Thoughts from a Peer Advisor: Tips and Tricks for NSO

Tips and Tricks for NSO

Welcome to Wes!  We hope you are getting excited to come to campus for New Student Orientation (NSO).  NSO is a whirlwind of activities, new friends, and unique opportunities—but it can also feel like a tornado of messy dorm rooms, strange new buildings, and first-day-of-school nerves that you haven’t experienced since middle school.  To help you manage the wonderful chaos that is NSO, take a look at these tips and tricks:

Exchange phone numbers with everyone!  NSO is a busy time, and it’s likely that you’ll meet someone you get along with, agree to get a meal sometime, and then not run into them for another week.  It is so helpful to have peoples’ phone numbers, especially in the first couple days when you’re still learning how to navigate campus. 

Accept Facebook friend requests from Wesleyan students, even if you don’t know them!  You never know when you are going to need to contact someone about homework, a club, or a campus activity.  It will make your life easier if you’ve established these connections from the start.

Take your key EVERYWHERE.  Get into the habit of taking it with you to the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen.  One accidental lockout can throw a wrench in your plans.  The good news is that if you do find yourself locked out, the RAs and Public Safety are always very understanding and helpful.

Buy containers and shelves that fit under your bed.  Dorm rooms aren’t too big, so making use of this storage space is essential.

Explore your options when buying books for class.  Wesleyan’s bookstore is a great resource for school and dorm supplies in addition to books—and you can pay with Middletown Cash.  However, there are other vendors that offer most of the same books and sometimes at a cheaper price, including Amazon, BookRenter, and AbeBooks.  If you don’t have your books on the first day of class, do not worry.  Professors understand that the first two weeks of school are a “shopping period,” during which students are figuring out what classes they want to take.  Professors will often post the textbook readings online for the first couple of classes, so you do not need to stress about falling behind.

Attend NSO activities!  It’s the “cool” thing to do, I promise.  There is so much to be gained by simply attending these events.  From meaningful conversations about bystander intervention to a gender-bender dance party, NSO offers something for everyone.  These activities are built to give you the resources and confidence to ensure a successful start to the year.  You’ll learn about campus, you’ll make friends, and you’re guaranteed to have fun.

Lastly, but importantly…

It is okay to feel lonely.  NSO is an incredibly exciting time, but being surrounded by so many new faces and new activities might feel daunting.   If you ever feel lost, we can guarantee that you are NEVER the only one feeling that way.  Everyone comes to campus with doubts and reservations, though some might hide it better than others.  One of the most valuable parts of NSO is that it provides a comfortable space to address these feelings.  We cannot promise that you will never feel lonely or homesick.  But we can promise that if you ever do feel this way, you will always have the entire Wesleyan community in your corner, for the next four years and beyond.

Elisa Greenberg ’18, Academic Peer Advisor

Reminder–FYM Reading of Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Dear New Wesleyan Students,

Be prepared to share your thoughts and ideas when faculty, administrators, and fellow students engage you in conversation about Citizen: An American Lyric by MacArthur Genius grant-winning poet Claudia Rankine on Friday, September 1 of New Student Orientation.

All information regarding FYM 2021 can be found at: http://wesleyan.edu/orientation/first_year_matters.html.

The themes associated with Citizen are thought provoking and may challenge your thought and beliefs…so please be prepared!  For questions about accessing the text, contact the Summer Interns via 860-685-5666 or orientation@wesleyan.edu.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and we’ll see you in late August.

Kevin M. Butler, Assistant Dean of Students

Academic Reflection Essay — Do It!

If you have not had a chance to do your Academic Reflection Essay, located in your “Orientation Checklist & Resources,”  make sure that you complete and submit it in within the next week.  It is a good exercise in processing the past as you think about the future and helps you to focus in on how best to take advantage of your educational opportunities at Wes.

Although essay submission was requested for last month (ahem), this is the chance to get started on the right path.

First Year Matters Reading: Citizen

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in our twenty-first-century daily lives and in the media. Some of these encounters are slight, seemingly slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV – virtually everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our accountability in these situations is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.

But what can we, as students, faculty members, staff, and administrators learn from Citizen, and, more importantly, what changes can we make after processing the deep, profound issues and messages that Rankine poses? As incoming freshman, you will take part in an ongoing dialogue with one another and with your mentors about both slight and overt racial aggression, and it is of the utmost importance that you learn how you might be contributing to or fighting back against these aggressions. Take the time to read and process Citizen, make an effort to understand how and why Rankine attempts to expose every day racism, and, most importantly, be ready to discuss this with your peers and mentors.

First Year Matters is an invaluable medium through which we can see whole new sides of issues like racism, and everyone stands to learn something about their own responsibility in our current racial moment. Citizen sheds light on everyday racism, both obvious and hidden, so in your discussions about Rankine’s message (or messages), take the time to appreciate how these mechanisms of racism play a role in your life, or, how they may not.

We hope you enjoy this First Year Matters selection, and we cannot wait for you to be a part of the ongoing discussion of 21st century racism and how we can effect change.

Aidan Winn ’18, Academic Peer Advisor

Summer Sendoff Gatherings! Meet new classmates!

Summer Sendoffs 2017

All members of the Wesleyan community are invited to attend Summer Sendoff gatherings. These casual socials are hosted by alumni and parents and are the perfect opportunity to welcome our newest students and their families to Wesleyan. Sendoffs are currently scheduled for:

Atlanta, GA, June 20th

Austin, TX, July 16th

Bay Area, CA, July 16th

Boston, MA, July 19th

Chicago, IL, August 15th

Fairfield County, CT, August 10th

Hong Kong, China, July 7th

Los Angeles, CA, July 15th

Mamaroneck, NY, July 20th

New York, NY, August 3rd

Philadelphia, PA, August 3rd

Ridgewood, NJ, July 26th

Seattle, WA, August 3rd

Seoul, Korea, July 1st

Washington, D.C., TBD

Worcester, MA, July 20th

Added locations, event details, and registration can be found on the Summer Sendoff website.

Questions?  Contact Jenna Starr in University Relations at jstarr@wesleyan.edu

                    We hope to see you there!

Welcome!!

thCAFHI30BWelcome to Wesleyan,

Class of 2021!!

We are thrilled that you will be joining the Wesleyan community this fall.  In preparation for that, you will be receiving two emails today:

1) one with your email address, user name and password from Paul Turenne, the senior associate registrar, so check your spam if you do not receive it; and

2) one with information about the Orientation Checklist from the Orientation Interns, from whom you will be receiving weekly emails every Thursday.

One of the first things to check out after the above are the Learning and Living Seminars.  These are three First-Year Seminars where students enrolled in the course also live together in the same residential hall.  This living proximity promotes more opportunity for intellectual life outside the classroom, which in turn, enriches discussion within it.  Sign-up for a Learning and Living Seminar ends on June 29, so check them out now!