Upcoming Dates

Good morning, Class of 2025 –

I hope all is well! It’s been great to interact with many of you at recent major open houses. There are plenty open houses still scheduled if you are interested in learning more about various department majors, minors and certificates. Find the schedule here.

A few dates approaching for you to consider:

  • If you wish withdraw from a 1st quarter class, you must do so prior to 10/15/21 (Please note, this is not the same deadline to withdraw from a full semester course. The full semester course withdrawal date is 12/3/21. The Wesleyan Academic calendar can be found here).
  • Fall Break is quickly approaching (10/23/21 – 10/26/21). Fall Break is a series of days set intentionally in the fall semester to provide rest and reflection following almost two months of classes.
  • Homecoming & Family Weekend is scheduled for 10/29/21 – 10/31/21. You are still welcome and encouraged to attend Homecoming & Family Weekend programs even if you do not plan to have family in town that weekend.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please be sure to reach out. Take care!

Dean Dunn

Resources to Consider

Good morning, Class of 2025!

I hope this communication finds you well. Some items that may be of interest to you:

  1. Employment. Interested in obtaining a part-time job? Be sure to utilize Handshake or visit the Gordon Career Center to learn about employment opportunities.
  1. SHAPE: The Office of Support, Healing, Activism, and Prevention Education (SHAPE) has created a series of events in October to raise awareness about dating violence in our community and beyond. See their blog to learn more.
  1. Department Open Houses: Though you will not declare your major until second semester of your sophomore year, some of you may already have an idea of what you want to study. Visiting a department open house can provide a lot of insight into various majors. See the schedule for department open houses that run in October and November here.

I’ve enjoyed meeting with many of you over the past couple of weeks. Don’t forget to check out your class photo. As a reminder, those who visit my office and show me where they are in the photo will get a small takeaway for stopping by. Get that Wes swag!

Dean Dunn

Class of 2025 Photo

Class of 2025 Photo

Check our your class photo, Class of 2025! I encourage you to stop by during my office hours in North College 202 during the month of October to show me where you are in this photo and score yourself a small Wesleyan trinket (while supplies last).

How to Study On Campus Workshop TOMORROW 9/30 12pm

Class of 2025! Be sure to attend the workshop How to Study On Campus provided by the Academic Peer Advisors:

  • Thursday, 9/30 at 12pm in Usdan 108
  • Learn about:
    • Best spots to study on campus – some you may not know about yet!
    • Essential study tips
    • Time management strategies
    • Credit/Unsatisfactory and A-F Course Grading (grading options due Friday 10/1 at 5pm for courses with student grading option on WesPortal)
  • And don’t forget, free Wesleyan swag!

Feel free to bring your lunch or a snack and eat while you learn!

Happy Fall!

Fall is here and though today’s weather is less than ideal, I look forward to cooler autumn days. I’ve seen many of you outside my office window, eating lunch or studying with peers; your conversations are filled with excitement and laughter – it’s such a delight to hear!

Your class schedule is in full swing so I imagine you are navigating ways to balance classes, course work, student clubs and orgs, perhaps even a part-time job or varsity sport. Don’t forget we have many resources on campus to help you with this balance – if you aren’t sure where to turn, reach out to me and I’ll point you in the right direction.

As always there is a lot happening on campus. WesNest has a great calendar of events to peruse if you’re looking for activities to participate in. Though not an exhaustive list, here are a few approaching events that caught my interest so I wanted to share with you.

  • Wesleyan Film Series featuring Beasts of the Southern Wilde on 9/24, Summer of Soul on 9/25 and Sherlock Junior on 9/26.
  • Various Wes Athletic competitions, including our first home football game tomorrow, Saturday 9/25 at 1pm on Andrus field
  • 2021 Dance Showcase: See Wesleyan’s student dance groups perform their choreography at the annual fall dance showcase on 9/25 at 8pm (Excley Science Center patio)
  • College of Film and the Moving Image Information Session: Tuesday at 8pm in the Goldsmith Family Cinema
  • First Year Workshop: How to Study On Campus presented by the Academic Peer Advisors on 9/30 at 12pm in Usdan 108.

Have a great weekend!

Dean Dunn

Welcome Class of 2025!

Hello Class of 2025 –

I hope your first week of classes has been enjoyable! There is so much excitement in the air as I watch many of you head to classes, stop by various administrative offices and interact with each other on the green outside my office (North College 202).

As I shared with many of you during our Giving Good Advice session hosted by the Academic Peer Advisors during orientation, I want you to consider three challenges this year:

  1. Be Engaged
  2. Be Open-Minded
  3. Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Continue to be engaged by participating in class discussions. Introduce yourself to your classmates and to other community members you see in the dining halls. Participate in all that Wesleyan has to offer academically and co-curricularly including the Student Involvement Fair this Friday 9/10 from 2pm – 5pm in the tent behind Usdan.

