Tips for Student Athletes

Class of 2025 student athletes, it is unfathomable the hardships you have faced with your last high school season getting cut short and now your fall season being cancelled. While there is nothing that can be said to make up for those 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
  • Coaches as resources
  • Separate/find balance with athletics and academics
  • Take care of body and mind (fuel)
  • Give yourself a break and down time

Don’t Be Nervous

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 [920] 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?

Yeah!!!!!!!

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.

Notes from International Student Orientation 7/21

If you plan to attend ISO, please fill out this form by TODAY, Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Wesleyan needs to keep track of students’ vaccinations records to determine the plan of our Fall orientation activities. This information will not only help us anticipate the logistics needed for orientation but it will also inform your decisions on (1) when you should be arriving to campus, (2) when you should be buying your ticket if you haven’t done so yet, or (3) make changes to your travel arrangements if necessary/possible.

If you have any questions, email them to iso@wesleyan.edu.

First Year Matters Common Reading “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together”

Dear New Students,

Each year the First Year Matters (FYM) Committee selects a common reading for the incoming class as an intellectual introduction to Wesleyan. Last fall we solicited from the community, texts and other media addressing the issues of race, ethnicity, or nationality. I’m pleased to announce that the committee has unanimously selected The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. McGhee is a Distinguished Senior Fellow and immediate past president at Demos, a non-profit progressive US think tank.

Intertwined with poignant personal stories, and meaningful conversations with Americans from across the United States, “The Sum of Us” offers a wide-ranging perspective about economic and sociological issues and how money influences policy making in Washington. “McGhee examines the role that greed and racism play as it relates to the zero-sum game paradigm—the idea that progress for some comes at the expense of others” (Random House). From the diminished stature of unions to the inability of the wealthiest nation on earth to embrace universal healthcare, McGhee explains that ultimately the “solidarity dividend”—the gains that are realized when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own—is one surefire way to move us forward…together.

You will receive the ebook through your portfolio in the coming weeks as well as your first assignment–4 questions that you are required to answer. The Common Reading response is designed as a tool for you to begin articulating your synthesis of the book and will be made available to the faculty, staff, and student leaders that will be leading the group discussions during orientation. The submission deadline for the Common Reading responses is 5:00 pm on Friday, August 20. You will need to read the book and submit your response by this date in order to be fully prepared to engage with the material and get the most out of orientation.

If you have any questions, please be in touch with Tanesha Leathers, Dean for the Class of 2025, via classdean2025@wesleyan.edu or the Orientation Interns via orientation@wesleyan.edu. We hope that you enjoy this summer “reading” and we very much look forward to discussing the film with you. We are thrilled that you will be joining this wonderful community.

Sincerely,

Nicole Stanton
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Kevin M. Butler
Assistant Dean & Common Reading Chair

Directions for Accessing the FYM Common Reading, “The Sum of Us”

Here are the directions for accessing The Sum of Us:

  • Redeem through Google Play – visit help center for more info
    • Once redeemed, the book will appear in the Google Play account for that End User
  • End User will need a Google account (Google.com, Gmail.com, YouTube.com, etc.)
  • Once redeemed, user must be logged into Google Play with the same email they used to redeem the book (check icon on top right  to toggle between accounts if needed)

Please be in touch with Dean Butler if you have any challenges accessing The Sum of Us for FYM.

6 Tips for Course Selection

Hey guys!

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.

Best of luck with course selection!

Sincerely,
The Academic Peer Advisors (APAs)
peeradvisors@wesleyan.edu

All You Need to Know about Pre-Reg from the Academic Peer Advisors (APAs)

Via Zoom, Wednesday, July 28, from 5:00pm – 6:00pm EDT

In this session, join the Academic Peer Advisors and Dean Leathers to learn how to navigate the Pre-Reg system. Topics covered include the whats and hows of Pre-Reg, navigating WesMaps, and factors to consider in choosing courses. There will also be a Q&A at the end of the session where your pre-submitted and on-the-spot questions will be answered, so be sure to tune in!

If you would like to participate in this panel, please sign up though this link (Wesleyan login required).

About Course Registration

Course registration at Wesleyan is a three-step process.  The first step of this process, which opened on July 12, is Pre-Registration Planning.

During pre-registration planning, you should be selecting courses of interest and ranking them in your preferred order. Be sure to build full list(s) to maximize your chances of getting a desirable schedule during the scheduling process.

Once planning closes, the scheduling process will be run. Your schedule will be viewable on August 6.  Once your schedule is available, you’ll be able to prepare for the Adjustment Period, which is the second part of the registration process and takes place August 9-12. During the adjustment period you will be able to make modifications to the schedule that has been assigned to you, pending approval from your faculty advisor.

The third step of the course registration process is the Drop/Add Period, which will take place from August 30 – September 17. During drop/add courses can be added and dropped from your schedule with the approval of the instructor and your faculty advisor.

As the summer progresses, you will receive email for updates from the Registrar’s Office as we enter into each phase of the course registration process.

