The lack of diversity of opinions. It is the weakness of all private institutions that have "requirements" for the type of student and staff that fits within a set system of beliefs and expectations. Wheaton is often percieved as elitist, conservative or discriminatory. This doesn't have to be apologized for necessarily since it very blatantly expresses its expectations of its community. But because of this it is difficult to feel that there is a value of original thought or exploration of alternative options. It is a weakness because it can easily turn into the a negativity or cynacism.
More words of warning to prospective Wheaton College students: Wheaton's campus is unfortunately very homophobic. The school's Community Covenant that every student signs before enrolling condemns homosexuality and outlines specific consequences for students who "practice homosexuality". While there is some level of discussion among both students and staff about homosexuality, it is usually misinformed, judgemental, and lacks empathy for the unknown student who may be questioning his or her sexuality.
Students at Wheaton College tend to place their identity and self-worth on how busy and involved they are within the campus community and extra-curricular activities in addition to coursework. This results in students being so concerned with their crazy schedules that they do not give their full attention in class, social activities, and chapel. If more students gave themselves margins and boundaries instead of taking on too many responsibilities, the atmosphere would be more peaceful.
It is difficult to come up with a worst thing about Wheaton College, but perhaps it would be the seculsion that it unintentionally embodies at times. To expound, sometimes we do not have a healthy Christian community, sometimes it feels too small, too academically constrained, too much like high school, too removed from the city or nature, too much of everyone doing there own thing because there are a lot of great things going on!
The rigorous atmosphere that seems to cut students off from other aspects other than academics. The weekends are dead, I feel that they may do that on purpose to encourage studies. Way too many students are very burnt out and tired. Lots of depression on the campus, and 3 suicides in the last 2 years. That's a lot for a school that small.
The worst part about this school is the pressure to be the best at everything. Everyone here has always been top of the class and involved with a ton of extra-cirriculars. So everyone tries to be the best now that we're all together, but not everyone can be the best! It's bad how much stress it causes people.
I think the academic advising system leaves something to be desired. I've rarely felt well-advised on the requirements for graduation and my direction. I would advise incoming students to be very intentional about seeking out a good advisor.
there is alot pressure to be perfect at Wheaton. Pressure to have perfect grades, religious life, and social life. This is not healthy on the students at Wheaton, it is something that alot of the students need to work through.
The wosrt thing about Wheaton is that it is a very expensive school and the Financial aide office isn't looking to do you any favors. Unless you were born a Missionarie's child you probably are not going to recieve any help.
The community can be somewhat too conservative. Most people who attend Wheaton are fairly conservative Christians. That's not a bad thing, but people tend to be a little naive about what the real world is actually like.