Be open-minded to new experiences both in and out of the classroom. Wesleyan’s open curriculum is perfect to explore courses in so many disciplines including disciplines that may not be your eventual major. You faculty advisor is an incredible resources for you. For peer support, our Academic Peer Advisors are also a great resource to help you explore various course options; they will host a series of workshops this fall focused on supporting you in your first year – more information to follow soon.

Be comfortable being uncomfortable. You are experiencing so much right now in your transition to Wesleyan; naturally, change can sometimes cause some discomfort. It’s important to recognize you are not alone in feeling this way. There are many resources on campus to support you in this transition including me as your Class Dean. While the transition may not be perfect or may not look like you expected it to, we grow significantly as individuals when we face challenges such as this one – you’re a Wesleyan student now and I am confident you will see much success during your time here and beyond!

I will send you emails and post blogs from time to time to check in. Some upcoming dates to keep in mind:

  • Writing at Wesleyan Workshop: Friday, 9/10 from 1pm – 2pm (Shapiro Center Patio)
  • Involvement Fest: Friday, 9/10 from 2pm to 5pm (tent behind Usdan)
  • Career Checklist – What To Know as A First Year: Tuesday 9/14 12 – 1pm (Olson Commons)
  • End of Drop/Add Period: Friday, 9/17
  • Grading Mode Decision: Friday, 10/1 by 5pm
  • Last day to withdraw from 1st quarter classes: Friday, 10/15
  • Fall Break: Saturday 10/23 – Tuesday 10/26
  • Homecoming & Family Weekend: Friday 10/29 – Sunday 10/31

Click here to review my contact information, schedule an appointment or to visit my in-person or zoom drop-in hours. I look forward to joining you on your Wesleyan journey!

Academic and Career Planning for New Students through CSPL 405/406: Ideals into Practice

Would you like to receive course credit for working with other students, advisors and mentors to refine and build toward your academic and professional goals? CSPL 405/406: Ideals into Practice is a program that allows you to make connections between your academic curriculum and the practical experience you gain through campus employment, off campus internships, community service and extracurricular activities. You will be assigned to a cohort of like-minded students, receive one-on-one career advising and gain access to an online portfolio to document what you are learning both inside and outside the classroom. By allowing you to engage in deep reflection about the skills you are gaining throughout your time at Wesleyan, you will be better able to understand and explain to others how your education prepares you for life after college. Note: If you are already taking Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact on Coursera, you are ahead of the game, as it is also a requirement for CSPL 405/406! For more information, please see the Ideals into Practice website. Past participants have described this course as “fun,” “flexible,” and “a must take for anyone”!

Tips for Student Athletes

Class of 2025 student athletes, it is unfathomable the hardships you have faced in the past year and half as you and your peers tried to pursue the sports that you love. While there is nothing that can be said to make up for lost moments, there are ways to use what you have learned as an athlete to prepare you for the academic rigor of Wesleyan.

Even as a student first, “athlete” remains a crucial part of your identity. The two go hand-in-hand in many ways. Below are some tips on how to best prepare for this upcoming semester with or without an official season impeding on your classes.

To start, time management is a big one. From the classroom to lifting back to the library then to practice and then a review session, your days can become very busy. Thus, it is essential that you find a way to best manage your time. Organization is a key factor of time management. It is so important that you implement some form of planner system or Google calendar to ensure that your classes do not overlap with practices or games.

From that last point, one of the go-to answers when asked by any coach of how to improve in a game is communication. This applies on and off the field. It is imperative that you establish a relationship with your professors early on so that it is easier to communicate for the very minimal times that athletes may interfere with academics. With that, communication with coaches is also part of your academic success and ensuring the prioritization of academics over athletics in special circumstances. Use your coach as a vehicle towards achieving academic as well as athletic success. In succession with the team as a resource, the use of older teammates in helping navigate the cohesion with your sport and classes is a key point of advice. They have experience with the structure of NESCAC athletics and the rigor of the Wesleyan education.

Lastly, success in any aspect of life is contingent upon proper preparation, which includes sufficient fuel and care of the body and mind. The life of a student-athlete is often go go go, which leaves little room for self reflection. It is ok to take a break and give yourself the downtime that you deserve. Ultimately, while you are labeled as a student-athlete on campus, these tips will help you to distinguish between or separate athletics and academics while also establishing a balance with both.

Checklist:

  • Time management
  • Organization (planner)
  • Communication (on and off the field)
  • Relationships with professors
  • Plan ahead
  • Use teammates as resources
  • Use coaches as resources
  • Separate/find balance with athletics and academics
  • Take care of body and mind (fuel)
  • Give yourself a break and down time

What to Pack for Your First Semester at Wesleyan!

By Cyann Byfield ’23

One of the greatest dilemmas for incoming college freshmen is deciding what to pack and what to leave at home. I am here to help you through this! Packing for your first semester of college is not an easy task, it takes time and preparation. What I would suggest is to create a list of everything you think you may need then divide it into categories. Here are some categories that helped me through the packing process my freshman year…

Category One: Clothing

It is important to remember that Wesleyan is in the North East, and up here we experience all four seasons but when it’s cold, it is cold! During the fall semester temperatures will range from approximately 80-90 degrees to below freezing by the end of the semester. As you arrive on campus it will still feel like summer but don’t forget to pack your winter coat and warm clothes to endure winter in the North East.

