This semester the Writing Workshop will host a Finals Write-In on Sunday, 12/12 from 4-9pm in Boger. We’ll have a loud working space in the Gordon Career Center and quiet working space in the COL library along with drop-in hours to meet with peer advisors, student ombudspersons, and writing tutors. For every hour spent at the write-in, students will earn a raffle ticket to win a prize!
Hello Class of 2025 –
If you can believe it, we are in the homestretch of the semester with only two more weeks of classes (ending 12/10) and then reading period (12/11 – 12/14) and finals (12/14 – 12/18). If you have questions about specific course finals, be sure to consult your professor and your course syllabus. The general Wesleyan academic calendar can be found here and the university final exam schedule can be found here.
It is so important that you continue to work hard to push though these next few weeks. You’ve accomplished so much and you are so close to finishing this semester strong. Be sure to consider all the resources I’ve shared with you throughout the year. Those include but are not limited to:
- Your faculty advisor
- Your professors
- Teaching and course assistants
- Academic Peer Advisors
- Student Academic Resources
If you are considering withdrawing from a course, please be sure to talk with your professor and your faculty advisor. As a reminder, the course withdrawal deadline is this Friday 12/3/21. The withdrawal form can be found here.
Questions? Concerns? Simply want to chat? Feel free to reach out. Stop by my office hours (listed below) or schedule an individual appointment with me here.
You got this, Class of 2025; I’m rooting for you! Keep up the great work!
Weekly Office Hours:
Monday 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Tuesday 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Wednesday 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 – 11:00 am
Friday 9:00 – 10:00 am
Stop by the Academic Peer Advisor Drop-In Hours this Thursday, 11/11 from 4pm to 6pm at the Exley tables in front of the fishbowl.
Hello, Class of 2025
I hope you had a chance to rest and reboot during fall break. As we enter the second half of the fall semester, continue to utilize resources on campus that can support your success. This includes but is not limited to speaking directly with faculty, meeting with teaching and course assistants and utilizing student academic resources. If you haven’t used any of these resources yet and want assistance figuring out where to begin, schedule an appointment with me to chat or stop by my office hours in North College 202 (listed below).
Monday 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Tuesday 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Wednesday 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 – 11:00 am
Friday 9:00 – 10:00 am
You are also likely aware that spring course registration has started. Be sure to meet with your faculty advisor to discuss what courses you hope to take in the spring. Your faculty advisor, as well as our Academic Peer Advisors (APAs), can help you map out your course schedule.
Additionally, our APAs will host drop-in hours to assist with course registration on Thursday 11/11 from 4 – 6pm at the Exley tables in front of the fishbowl. If these drop-in hours do not work with your schedule, email the APAs directly at email@example.com.
Are you a first generation student? Need to sharpen your skills in math? Come to Math Jam for peer support! Tuesdays and Thursdays 8-9:30pm in the Vanguard Lounge in CAAS (343 High Street).
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!
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!
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:
- Be Engaged
- Be Open-Minded
- 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!
Topic: All You Need to Know about Pre-Reg with the Academic Peer Advisors (APAs) and Dean Leathers
Date: Jul 28, 2021 5:00PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting Recording and Transcript:
Access Passcode: 2025RSTD&R
Note: You will need to sign in with your Wesleyan credentials to access the recording and transcript of the webinar.
By Rachel Earnhardt, Peer Advisor 2016
It was in the Container Store, standing among clearance laundry baskets and desk organizing supplies sometime in early August, that I had a *minor* meltdown about starting college. Somehow, browsing for reasonably priced, but sturdy dorm necessities had made college feel so suddenly imminent and terrifying. If you find yourself having a similar experience, whether it be in Target or Bed Bath & Beyond or anywhere else really, I’m here to say that’s completely normal.
If you are totally chill and prepped and ready for college, then I envy you. Likely though, if you have traversed the internet to find this humble peer advisor blog post titled “Don’t be Nervous,” you are feeling anxious or excited or overwhelmed or some combination about starting college and would like to hear from some “wise” not much older soul who’s been there. I hope you find my personal narrative and unsolicited advice reassuring.
Okay, let’s rewind to the weeks leading up to the Container Store Incident. The summer before my first year at Wesleyan, I had my first real job working as an assistant camp instructor at the natural science museum. For several weeks, I stayed gloriously busy doing bug-themed crafts and making dinosaur footprint cookies and leading nature hikes and deliberating about how long I could avoid washing my staff shirt, but then, abruptly, camp ended. And the whole month of August was empty. It stretched out…a painfully open, unplanned void. This unscheduled month meant that I had four weeks with nothing to do other than think about heading off to college.
Let us rewind a bit more to April of my senior year. I had made an exhaustive spreadsheet, titled “The Decider.” With nearly 25 categories (like food, climate, “do I have to take a math class?”, faculty to student ratio, etc) I had meticulously input data about all the schools to which I had been accepted. I had been blessed with several wonderful options, many very similar to Wesleyan. But after careful analysis, Wes emerged as the clear choice. The last (and most important) category of my spreadsheet was titled “good vibes?” Next to other colleges, I wrote things like “too cold” and “too radical.” By Wesleyan, I had written the succinct, but completely confident: “Yeah.”
