The objective of the pre-major advising program is to help first-year students and sophomores think seriously about their educational objectives in the context of the liberal arts education offered at Wesleyan. Together with your faculty advisor, you should develop a challenging and coherent educational plan for the first two years, one that achieves curricular breadth while preparing for the depth that the major will bring in the last two years.
Here are some things to think about as you plan for your first meeting with your faculty advisor:
Breaking the ice. A good way to introduce yourself to your advisor is to tell them about your high school experience. A good way to get to know your advisor is to ask them how they became a college professor.
Know the curriculum. Familiarize yourself with WesMaps and with the websites of departments in which you plan to pursue coursework. What was the logic behind your course pre-registration strategy? Be receptive to questions and suggestions.
Have goals in mind. What are your academic strengths? What are your academic weaknesses and how do you plan to address them? How do you plan to pursue breadth? How do you plan to pursue depth? Share concerns that may affect your success in the upcoming semester. Be sure to make arrangements to schedule your next meeting.
Student Involvement (formerly known as Student Activities and Leadership Development) is your one stop shop to learn about how to enhance your out-of-classroom experience at Wes! We encourage you to visit WesNest, our online platform about student groups and campus events. Learn more about WesNest by watching this short video.
“WesWOW” – Wesleyan Week of Welcome, will immediately follow Orientation and will take place September 6 – 11th. Be sure to check your orientation schedule and WesNest for a full listing of events. In addition to the Student Involvement Fair, traditional events include the Study Abroad Fair, Student Employment Fair, as well as multiple social events providing opportunities to connect and make new friends!
The bookstore has all your dorm and school supplies stocked and ready for arrival day! Make your first day on campus easy by purchasing items like linens, command hooks, and appliances ahead of time and picking up your order at Cardinal Tech in Usdan. The Cardinal Tech Campus Store (a branch of the RJ Julia Bookstore) is a required stop during the initial orientation check in. Our linens come with a 4 year warranty through the manufacturer, so if your sheets get damaged or worn, you’ll receive a replacement for free from the company! Shop online here and choose Pick Up At Cardinal Tech for a stress-free dorm shopping experience.
When you come to Wesleyan you will have a lot of options as to what to do with your time, maybe more than you’ve ever had. First you have to choose your classes, and then (like me) you might be trying to find a work study job. You could have a varsity sport that’s been a constant in your life for as long as you can remember (again like me) or you could be reinventing yourself as a journalist and joining the team at the Argus, Wesleyan’s student-run newspaper (not like me, but self-reinvention is very cool and big here at Wesleyan).
In this situation, which may feel like a select-all-that-apply multiple choice question with way more letters than are in the alphabet, we suggest that you pick 7 to avoid being stressed, distracted, and unsatisfied. Hence the trademark Wesleyan advice we give to all freshmen: follow the Rule of 7. It will help you maintain stability while you explore a breadth of topics at a place with a LOT of options. Also, keep in mind that this rule narrows as you become an upperclassman and your education becomes increasingly specialized. Each class counts as one, along with anything that regularly demands time and commitment.
I had four classes, a work-study job, the track and field team, and frequent visits to the science library that were more social than studious. Throughout the year I tried to figure out not only what I liked to do with my time but how I liked to manage my time and focus. The Rule of 7 was a sort of backbone for figuring these things out. Coming out of the spring of my senior year I realized that I loved having the extra time that had emerged from all of the cancellations. I got to garden for the first time and really explore horticulture. One day I suddenly became interested in cooking and made fried green olives with tzatziki on the side.
The purpose of this tangent was – I realized that I like to have a more loose schedule because I thrive when I am able to be spontaneous and constantly switch up my attention. So I reserved my “seventh” commitment for that spontaneity. Yes, sometimes I just chatted people up at the library, but I also was able to buy a betta fish one day and create a photo collection of the campus bathroom graffiti the next day. And the Rule of 7 actually didn’t feel imposing, like I wasn’t doing enough for my “career” because I wasn’t in a formally established club. It allowed me to really invest in certain projects or readings for my classes that I had a special connection to, or engage my spontaneity. Its definition of “commitment” is as loose as you want it to be, or as defined. Many of my friends had 7 definable commitments and managed them well because they followed this rule. Maybe you are unlike me and prefer a more tight and predictable schedule – The Rule of 7 can be adapted to you.
