Wesleyan has a vibrant living-learning community that values the independence and responsibility students have in their intellectual and residential life. The Honor Code is in place to help ensure academic integrity and the Code of Non-Academic Conduct exists to help students navigate their new community. Both seek to ensure a community where students can pursue their educational goals. The Honor Code and Code of Non-Academic Conduct tutorial is designed to help students gain a better understanding of the expectations and the processes regarding violations of each Code. It is online as of today, August 3, and must be submitted by August 25. For more information, see the Student Handbook.
SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING TO WESLEYAN?
The month before college starts is a great time to begin thinking about what to bring to school. Wesleying, the student-run blog, posts an annual packing list for first-year students. This is their one from last year, but keep your eyes out for the most current post.
Wesleying’s post is extensive, and honestly I don’t have everything on their list (what even are drawer liners?), but just make sure, at the bare minimum, you bring: sheets/blankets/pillows, medications, a towel, shampoo/soap, shower shoes, and clothes appropriate for all seasons (you’re going to need shorts, but also a warm winter coat/snow boots). If you were assigned to one of the dorms with no air conditioning, such as the Butterfields or Nicolson, a fan is a must. It can be hot in Middletown in both September and May.
The school supplies you should bring to college are much more flexible. Think about what type of materials you used in high school. Did you like using notebooks? Three-ring binders? Your computer? I personally prefer a cheap 1-subject notebook and folder for each class. Walmart sells notebooks during school supply season for 19 CENTS! But if you know that you prefer binders, journals, composition books, the back of napkins, by all means, bring those. Also, this year I have discovered the wonderful uses of multicolored pens for studying, and it changed my life. You can get a pack of eight different colors for $2.35 (also at Walmart). I have been using these for the past year and none of them have run out yet!
If you know that you prefer to take notes on your computer, it would still be a good idea to bring a few notebooks and folders just in case you change your mind. Also, occasionally professors will not allow you to use your laptop in class.
Additionally, keep in mind that a planner is a must for college, whether it’s on your phone or a physical one. Every year Wesleyan supplies free planners to students. Last year you could just pick one up at Usdan (the main dining hall). The free ones are usually nice and have both weekly and monthly calendars.
If you are working on a tight budget, or just prefer to be more sustainable, consider going to Waste Not, the annual sale of lightly used items. The sale usually occurs the weekend before classes start. They have mini-fridges, microwaves, chairs, rugs, etc.
If you forget anything, no worries, you are within walking distance of Rite Aid, as well Weshop, and you can order things from Amazon/wherever to the package center. But keep in mind that the package lines can be absurdly long the first few days of classes, so try and avoid ordering too much stuff online in those first few weeks unless you like chilling in lines.
Lastly, Faisal wrote a PA blog post about packing a few years ago that may also be helpful to read. He suggests investing in a three-hole punch if you like to use binders, which I concur is smart.
Those are my quick tips for packing. If you have any questions about what to bring to Wesleyan, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Jackie Leete ’19, Academic Peer Advisor
Use this time to begin exploring the Wesleyan curriculum through WesMaps, Wesleyan’s online curriculum, and Wesvising, as a course selection advising tool. It is a site developed by faculty members in the different departments, programs, and colleges to inform incoming students about their disciplines and the courses they offer. Most departments have videos and all departments have helpful FAQs to guide you as you develop your plan of study.
Like most students, you will end up with way too many courses on your planning list, but keep them in mind in case your plans change or you want to take them another semester.
The key word is EXPLORE, as Professor Szegedy-Maszak advises, so take advantage of this time and Wesvising to do so!
College life can be exciting, but it will differ significantly from your past experience. New environments, new friends, new classes, new ideas, new experiences are yours for the taking. And while there is familiarity with being a student, since that’s what you’ve been doing for most of your life, 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. While it may seem a little early to be thinking about this, keep in mind these few suggestions for managing the transition:
- 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!
- 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 at Wesleyan’s great athletic facilities. 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!
Catch a Learning & Living Seminar–ENGL150-02, PHIL281-01, RELI230-01–by applying before Thursday, June 29 at 5 p.m. These are three of the many First Year Seminars offered, but these are the only three where classmates will be housed in the same residential hall. The living proximity provides the opportunity for greater intellectual community and collaboration outside the classroom, which in turn adds greater depth to the discussions in the classroom and an enriched experience overall.
Enrolling in a L&L seminar is neither an advantage or disadvantage in terms of res hall assignments. L&L students will learn their housing assignments at the same time all other students do.
The L&L instructors are enthusiastic about the collaborative assignments they have designed and look forward to working with the course members outside the classroom as well as within. This is a great opportunity to work more closely with one of Wesleyan’s excellent faculty members.
Check out the entire list of FYS to make sure that you are solidly in for an L&L seminar, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Dean Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-685-2758.
First-year seminars are writing intensive courses that introduce students to a variety of topics ranging from Greek myth to neuroscience. Some treat a specific religion (e.g., Islam or Buddhism); others provide a sweeping introduction into an interdisciplinary area of study that may be new to first-year students (e.g., science in society). All of these seminars, however, emphasize the importance of writing at the university level. Students in first-year seminars become familiar with the methods used to collect, interpret, analyze, and present evidence as part of a scholarly argument. Faculty teaching these classes also highlight the type of writing associated with their respective disciplines, and help students develop, compose, organize, and revise their writing. All first-year seminars have assignments totaling at least 20 pages, and feature oral or written feedback on student writing; many also employ peer-mentoring and writing tutors. First-year seminars are limited to 15 students. Click here for a complete list.
All new students who are interested in taking math, music theory or language courses should take the appropriate placement exams by Thursday, June 29 at 5 p.m.. To access the exams, login to your Wesportal and click on “Placement Exams” in the “Orientation News & Checklist” bucket. You will then be redirected to Moodle, where you can choose the exams you wish to take. They are nothing to be anxious about as they are only used to help indicate the right level of course content and challenge. Let Dean Brown know if you have any problems or concerns.