one can say what you will or won't like about a school until you see it for yourself. I recommend staying overnight if possible, to meet and interact with students. These people will be your peers, and are part of what it is to be in college. It's important to feel out the school for yourself. To get the most out of college, I would say that step one is to try living in a Freshmen-only dorm in your first year. If you don't like it, you can talk to the administration in charge of housing and try to change it, but it's so great to meet a bunch of people who are in the same situation that you are. They all want to make friends and discover what college is about, just like you. The people you meet can help you with classes, and be your support network throughout the experience.


The way I knew that Wes was the place for me was that when I walked on campus, I was immediately struck with the feeling that this place could be home. I hadn't been on campus for more than 15 minutes, and I knew that it was a place I could happily spend 4 years of my life. I didn't get that feeling at the other places I visited. And I'm sure that I would have been fine going to the other schools that accepted me. But I seriously doubt that I would be as happy. So, really, after you've done all the research and made the pro/con lists, just go with your gut. Listen to it. It's smart. And to make the most of college? Find people you like hanging out with. And if you don't like hanging out with them, ditch them and don't feel bad about it. And that goes for majors too. Because honestly, if you're doing something you enjoy doing, then you're doing college right. If it feels right, it probably is (not legal advice). And try new stuff too. College is for self-discovery.


Don't be swayed to choose a school just for it's name, but don't be scared away by low admissions rates either. Apply to a place you really love, and if the school is a good fit for you, there's always a chance of you getting in, no matter your grades or scores. Consider who you truly are and how a school would fit with your personality, and let yourself shine through in your application. In the end, it's not going to be where you went or what you majored in that counts, but the experiences you had and the connections you made with professors, friends, and teammates.


Finding the right college and being happy in college is one of the biggest challenges in a student and parent's life. However, always keep everything about this process in perspective, it will not be the end of the world if you do not get in to your first choice, I promise! Look at colleges that perhaps were not originally on your list, you may find that a college that was not on it might now be your first choice! Do not let your mind be influenced solely by prestige when looking at colleges, there are so many choices and types of schools, keep in mind that a school should fulfill you academically, socially, economically, etc., always keeping in mind the high amount of loans that you might have to pay after graduation! Stay overnight at a college you are applying to, this will give the student an insider view into the school. In college, explore activities outside of your comfort, try something you might never have done before. Make friends with different kinds of people, don't limit yourself! Work hard in school, and make time to socialize as well, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience!


Although finding the "perfect" college for you is also important, the greatest influence in making your college experience memorable is YOU. Yes, factors like school size, geographical placement, social life, housing accomodations, academic ranking, and political atmosphere are and will be important to your experience. But, keep in mind, when you've narrowed down your choices to the schools that meet your "criteria" any of those schools will be able to give you a positive college experience because in the end it will all come down to what YOU make of it. These criteria will be important in putting yourself in an environment in which you will start off feeling comfortable but it will not determine your entire experience. Don't get discouraged by not getting into your dream school because there are many other colleges with similar environments in which you will be able to thrive. Get on campus with an open-mind and a positive attitude and don't forget that all the other freshmen are in the exact same nervous position as you are. College will have a unbelievable influence on your life but remember, it's not the college that matters as much, it's YOU.


Colleges are so similar. Although an important decision figure out what is really important to you and go with your gut. Also think about location more than I did. You'll be there for four years.. making sure the surrounding area makes you happy. Try to just let yourself live and really BE at school Its only a few years and they're yours! Enjoy them!


To start off the student should be in charge of finding the proper school for him or her. Parents should really take a backseat and aid students in filling out paperwork such as financial aid only. Now the following goes to the student: don't pick a school that your parents want you to go to. Don't fall into the pressure or else you could end up at a place that is not a good fit for you. Do extensive research to find your place. Find people that have recently gone to the school, it should not be that difficult since you could just use facebook. Ask these people about their experiences and do not be afraid to ask the hard questions. If you do not know what you want to do go to a liberal arts college! It is not a waste of time like some people say. It will usually be a safe place for you to discover who you are and what you want to do in this world. Finally do not be afraid to go far from home.


Check out classes, look at the dorms, live at the school for a while to get a general feel of the school atmosphere. And remember that people will be more friendly than usually in the beginning as everyone is trying to get to know each other.