Also part of this process of learning about how you navigate time (too existential?) is dropping things so you can pick something else up. An important part of learning is change and readjustment so don’t ever feel like you’re stuck with something. There is the alternative of perseverance, but I don’t have to lecture you on that. I’m just trying to get you to recognize that, though disarray is an important part of life, there are other ways to go about things. And at the risk of cancelling out the rest of this literary masterpiece: Less is more. Don’t join 5 clubs!
As we dive deeper into July, now’s a great time to start thinking about courses that you’d like to take. WesMaps has hundreds of incredible options, so let’s break it down to get a sense of which classes work best for your academic interests.
1. Start thinking about requirements for possible intended majors.
If you’re like many Wes students, the open curriculum is one of the main drivers for attending this university. While it is totally fine (and common!) if you have no idea what you’d like to major in—there is no pressure for you to decide this early on in your college careers, it is not a bad idea to start thinking about certain courses that need to be fulfilled to satisfy specific majors. For example, certain majors require students to fulfill General Education Expectations (Gen Eds), so starting to fulfill those requirements as early as possible could save a lot of stress in the future. There are two stages within Gen Eds:
Stage 1: One NSM (Natural Sciences and Mathematics), One HA (Humanities), and One SBS (Social and Behavioral Sciences) credits before the end of your sophomore year
Stage 2: Two NSM (Natural Sciences and Mathematics), Two HA (Humanities), and Two SBS (Social and Behavioral Sciences) credits before graduation
2. Vary your courses by class size.
A part of the college academic experience is to take a bunch of different courses: not only by subject but also by class size! Towards the beginning of college, it can be beneficial to take classes of various sizes, ranging from a 50+ person lecture class to a smaller, 12-person seminar that dives deeper into the material. Taking courses with varied class sizes towards the beginning of your academic career can help you get a sense of which class size best responds to your learning style.
3. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone!
Part of the excitement of a liberal arts experience is to take really interesting classes that you might not normally take at another type of school. Even if you are on the engineering or pre-med track, don’t scare yourself away from taking that really cool Toni Morrison class you were looking at. If you’re a psych major, you might surprise yourself by enrolling in an Intro to Dance course! It is sometimes the most obscure course that we either remember or love the most.
4. Consider the graded assignments and examinations
When looking for courses to take, also consider your academic strengths. If you’re more test-taking-oriented, maybe you wouldn’t want to take a class with weekly writing assignments. On the flip side, if you’re more humanities-focused, you might not benefit from a course with 4 exams. Aside from a course’s rigor, it is important to feel like your level of understanding can be represented through the modes of examination a given class offers, therefore looking at the types of assignments classes have can be crucial to your course selection process. On the flip side, however, taking courses with varied types of graded assignments can also be a great strategy to create a more challenging course schedule (if that’s what you’d like to do!)
5. On Ranking Courses
Ranking can be one of the trickiest parts of course selection, but once you have a plan of action, it’s not too bad! The first tip on ranking courses concerns seat distribution by class year. Towards the bottom of WesMaps, check and see how many seats a given course usually reserves for class year. For example, if you are deciding between two courses that you’d really like to take and rank for your top spot, it might be more helpful for you to rank the course that has fewer seats as your top pick and the other class with more seats ranked second since you’d have a better chance of getting into it. That way, you might get lucky and be able to take both classes that semester! Or, in contrast, maybe you choose the class with more seats as your first choice and wait until next year to rank the other class first if there is a better chance of getting a seat as an upperclassman. Course ranking can be a gamble and while there is no perfect recipe for deciding which courses to rank in a particular order, we hope this tip provides more clarity into ranking courses.
Quick reminder: an X means a given class year is refrained from taking that course; a 0 means that while that class year doesn’t usually have seats offered in that course, there is a possibility that you can take it if someone drops it or if you email the professor!
6. No need to panic!
Course selection may seem crazy, stressful, and all over the place, but you’re not the only one who feels this way. There are many stages of picking classes, so do not fear if you feel like you chose a class you no longer want to take; you have plenty of chances to change around your schedule and drop and add different courses! Additionally, no need to feel like this process must be done independently; there are so many resources, like RAs, class deans, pre-major advisors (and APAs of course!) to help you along the way/make it as easy a process as possible.
Hello to all of you first-year students considering careers in health professions!
As you get yourself ready to prepare for your future application to a health professions program such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant, nursing, occupational therapy, and any other fields; you need to consider the different facets of your preparation and work on a plan.
