I hate Midwest weather. I love Wheaton. Even though the catering service at Anderson Commons is named Bon Appetit, everybody calls it "SAGA" after the food service from the seventies. It's easier to say, just don't say it infront of Bon Appetit management. If you suffer from seasonal depression, make lots of friends. They'll help you through the long winter months. Fischer Rules, Traber/Smith Drools! Make sure you know what all is implied in anything naked. the last thing you want to do is fall behind your group in the middle of campus. there are always safety in numbers. Do not ask MK's alot of stupid questions that show how dumb you are. Do NOT ask questions like, "Do you have electricity in Kenya?" That is dumb! Instead ask, "Where in Kenya did you live? How developed was it?" Stuff like that. Go to at least one Improv Show your first year. it is fun and cool people do it. Go to a sports game but do not yell like an idiot. the term, "You suck Ref!" is to be used on rarest of occasions and if you are stuck yelling it the entire game, people will notice how uncreative you are.
Honestly, I'm a better person for going to Wheaton. I'm much smarter, I understand life a lot more, and I think I'm much more balanced. Wheaton's a complex place, it's a place that needs to be experienced much more than written about. It's not straightforward, but that's because living for Jesus in this broken world isn't straightforward. There's a lot of walking in circles, and a lot of backtracking. Most of the time at Wheaton, I felt like I was either relearning simple things, or abandoning them all together. But in all honesty, backtracking is what you've got to do to move forward sometimes. If you're a Christian, don't expect Wheaton to be easy. Don't expect to get by on what you think you know about life, and about conservativism or Christianity. You'll be challenged, you'll be pushed, and what you believe will be shaken. But I promise you'll grow. I loved Wheaton, and I always will. It's hard, and it's not a walk in the park. It's not always beautiful, and it's rarely easy. But it's awesome.
Wheaton might be the driest campus in the nation. I don't mean that people never drink. And it's not just the no alcohol school policy. People just don't really drink here. I mean sure, there is the occasional night where some people will go out and get a drink, but nobody here really gets sloshed. It's weird! I don't even drink when i am here, and i grew up in Germany! The school is great, but the girls are too studious and too afraid of commitment (despite being the most attractive group of girls ANYWHERE), the friendships are good, the dorms are amazing, the spiritual atmosphere is usually good...yeah. It's a good school.
I studied abroad last semester in a program called Wheaton in Chicago, where Wheaton students live in Chicago and take classes in an Urban Studies curriculum. I learned a lot about the world outside of Wheaton and my suburban upbringing, and learned about poverty, systemic racism, and other social justice issues, among other things. It made me more aware of the way the world works, and it was a great program. One of the best things about Wheaton, definitely, since Chicago is so close but many students never go there, or just go to the downtown 'loop' area and never venture into any of the other neighborhoods.
If you're up for a challenge and you want to expand yourself and you're not afraid to be made aware of your weaknesses and grow, Wheaton could be right for you. Keep in mind, you may fail more than you're used to but that's part of growing. If you come, be open minded and friendly. Be real with people and don't try to be perfect or to look perfectly happy all the time. Let people know if you're struggling and chances are you'll find out they share most of your same struggles. If you come to it with the right attitude and you're ready to learn, Wheaton can be a great place.
Wheaton is both strongly committed to biblical Christianity and academic rigor and success. It's hard to find a school that is both, and that's what I appreciate most about it. It's also very big on community, which is why 95% of students live on campus (you have to your first two or three years). Another important aspect of Wheaton is that even though it is a Christian school (and a lot of kids are conservative), it is also very big on social justice. It's what made me into a sociology major!
Students enrolled in the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music must complete a wide selection of general education classes in addition to conservatory training. This experience, with its demanding academics and music standards, produces well-rounded musicians who are prepared for life outside of college. Unlike the other schools which I considered, however, Wheaton College has a strong music program that promotes musical growth both for conservatory and non-conservatory students.
Compared with other schools I considered, Wheaton College was the place where I felt the students were most authentically committed to their Christianity and this is a large reason why I chose to attend. If you are truly committed to your faith, want to attend a small, suburban liberal arts college, don't especially mind cold weather, and are decently bright, then seriously, Wheaton is amazing. I absolutely loved my time here (I'm graduating in December '08).
The community at Wheaton is great. It is amazing to be a part of such an accomplished group of young people who want to pursue excellence and glorify God. It's such a blessing that Wheaton is full of teachers who are so willing to meet with students one-on-one and truly care for them. There are a lot of passionate people here, as well as opportunities to explore and to enjoy learning for the sake of learning.
Wheaton is amazing!! Don't believe the stereotypes that a lot of people put on it. People have tons of fun at Wheaton and aren't all weird, super-fundamentalist wackos! If you want to go to a school that will really challenge you academically and spiritually, with professors who genuinely care about you, in a very supportive environment, then Wheaton is definitely a good choice!