I went to a very competitive high school where too much emphasis was placed on going to a "good school." If I've learned anything during my time in college, it's that there is no such thing as a "good school," only a school that is good for you personally. While Wesleyan University is a highly ranked liberal arts college, it is not as prestigious as Harvard or Yale, or some of the other schools my high school classmates attended. However, Wesleyan was the perfect choice for me. As long as you are going to commit four years of your life, and high tuition prices, you might as well choose a place that has everything that you need -- not what people make you think you need. In our society today, college has become less and less about earning a degree and more and more about finding yourself and creating an identity. Choose a school that lets you achieve this and, once there, try appreciate each moment to its fullest.


Don't stress. You will end up where you are meant to end up, and you will be happy.


The college process is an endeavor of spontaneous judgement and social reaction. Expectations are constantly broken, altered, and exceeded. Having a rigid model of what your college experience ought to be will ulimately hinder your academic and social potential. The American undergraduate experience is one without parallel elsewhere in the entire world. I feel that most students enter their undergraduate experience as a formality, and are subsequently deprived of the boundless opportunities available starting from hour one of entering campus. Parents should do their best to make their children excited about entering college, as to promote an independent and thorough search. Students should keep an open dialogue with as many people as possible. Family friends, siblings, friends of siblings, parents, friends of parents, teachers, people of all ages who can provide an anectdote or paint a picture of their experience, not to impose their own advice, but to allow the applicant to form a better picture of what life is like beyond high school and outside of the comforts or discomforts of their upbringing. Ultimately there is no correct choice, but there is a beautiful clean slate with an unknown and truly unique outcome.


I would say that if you are looking for a strong academic, liberal arts program matched with a strong culture of liberal minded students and faculty, and don't mind catching an occassional unexpected glance of a nude person, Wesleyan might be the place for you!


First, I would say that there is no right answer. Throughout high school, we're made to think that there is one place out there that is perfect for us, and every other school will not do, but that simply is not the case. Every school has its ups and downs, and just about anyone can find a niche somewhere. And if you don't, there's always the option of transferring, which leads me to my second bit of advice: Nothing is set in stone. You can always change your mind and apply to different schools or take time off or whatever you need to do. When choosing a school, it is important that you put a lot of thought into your decision in spite of my first two pieces of advice. Don't just choose to go to the school that gives you the most money, as I made the mistake of doing, but choose somewhere where you felt at home. Take the time to visit classes when you tour a school and get a feel for the student body. Ask yourself, "Do I see myself amongst these kids?" Also consider the values of the institution.


A junior discusses whether Wes was his first choice and what he wishes he'd known before coming.


A first year discusses whether Wes was her first choice and what she wishes she had known prior to coming here


A junior discusses if Wesleyan was his first choice for college and what he wishes he had known before he got there.


Two juniors discuss what they thought about Wes before coming and what they wish they had known before coming.


There is more than one college that is "right" for you. Much of the college experience depends on your choices once you are there. Choosing a college that has a diversity of student groups, extra-curricular activities, and has strong ties to the surrounding community allows you, as a student, to drastically change your interests and needs while at school and find outlets for your interests all at one place. What you may be interested in now may not be what interests you in two years. Finding colleges with flexible academic programs that allow you more control over your own major is another way of allowing yourself the space to change and to grow within one college environment. As for how to know which schools are right? I strongly recommend spending a night at the school staying with current students, if that is an option. It is the best way of knowing what life is like there, and it is much better to spend one night at a school and discover that you do not like it, that four years wishing you chose some where else.


visit the school!


Dear Future College Student, When you first step foot on the campus that you will eventually attend, you will get a "feeling" or "vibe" that is indescribable. You just knows that you are in the correct place. Don't base your decisions on the school's reputation, because in the end reputation is meaningless, and if you feel that you are where you belong, you will get the most out of your education. When you are in the right place, you want to succeed and will take the extra steps to achieve the goals you set. Don't be afraid to make mistakes; college is unlike any other experience and mistakes are the best way to understand the improvements necessary to succeed. No matter what school you attend, you will meet people unlike anyone you've met. So, if you're open to it, you will learn a lot about people and interaction. This learning will make you an educated, tolerant, and more open individual. Balance social life and leisure with studies and work. It takes time, but the balance is attainable, and it will truly pay off.


Choose somewhere that once you walk onto the campus and find the person you would least likely hang out with... if they're cool, you're set.