The following questions might guide your course planning:

  • Do I select a course about something I love?
  • Do I need to add a gateway course for a department or major?
  • Do I need to continue or begin a language?
  • Could I explore something new and interesting?

Course planning involves much more than just the subject matter. You should aim for variety in subject as well as the kind, size, format, and time of day of the courses.

There are a few curricular pathways that require special attention, such as pre-health, pre-law and dual degree engineering programs. There is a three-year option. There are three majors that require declaration during the spring semester of the first year: College of Social Studies, College of Letters and the College of East Asian Studies.

Attention All Pre-health Students: Preliminary Advice to Prepare for the Fall and Beyond

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.

To start begin setting goals related to the pre-requisite courses you need to complete alongside the courses for your major. To view a short video on the course selection for health professions go to: http://www.wesleyan.edu/careercenter/students/health/index.html

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!

Take care,

Mildred Rodríguez, Ph.D.                                                              
Health Professions Advisor
mrodriguez01@wesleyan.edu
Scroll down this webpage and read my short bio at: http://www.wesleyan.edu/careercenter/advisors.html

Collegiate Programs: Thinking about Majoring in CSS, COL, or CEAS?

With over 1000 courses in 45 majors, 14 minors, 12 certificates, and a unique open curriculum, choosing classes during pre-registration may seem like a stressful and daunting task. Many students come into Wesleyan without any idea of what they want to study – and that’s totally fine! For most students, major declaration does not happen until the second semester of sophomore year. However, Wesleyan has three majors that require declaration during the spring semester of freshman year. These programs are the College of Social Studies, the College of Letters, and the College of East Asian Studies. While we like to advise students to explore a wide range of classes in their first year of college and hone their interests, if you are thinking about one of these programs, it may affect the decisions that you make during pre-registration. This post will provide a description of each of these programs and some suggestions for those who are thinking about choosing one of these majors.

College of Social StudiesThe College of Social Studies is a rigorous, multidisciplinary major focusing on History, Government, Political and Social Theory, and Economics. CSS is reading and writing intensive, encouraging intellectual independence with weekly essays, small group tutorials, and a vibrant intellectual environment.

College of LettersThe College of Letters is an interdisciplinary major for the study of European literature, history, and philosophy, from antiquity to the present. During these three years, students participate as a cohort in a series of colloquia in which they read and discuss works together (in English), learn to think critically about texts in relation to their contexts and influences—both European and non-European—and in relation to the disciplines that shape and are shaped by those texts. Majors also become proficient in a foreign language and study abroad in order to deepen their knowledge of another culture.

College of East Asian StudiesThe College of East Asian Studies challenges students to understand China, Japan, and Korea through the rigors of language study and the analytical tools of various academic disciplines. This process demands both broad exposure to different subjects and a focused perspective on a particular feature of the East Asian landscape.

For those considering one of these three majors, here are some helpful tips as you select your classes and enter your first semester of college:

Deadlines.  CSS, COL, and CEAS require major declaration in the spring of your freshman year. The deadline for CSS and COL is generally in March, and CEAS is in April. The application forms and the exact dates can be found on the department page of each major. If you are thinking about one of these majors, I would recommend talking to people who are in one of these majors or reaching out to any of the faculty members in the major as soon as possible.

Admission Requirements.  All CSS majors must complete the economics prerequisite either by taking ECON101 and achieving a grade of CR or a letter grade of at least C- or by taking ECON110 and achieving a grade of CR or a letter grade of at least C-. Some students who have not completed the economics prerequisite are admitted each year on the condition that they must complete the prerequisite in the fall term of the sophomore year. Even if you are possibly thinking about majoring in CSS, I would consider enrolling in an economics course in the first or second semester of your freshman year.

Language Requirements.  COL and CEAS both have language requirements. COL majors must become proficient in a foreign language and study abroad in a country where the selected foreign language is spoken. CEAS majors are expected to take at least four semesters of East Asian language courses and reach a minimum of advanced-level (third-year) competency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Majors who are native speakers of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean are expected to study another East Asian language. Those who have already studied a foreign language relevant to one of these majors do not necessarily have to enroll in a foreign language in the first semester. However, for those who need to start at a beginning level, it is highly recommended that you enroll in a language course as early as possible.

General Education Expectations. Only CSS requires completion of Stage II general education requirements (three course credits in HA, SBS, and NSM, all from different departments or programs). However, CSS majors have until the end of junior year to complete Stage I general education requirements (two course credits in each area, all from different departments or programs). While COL and CEAS do not have general education requirements, it is highly recommended that ALL students complete Stage II general education requirements. A student who does not meet these expectations by the time of graduation will not be eligible for University honors, Phi Beta Kappa, honors in general scholarship, or for honors in certain departments and may not declare more than a combined total of two majors, certificates, and minors.

If you have any further questions about any of these three programs, we encourage you to reach out to a peer advisor or to a faculty member in the specific department.