You’re probably wondering what type of clothes to pack as well. My best advice is to pack whatever clothes and shoes you usually wear and lots of comfortable clothes. Don’t forget to pack your pajamas, undergarments, and shower shoes. All dorm showers are shared so for hygiene I suggest bringing a pair of flip flops or slides designated for the shower.

Category Two: Dorm Supplies

It is likely that you will be spending a lot of time in your dorm room, so make sure you pack the essentials to make your room as comfortable as possible. All dorms are equipped with a kitchen that has stoves, microwaves, and refrigerators but if you would rather store and warm food in the comfort of your room feel free to purchase or rent a minifridge and microwave for your dorm room. All students are given a twin XL mattress so ensure that your sheets are made to fit this size bed. Also remember to bring pillows as they are not provided. I suggest getting a rug for the floor because sometimes it can get cold. I also recommend getting a desk lamp or reading lamp. It is important to remember to pack towels and all other toiletries that you will use daily.

Category Three: Academic Supplies

Lastly, but certainly not least, remember to pack supplies for classes! I suggest bringing electronics that you feel comfortable doing school work on whether it may be a laptop or tablet; many courses do have components that require electronics. It is very important to pack all of your chargers for respective electronics, but if you forget it’s no problem. You can purchase a charger for almost anything at the Cardinal Tech store on campus. If you’re like me and like to handwrite notes I suggest getting a spiral notebook for each class and pens in different colors to organize your notes! To manage your time I recommend getting a planner or a dry erase calendar board to keep track of your assignments and activities.

As long as you pack the essentials I recommended and take your time during the process you’ll be all set for your first semester at Wes!

Top 10 Recommendations for the First Year and Beyond

  1. Make Wesleyan yours: Find or create your spaces at Wesleyan, whether by joining an a cappella group or by loving your Physics lab. We have over two hundred student groups that you can sign up for. There are also jobs on campus.
  2. Build relationships: Seek out your instructors during office hours. This can be intimidating, but it is how you build a relationship and come to understand the course material better. Get to know your faculty advisor, work supervisor, your class dean, etc., as it’s important for you to know people; it’s also very important for them to know you!
  3. Learn from your classmates and try new things: Your peers have had a vast array of experiences, so make sure you’re supporting one another and growing together. Upperclassmen will be an invaluable resource as you transition to Wes. Also, make sure you try new things! Explore a new language, study abroad in a different part of the world, select a course with a topic that is completely new to you.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Wesleyan has an abundance of resources, whether the Writing Workshop, Academic Peer Advisors or Peer Tutors, as well as your Faculty Advisor, instructors and teaching assistants. Asking for help is hard, because it means being vulnerable, but it is essential to your success. First-year students sometimes see asking for help as a sign of weakness, but it is not. Asking for help is really a sign that you can make savvy use of your resources that will enable you to thrive.
  5. Wesleyan has its own culture with its own language: I have built a list of acronyms that might be helpful to you.
  6. Use your time wisely: You will suddenly have lots of unstructured time. Given the COVID situation and the need to practice social distancing, it will be challenging to to find ways to manage your time. High school is extremely structured, down to the minute, which is not the case in college. Now it’s up to you to be mindful of how you’re using your time, whether studying for a test, writing a paper, doing homework, getting to class, etc. Most students use a planner, whether electronic or paper. For example, once you have all of your courses set, you should look over all of your syllabi and then plan out all of the assignments across the semester, as you’ll know when your intense weeks will be. If those weeks include papers as well as tests, try to get those papers done earlier so that you can focus on just the tests during that week.
  7. Make sure that you’re having fun! Find ways to connect with friends.  It’s hard to be social when practicing social distancing, but with a little bit of imagination and determination it can be done. Practice mindfulness.
  8. Take care of yourself. Sleeping and eating well, avoiding as much stress as possible, all of these are important aspects of self-care. WesWell offers self-care education, programs and workshops, as does CAPS. We have at Wesleyan the Rule of 7, a guideline that recommends that you can pursue four courses and three activities, but really no more than that.
  9. Don’t let a disappointing grade derail you. If you don’t do as well on something as you had hoped, go see your instructor and discuss where you went wrong in order to improve your performance on the next assignment. A disappointing grade does not mean that you aren’t capable or that the Admissions Office made a mistake (they do not make mistakes!). Make sure that you’re reaching out for help in this moment rather than pulling back, as this has happened to countless students before. Check out the Wesleyan Resilience Project for stories of students who have gained from their moments of challenge.
  10. Your dean is here to help: Dean Leathers is available to you via email or zoom this summer and once the semester is underway.  You can schedule a drop-in appointment with her through her Google Calendar, or you can an email her at tleathers@wesleyan.edu to schedule a meeting if drop-in hours don’t fit your schedule.