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

Welcome from WesWell!

WesWell, the Office of Health Education, is an integral part of Wesleyan University’s Health Services. WesWell understands the impact of student health on academic performance and is committed to providing services that are designed to develop healthy behaviors and prevent health concerns that may interfere with academic and personal success.

In an effort to further advance our students beyond the classroom, Wesleyan University has partnered with EverFi to help students address critical life skills such as alcohol abuse prevention and sexual assault prevention. As part of our comprehensive prevention program for new students, Wesleyan requires you to complete AlcoholEDU and Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduate Students. These online courses will empower you to make well-informed decisions about issues that affect your college years and beyond. 

Failure to complete these courses will result in a hold being put on your registration.  You will receive an invitation via email from EverFi on August 9th.  The link will also be available in WesPortal, and you can expect communication on directions around that time from the Office of Health Education.

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.

Student’s Perspective on the “Rule of Seven”

Written by Maia Dawson ’24

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. 

Sketches of various flowers

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!

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.

Annual Health Insurance Requirement

Wesleyan requires all students to have health insurance.

  • You must show proof annually of private insurance (with a waiver) or enroll in the university-sponsored plan before August 12, 2021. The only acceptable way to comply with university insurance requirements is by completing the necessary forms online, through the Gallagher Student Health and Special Risk website at www.gallagherstudent.com/wesleyan; the online form is available now. Please note: You must use your Wesleyan email credentials to log in, and once logged in you will be taken directly to the Gallagher site; no need to create a new user account.
  • If you know you want the university insurance plan please complete the online enrollment form at www.gallagherstudent.com/wesleyan. Enrolling early will ensure there is no delay in coverage, which begins on August 12, and you will have access to your ID card promptly. If you enroll in the university plan, we recommend using your campus address/PO Box to ensure your insurance statements arrive to your campus mailbox.

If you have any questions, please send an email to healthforms@wesleyan.edu.

Optional Dental Insurance Enrollment Information

Dental insurance is available for all enrolled students of Wesleyan University.

ELIGIBILITY:

Any enrolled student of Wesleyan University is eligible to enroll in the sponsored dental insurance plan outlined below.

THE PLAN OPTIONS:

This is a standalone dental plan that utilizes a national network of providers and offers in and out of network benefits. Please see the flyer (at the bottom of this post) outlining the High, Medium and Low plan options. Pricing is on the flyer as well as a synopsis of the coverage offered. This is dental insurance. It is not a dental discount plan.

ENROLLMENT:

Enrollment is open continuously throughout the policy year.  The Wesleyan University policy year is September 1 to September 1.  

It’s not too late to enroll!

The plan uses a rolling open enrollment. Enrollments received before the 20th of any month would set the effective date as the 1st of the following month. (I.e. 10/15 enrollment=11/1 effective coverage) The premium cost is prorated based on the effective date selected.

Enrollment is completed on-line at http://Wesleyan.dental-enroll.com.   The system accepts credit card or bank draft information as payment. Please note: there is no early cancellation. Once enrolled each student is committed to the plan through to the end of the current policy period. The student can opt to not renew.

ID CARDS/POLICY DOCUMENTS:

When the online transaction is finalized a confirmation email will instantly be sent to you. In that email will be included links to print out your ID cards and policy documents. It is important that you save this email confirmation, as this is the only way to access your ID cards. The email would come from Morgan White Administrators

THE PROVIDER NETWORK:

The provider network is United Healthcare.  To search for in-network UHC providers go to: www.mwgdental.com 

1. Select: “Find a Dentist” (right hand side/green tab on screen) 

2. Click: “Find a Dentist” (right hand side orange “Links & Tools”) 

3. Click: “National PPO Options” (center of screen) There is no need to log-in to search for providers.  At this point you can enter your criteria for your search.

It is advised that you follow up with a call to the provider office to confirm that the in-network status is still valid, as contracts are subject to change.

RENEWAL/CONTINUOUS COVERAGE:

Those students that elect to enroll in this student dental insurance plan will be automatically renewed for coverage upon the expiration of the current policy year.  The system is set up to post the renewal premium charge to whichever payment source was used at the time of enrollment, about two weeks before the current policy year expires. Notification will be sent to you via email when this will take place. That notice will include steps to take should you not wish to renew.

As long as the renewal premium has been paid, this dental insurance plan can continue indefinitely even if you should no longer be connected to Wesleyan University.  

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 

Katie Kruszewski
860-430-3338 Email: KKruszewski@SmithBrothersUSA.com
Smith Brothers Insurance
377 Main Street, Niantic CT 06357

Transition to College

College life can be exciting, but it will differ significantly from your past experiences. New environments, new friends, new classes, new ideas, new experiences are yours for the taking.  And there is familiarity with being a student since that’s what you’ve been doing for most of your life. At the same time, you may need to adapt your study habits to fit into a less structured and more demanding academic environment. And you may be living on your own for the first time, responsible for everything from getting up on time for class to doing your own laundry to budgeting your money. A few suggestions for managing the transition in the weeks ahead:

  • Talk with friends and family members who have recently attended college about their experiences transitioning to campus life — the challenges, the joys, the things they wish they knew starting out. You may be able to glean some words of wisdom!
  • Make a plan with your parents/guardians for how frequently you will talk and email. Strive for regular, but not daily, contact. It will help you concentrate on adjusting to Wesleyan while still reducing the likelihood of feeling homesick.
  • Once on campus, seek out opportunities to get involved in one or two activities outside the classroom. Focus on quality, not quantity. You have plenty of time over the next four years to try out everything! Visit WesNest, the campus student groups website, if you want to get a head start on this.
  • Being a college student does not have to equal being unhealthy. Strive for balanced eating habits, a regular sleep pattern and a manageable workload.
  • Keep up your exercise routine. Physical activity greatly helps with reducing stress levels and with mental acuity.
  • Ask for help if you need it academically or personally. We want to help you succeed!

Welcome from Accessibility Services!

Students with documented disabilities, as well as those who suspect that they may have a disability, are encouraged to reach out to Accessibility Services. Dean Laura Patey and Crystal Rose Hill-Farrell in Accessibility Services assist students individually and confidentially in understanding the process for requesting academic, housing, or dining accommodations.

If you would like to request accommodations, be sure to complete the “Disability Notification/Accommodations” form in the New Student Checklist on your WesPortal. We also encourage any student with questions to contact Accessibility Services to discuss their needs.

Image of Dean Laura Patey; a smiling woman in a blue shirt.
Dean Laura Patey

Image of Crystal Rose Hill-Farrell; a smiling woman in a black cardigan and a blue blouse.
Crystal Rose Hill-Farrell