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

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

Preparing to Meet Your Faculty Advisor

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.

For more information, please see the Faculty and Student Advising Handbook.

Enrolling in the University and Resolving Action Items

Starting on Monday, August 30, at 8:30 a.m. EDT you will be required to enroll in the University. To enroll, login to WesPortal, click through the yellow alert banner at the top of the page, then click on the “Enroll Me” button.  Please be aware that you will not be able to participate in drop/add until you have enrolled in the University.  You must enroll in the University by Friday, September 17, at 11:59 p.m.

In addition to enrolling, you must resolve any holds in your list of Action Items.  To access your list, go to:

Portal > Enrollment Checklist & Addresses > Hold/Enroll

Instructions on how to resolve each action item are provided on the page.  Many action items can be resolved with a simple click of the mouse!

All action items must be resolved by Friday, September 10, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.  Please be aware that you will still be able to participate in drop/add even if you have unresolved action items (as long as you have already enrolled in the University using the “Enroll Me” button).

Tips for Student Athletes

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

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

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

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

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

Checklist:

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

What to Pack for Your First Semester at Wesleyan!

By Cyann Byfield ’23

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

Category One: Clothing

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

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

Category Two: Dorm Supplies

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

Category Three: Academic Supplies

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

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

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.

Getting Involved on Campus!

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

One of the most anticipated events of the year is the “Student Involvement Fair.”  This is your opportunity to learn about the hundreds of clubs and organizations Wesleyan has to offer.  You can meet student leaders, join a group, and get some free stuff!  Mark your calendars for Friday, September 10th 3pm, the event will be under the big tent outside of Usdan.

“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!

To learn more check out the Student Involvement Website or email us at involvement@wesleyan.edu.

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.

Religious and Spiritual Life on Campus – ORSL Survey

Wesleyan is very diverse when it comes to religious and spiritual identities. In order to better understand and support students from 2025, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) requests that you fill out the Religious and Spiritual Life survey in WesPortal which will take less than 30 seconds. For more info:
https://www.wesleyan.edu/orsl/index.html.

Welcome from Cardinal Tech!

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.