Here are some other goals you might want to consider:
Draft a tentative four-year plan for courses and include a study abroad experience if that is something you are hoping to incorporate into your educational experience and your future summer experiences
How do you plan to explore your health profession? Consider doing some research online but also starting to volunteer in a clinical setting that involves your health profession
How will you maintain balance in your life and stay healthy?
Plan on gaining some shadowing experiences to observe a provider interacting with patients on a day-to-day basis
Set goals for getting involved with community service here in Middletown
Join a student organization and engage within your campus community
Take advantage of the wonderful and diverse courses available to you
Build relationships with faculty and staff
Personal growth and becoming more resilient
Critical thinking, ethical responsibility, teamwork, cultural competence and scientific inquiry grounded in research
Engage in self-assessment along the way and set goals to comport yourself as a future pre-professional for the health career of your choice
Read the Health Professions Newsletter and attend as many HP Events as you can
Visit with the Health Professions Advisor at least once per semester
Preparing for the health professions is a long process and there are so many other goals I could list here but instead I encourage you to think about any goals you may have that are not listed and incorporate them into your plan
Once you set your goals, begin developing your action plan. As you move forward and have questions, please come see me. I would be happy to meet you and help in any way I can. Once you are on campus, you may set up an appointment on HandShake, or call our reception at (860) 685-2180 or just drop by the Gordon Career Center in Boger Hall (across from Usdan).
There will be an Overview of the Health Professions Coursework on July 27 and a Health Professions Overview for First Years during New Student Orientation (NSO) week. I will also be at the Academic Forum and will have 30-minute drop-in appointments for the first two week of classes. Enjoy the rest of your summer and I hope to see you this fall!
The course pre-registration platform opens July 12. Until the system closes on August 5, you will be able to browse WesMaps and rank your course preferences for the fall semester. You will be informed of your course placements in mid-August.
You should begin to think in terms of building a manageable course of study that offers challenge as well as flexibility for you to explore the curriculum and discover new interests. As you pursue your educational goals, keep in mind the idea of constructing a schedule that is balanced, challenging, and interesting. An academic schedule is balanced when there is a combination of small and large classes, lecture and discussion, and variations in course content and focus (e.g., reading, writing, quantitative work, artistic activity). This can provide breadth and stimulate academic curiosity while keeping a schedule manageable yet challenging.
There is variation in class days and times and instruction mode. For some students, this is as important a consideration as what courses to choose. Without sacrificing intellectual rigor or interest, students should try to distribute their courses across the week and throughout the day in the way that works best for them.
Join Mildred Rodríguez, PhD, the Health Professions Advisor for an overview that will assist students in developing a schedule that will incorporate at least one of the science pre-requisite courses for the health profession of their interest. Additionally, the goal is to encourage students to explore other areas of study and develop competencies that overlap across disciplines. There will be plenty of time for questions in the last 20 to 25 minutes of the overview.
Presented by Tanesha Leathers, Dean of the Class of 2025 Co-Sponsored by the Gordon Career Center Co-Sponsored by the American Medical Student Association, Wesleyan Chapter Co-Sponsored by Minority Association of Premedical Students, Wesleyan Chapter Co-Sponsored by the National Organization on Rare Diseases Student Association of Connecticut Co-Sponsored by the Wesleyan Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club Co-Sponsored by the Pre-Dental Club
Hi everyone! My name is Darshana Banka and I am a rising senior at Wesleyan. I attended high school in Mumbai, India. I am a Neuroscience & Behavior and Psychology double major. I am on the pre-medicine track. I have taken courses in Economics as well and I am interested in pursuing public health policy down the road. Outside of peer advising, I am a Research Assistant in a Molecular Biology and Biochemistry lab doing yeast genetics and the Wesleyan Media Project doing health media research. I am also a Peer Tutor through the Dean’s Peer Tutoring Program. Apart from these ventures, I am the Secretary of Shakti (South Asian Student Coalition), Project Coordinator of the Wesleyan Therapy Dogs, Clinic Escort at the Hartford GYN Center, Project Co-Director of AskWes, and Co-Founder of WeSanskriti (South Asian Classical Dance Team). Outside of campus life, I love to go hiking with my friends, travel, play the guitar, and cook. I am really excited to meet all of you in the fall either virtually or in person. If you have any questions about transition to college as an international student, academics, or simply just want to chat about life at Wesleyan, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Belle Brown 2022 (Spring 2021)
Hi everyone! My name is Belle Brown and I’m part of the class of 2022, majoring in Government and Environmental Studies, with a minor in African American Studies. My hometown is Arlington, Virginia and I transferred to Wes as a sophomore from Emory University, so I’m here for you if you have any transfer related questions. Besides being a Peer Advisor, I’m also on the track team, work at Long Lane Farm, perform stand-up comedy with Awkward Silence, and am a member of WesACLU. In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors and cooking for my friends. Please don’t hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns you might have (again, especially about transferring!) or just to chat. Looking forward to getting to know you. Go Wes!