Yet still, even though I had penned this definitive assessment and highlighted the Wesleyan column in green on the spreadsheet, sent in my deposit, and bought my “Wesleyan Girls: Making Connecticut Beautiful Everyday” shirt, throughout the month of August, I woke up wondering. Wondering about each of the other schools from my spreadsheet, and even ones that I had not even applied to. For example, I had to remind myself that I crossed colleges in the state of Minnesota off my list for a reason (I’m sure it’s a great state, but I’m from the South and I’ve always just pictured a frozen hellscape). In retrospect, I realize that channeling my energy into my college choice stemmed from a general anxiety about going 900 miles away for school, where I didn’t know anyone.
Side note: It was also in August 2013 that I discovered College Confidential, which is sort of the underbelly of the internet. I stayed up for hours consuming the crowd-sourced anxiety about selecting a school and prepping for college. I also read countless Buzzfeed articles and mediocre blogs about the first year of college. *This was ultimately counterproductive and I do not recommend it.
But back to the story, fast-forwarding a bit to late August. After returning several items purchased in the heat of the moment to the Container Store, I had acquired everything on the packing list (and a bunch of things I didn’t need). We packed the car and began the eleven-hour drive from North Carolina to Connecticut.
I arrived in Middletown the day before move-in and led my parents on a tour of my new home. Draped in the flowers of late summer, the verdant campus was even more welcoming that it had been during our first encounter. (Okay, here comes the corny part): As I stood on the top of Foss hill looking out at College Row under the dome of blue sky, I knew that I would have the incredible opportunity to grow in profound ways over the next four years. I had picked a wonderful place to learn and prepare to make positive impact in the world.
I would be lying if I said that every ounce of anxiety evaporated during the first days or weeks or even months on campus. Eventually, I found my community and I can confidently predict that you will, too. Here is a whole paragraph of encouraging, very sincere reassurance:
If you are wondering if Wesleyan made a mistake admitting you: they didn’t. Or if you made a mistake in choosing it: you didn’t. You are intelligent and capable. You will be surrounded by  interesting, smart, creative, idealistic people in your first year class. You will be able to find common ground with plenty of other people (even if you may not find those souls on your hall). It may take a few days or weeks or months, but you will meet friends and find professors with whom you connect. You may get overwhelmed by the coursework or, on the other end of the spectrum, find that some your courses are not what you expected, but there are plenty of people around to commiserate with and more importantly, to provide support and guidance. You will change your mind and your major and likely your haircut several times…and that’s all expected and celebrated!
Because I didn’t know where else to put it—here it is the obligatory list of unsolicited advice about preparing for college/the first few weeks (in no particular order) that you will probably ignore:
- Go to different club meetings and activities. It might take a little time, but you will meet people who share your interests. I don’t want to minimize your unique personality, but there are plenty of other folks who are interested in science AND movies!! And yes, there will be at least one other person interested in starting a band.
- Your hall will likely fuse together for a few days. That’s totally normal. Try to expand a little…Ask people from your classes or activities to lunch or coffee or to the Film Series or a WesBAM class. (Please feel free to contact me for other friend date suggestions.)
- If you are unsure about ANYTHING, reach out to the peer advisors, the RAs, CAPS, OSRL, the deans, your orientation leaders or any the other groovy resources available.
- Orientation specific: Go to all the events! Maybe you feel like you met your new bae or best friend and you will never hang out again if you separate to go to the meetings….but more than likely, you will learn something important at the orientation event.
- Real talk: Across the nation, the first two months of the fall semester see an unsettling spike in alcohol hospitalizations. Please, please take care of each other.
- Your residential advisors and orientation leaders are so excited to welcome you to campus. Maybe you don’t connect with them on a spiritual level and that’s totally fine.
- ******Academics don’t happen in a vacuum. Your emotional, physical and mental well-being are all intimately a part of your experience and affect your ability to succeed (whatever success means to you). ******
So let’s wrap up. You’ll recall several paragraphs ago I explained that in my spreadsheet, by Wesleyan I had written: “Yeah.” I will now artfully use that as a nice frame for this post.
Is there an expansive network of resources and people (students, faculty, staff, peer advisors, the list goes on…) to support you throughout your Wesleyan journey so that you can get the most out your time here and go on to be a thoughtful and engaged citizen? Is the entire Wesleyan community so jazzed to have you join us?
The title of the post is “don’t be nervous,” but I had plenty of people tell me that and I didn’t listen. If you’re nervous, there’s not much I can say to change that. Nervous or not, either way, you will arrive in Middletown sometime between August 29 and September 1 and more than likely you will thrive here.
So, again, if in the next couple weeks you have any moments of doubt or anxiety or maybe you just get so excited you can’t breath, please feel free to reach out to the peer advisors (or one of the many aforementioned resources).
And of course, I invite you to have a last minute existential crisis in your local dorm supply depot. It can be quite cathartic.