I have been having some trouble writing this introduction. It keeps coming out too formally, which is weird because I am not very formal. Anyway, let me try again. Applications are on my mind. Why, you might ask? I’m already safely in college. Well, my boyfriend is applying to college. And not just any college, that’s right ladies and gents, he’s applying to Wes. So to all ye pre-frosh, guys, I’m stressing with you. No really, TOTAL STRESS TIME. So (as a distraction from the stress) I started thinking about why I chose Wesleyan. Which is a long story that I’ll tell at the end of this post. But then I started thinking about my friends at Wes- why did they choose Wesleyan?
My friends here are a very diverse group of people. I counted the other day and found that just my close group of friends represents 20 different majors on campus. How did each of them, with their very different interests, end up here? In some alternate reality, they could have chosen other places and we never would have met. So I asked them (very informally) (via a mass text…) why they ended up at our fantastic home. Their responses are pretty cool, and for those of you deciding on colleges, they could be super helpful. Read them after the cut!
Prompt: Please respond in one (1) text message why you chose Wesleyan
Responses: (I used people’s initials and replaced other colleges they were considering just because it seemed PC) (other than that, these are intensely unedited)
“The communion that the CFA buildings held with the surrounding land.” -SB ’14
“I met with the heads of all the astronomy departments I was looking at, but only Herbst offered me tea. The WesFest bbq also helped.” – BT ’13
“To be quite honest, Wesleyan chose me. I was looking into [another college] and my favorite teacher opened my eyes to the idea of Wesleyan. And I was sold.” -NO ’14
“Best financial aid out of the colleges I got into.” -RH ’14
“Joss Whedon, Amanda Palmer, general feeling of liking it/potentially belonging while visiting, preppiness of [another college] was scary. Also, (academix!) film, no core, study abroad, multi major.” -EL ’15
“I got accepted.” -JZ ’12
JZ again: “JK that’s a joke I say on tours. Here’s the real thing: because when I visited Wesleyan in my junior year, I realized I could see myself here because of the student body that I saw was academically challenged but they were still passionate about something else or other. And I loved that.”
“I applied to Wes because I’m obsessed with the show How I Met Your Mother and I saw that the characters and creators went there. It compelled me to look up the school and I was like, oh, it’s a pretty good school, lemme apply… and now I’m in your a cappella group! :)” -GC ’15
“My friends said to me ‘oh you should choose Wes, you’ll like it there, you’re a hippy.'” -KF ’12
“I just liked the personality of the school: a lot of really smart people who don’t take themselves too seriously (I’ve been brushing up on my grammar, hence the colon haha).” -MD ’14
“I chose Wes because the students clearly loved it. When I visited campus, everyone was like COME HERE so I was like okay, I will.” -AM ’14
“Cool people, good music, a hill (!)” -LW ’14
“Wesleyan reminded me of my high school (which is a really cool high school) and everyone here is really cool and smart.” -FT ’15
Then, I turned to facebook, just to see if there were any great responses that I’d missed. Turns out, people wanted a lot more space to talk about Wesleyan than one text message. Here are some longer facebook responses:
“Why I chose Wes: because when I woke up on the morning of my prefrosh visit, the campus was literally shining. Someone had strung up cd’s on all of the tree branches to advertise for their show or EP or something and it made sparkly rainbows everywhere and I figured it was the sign I had been waiting for. The rest of my visit was also really great- my host was the most creative and inspiring person I’d ever met and there was a football player in one of the classes I went to who was like OMG PREFROSH? come to my greek class! It’s the best! And I was like woah intellectual athletes?? There is something cool about pretty much everyone at this school. And there is :]” -CG ’13
“The well-roundedness of the student body, the small classes, the beautiful campus, and the lovely supportive atmosphere.” -RL ’13
“Liberal arts, East Coast, really amazing history program, I heard looots of good things about Wes from upperclassmen I knew, and they offered a very nice financial aid package.” -MI ’15
“number one in undergraduate research and our professors care a lot about us. Also as a freshman it’s great that all my classes are thought by professors that have a PhD in their field.” -SR ’15
“The academic and non-academic resources are unparalleled at Wesleyan. The level of academic freedom exceeds just about every other school in the nation. In addition, the professors care about their students and are more than willing to take time out of their schedules to give individualized attention. Ultimately, Wesleyan stretches your mind and allows you to take any direction that you want” -CH ’15
“Between the tours and Wesfest it was the only one where I made friends without already having to go to the school. That and a mix of all the things that have already been said.” -ZS -15
“the westco-ΔΚΕ alliance” -AK ’15 (does he even go here?)
“the fact that Ted Mosby, Marshall and Lily went to this school made me obsessed.” -RR ’15
Aaaand, for the longest and best-thought-out response of them all, a freshmen wrote:
“1. queer friendliness (or any type of friendliness, that is, but i was specifically seeking LGBT-friendly universities during the college application process)
2. the food is amazing (i ♥ usdan)
3. 200 church
4. the people are amazing
5. intimate, warm sense of community that welcomes people of diverse backgrounds and points of view
6. the fact that it’s a liberal arts college with the resources and facilities of a larger research university (i..e. career resource center; big, useful, libraries; the athletic center; language resource center, etc.)
7. flexible, open undergraduate curriculum
8. academic advising and support
9. about 150+ really cool student groups
10. focus is on the undergraduate student body, even though there are graduate, Ph. D, and post-doctoral students
wesleyan, ultimately, is an amazing institution at which you can spend the next four years of your life. it’ll prepare you to think in a globalized manner, not only through the academic curriculum, but through friendships in the dorm, as people have different geographic origins. For example, before Wesleyan, I had never met anyone from Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, or Norway.
Fundamentally, I ♥ Wesleyan, and I miss it dearly at the moment.
P.S. sorry for writing a rather long response…” -AS ’15 (AKA THA BEST)
Don’t be sorry!
They kinda put me to shame. To be honest, my college choice was not very well thought out. I was living in Spain when I got my pile of acceptances/rejections/waitlists, which put me at a bit of a disadvantage. I quickly took myself off the waitlists because they seemed too tenuous to base plans off of (I don’t recommend this, actually, it was silly) and considered my 5 acceptances. Out of the 5, I’d visited one, which was not one of my top choices. So my mom mailed me “Insiders guides” to the others, and I read about them there and online. Somehow, Wesleyan really seemed like the place for me just based on their website and current students that I emailed with. Also, my boyfriend (same boyfriend mentioned previously) revealed mid-choice that his mom had attended Wesleyan and loved it. So, with like a day left, I mailed in my acceptance-letter-thing-the-thing-that-means-I’m-going-to-Wesleyan (what is that thing called??). This made orientation terrifying though. Driving up to CT with all my stuff in my parents’ Subaru seemed insane; how could I move to a place that I’d never even seen? How could I plan to live there for four years? It could have gone very badly. But because Wes is Wes and therefore the perfect place for me and many other people, it didn’t. It went perfectly.
Anyway, to any pre-frosh readers, there are many different ways of making a choice about colleges, and I don’t think any way is wrong. If you end up at Wes, yay! Wes is great, people are happy, the food is good, MGMT went here… etc. Good luck on your decisions and hopefully I’ll meet some of you guys next fall