Cyann Byfield 2023
Hello everyone! My name is Cyann Byfield and I am a rising junior here at Wesleyan. My pronouns are she/her and I’m from Brooklyn, New York, and went to high school in the Financial District of Manhattan. I am a Sociology major and an African American Studies minor but I also enjoy taking American Government courses as frequently as possible. Currently, I am an Orientation Leader for New Student Orientation, and I’m a part of “Kalalu” the Caribbean dance team, which of one of the many dance teams on campus here at Wesleyan. I am also a member of the Women of Color collective, the Caribbean Student Association, and pre-pandemic I was an overnight host for prospective students. I am also a Prep for Prep alum which is a rigorous academic program for students of color in New York City, therefore I have years of experience in effectively completing intense academic work. One of my favorite things about Wesleyan is our campus, there’s nothing I love more than going for walks with my friends or just relaxing on Foss Hill. Other than being a full-time student at Wes, I love to do hair and makeup and I also love to cook and bake. Feel free to reach out anytime if you have questions or just need to chat email@example.com!
Perri Easley 2023
Hey everybody! My name is Perri Easley, I am currently a rising junior at Wesleyan, and I am from Denville, New Jersey. At Wesleyan, I am an American Studies, French Studies Double Major with a minor in Film. I hope to pursue a career in media or politics soon. Outside of career advising, I am the Communications Assistant for the Fries Center for Global Studies. I also serve as one of the co-presidents of Wesleyan’s chapter of Active Minds, one of the nation’s leading mental health advocacy and awareness organizations, and a Board member of Wesleyan’s SOC Fashion Show committee. Aside from these commitments, I am very active in civic and community engagement efforts outside of the classroom, volunteering for several political campaigns and being affiliated with organizations like Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Headcount, and Empower the Village. In my free time, I love spending time with friends and binge-watching TV shows. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about academic peer advising, Wesleyan, or life in general. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Guaman 2022
Hi everyone! My name is Amy Guaman, I am a rising senior from Queens, NYC and I am super excited to meet you all! I was born and raised in a diverse and vibrant city and still live there to this day, so as a Latina 🇪🇨 in NYC I never really felt like a “minority.” It was only when I came to Wesleyan that I began to feel like a minority and began to juggle the difficulties of imposter syndrome. It can be very difficult to face the day-to-day challenges that come with attending any university, especially as a student of color. That is why I am a huge advocate for therapy and other mental health resources. Wesleyan is amazing at offering various mental health outlets outside of therapy, such as workshops with CAPS, therapy dogs during finals week and even a mindfulness course that you can find on WesMaps. If you have any questions about these resources, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I would love to discuss them with you. And if you haven’t already guessed it, I am a psychology major, but I have also enjoyed taking several courses outside of my discipline such as in neuroscience, Italian and data science. I am also a member of WesRugby, the Basal Gang (Neuroscience Club), a Peer Tutor through the Dean’s Peer Tutoring Program and I have been a Peer Health Advocate for the Class of 2023. During my free time, I enjoy cooking, being outdoors, listening to music on the highest possible volume and traveling! I have enjoyed sharing a little about me, but I would love to hear about you! Please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com with any questions, concerns or just to chat. I am here as a resource for you, every question is important so please ask it and I look forward to meeting you all soon!
Tucker Kelsch 2022
Hi! My name is Tucker Kelsch, and I am a rising Senior at Wes. I am a Government and Environmental Studies double major, but have been lucky enough to take advantage of the wide range of classes Wesleyan has to offer; some of my favorites are in Philosophy, Music, and the Natural Sciences. On campus, I am a member of the Men’s Soccer Team as well as a team representative on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and know about the importance of time management while navigating an active lifestyle. Beyond athletics, I am an active member of WesBuds, a student group that partners with IDD (Intellectually or Developmentally Disabled) students in Middletown, as well as a volunteer tutor with the Wesleyan University Middle School Tutoring Project. I’ve also found exciting extracurricular opportunities outside of Wesleyan, like my current role interning with the Arlington County Public Defender’s Office. I am excited to meet everyone this fall, and eager to become a resource to all who need it. Shout me out on campus, or shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to connect!
Anya Kisicki 2022
Hi! My name is Anya Kisicki (she/her) and I’m a rising senior at Wesleyan. I hail from Phoenix, Arizona and I am double majoring in Government and in the College of Letters, a three-year multidisciplinary program that merges the studies of history, literature, and philosophy. I am also pursuing a minor in Film Studies. Outside of Peer Advising, I work at Wesleyan’s Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development to help plan student events on campus. You can also find me taking orders at the on-campus restaurant, WesWings, on Pocotopaug Lake with the Sailing Team, or in the 92 Theatre designing the lights for student-run theatre productions. Additionally, I am currently working to build a new campus group that focuses on creating space for non-cis males (womxn) interested in Film to network and hold campus-wide events. I am here as a resource for you, so if you have any questions at all about adjusting to life at Wesleyan, don’t hesitate to reach out by emailing me at email@example.com! I look forward to meeting you in the fall!
Quentin Tan 2022
Hi! My name is Quentin Tan and I am a rising senior from Penang, Malaysia. I am currently the only College of Letters and College and East Asian Studies double major student at Wesleyan – and quite possibly the first Cardinal to do so – so I am no stranger to unorthodox but all the more rewarding academic explorations! I studied abroad my sophomore spring in Osaka, Japan and stumbled upon the outbreak of COVID-19 – making what is already a challenging academic experience in itself even more so! On campus, I am a Writing Mentor for the Writing Workshop (an amazing resource for students which I could not possibly recommend more highly) and a copy editor for the Wesleyan Argus. Occasionally, you may also find me grooving as a pianist in a number of Second Stage musical productions. I am a great fan of reading books from all around the world – Camus’ The Plague being one of my recent favorites – and Japanese literature, especially, is my ice cream at 3 a.m., so I would love to have tea and talk about recent reads with you! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I look forward to working with you in the fall!
Maya Verghese 2023
Hi! My name is Maya Verghese and I’m from Hamden, CT. I am a rising junior majoring in Psychology and Government with a minor in Education Studies. Most of my free time is spent working as the Financial Manager of the Wesleyan Argus and leading the Event Experience team for TEDxWesleyanU. I’m also a member of the Psychology Majors Committee and was a teaching assistant for introductory psychology. My path through Wesleyan, both academically and in terms of extracurriculars, has not always been clear. I’ve taken everything from Planetary Geology to Dance History, served on the WSA for a semester, worked for Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven, and developed Argus finances for a few years. I’ve absorbed and learned so much and am happy to share my experiences and advice (as well as talk through anything that’s weighing on your mind). I have many demanding jobs and responsibilities on campus. It took a lot of practice, so definitely reach out if you need any help organizing yourself and finding the right balance. I have a deep love for the intersection between psychology, public health, and international politics—finding joy in the crazy connections between seemingly distant disciplines. During the summers between school, I interned for a lab developing apps for people struggling with their mental health, worked with a professor to maintain enormous networks of social psychology resources, and helped with an online preschool for children of recent immigrants and refugees during the lockdown. Finding these opportunities was an adventure, and I’m happy to talk about the campus resources I’ve used and my experiences applying for jobs. In general, I’m here to help you make the most of Wesleyan’s resources (some hidden in plain sight), talk through problems, and find solutions. I’m always here to listen and make sure that you never feel overwhelmed or lost. You have people looking out for you! Never hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com. Looking forward to meeting you!!
Andi Wiley 2022
Hi! My name is Andi Wiley and I am from Alameda, CA. I am a rising senior here at Wesleyan, class of 2022, double majoring in Economics and Psychology with a Writing Certificate. Initially, I was not sure what I wanted to study, so I explored many subjects taking full advantage of the wide variety of classes that Wes has to offer. In addition to peer advising, I am also a peer tutor on campus as well as a volunteer tutor for Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education, which is a program that extends the Wesleyan community and resources to offer incarcerated individuals the opportunity to receive college credit. I am also passionate and actively involved with WesBuds, a student group partnership with the Middlesex Transition Academy (MTA), a school for students 18-22 with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Beyond academics, I am on the Wesleyan Women’s Soccer team, which has challenged my time management and organizational skills. Further, as a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, I understand the importance in balancing busy athletic schedules and rigorous academics. I am more than happy to answer questions, concerns, or to simply get to know you, so please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Very much looking forward to the fall and meeting you all!