The following reviews are the views of students or alumni at this school and are unrelated to the school data and other editorial content on usnews.com. These reviews neither reflect nor impact a school's position within the Best Colleges rankings.
Wesleyan is a school full of truly engaged students. Students are very progressive, politically involved and active in a whole variety of extracurricular activities including the arts (particularly film), comedy, theater, and many, many others. Students are also an extremely intellectual group, meaning they are very intellectually engaged outside of the classroom. Classes are small, and for the most part Wesleyan students are extremely happy at the school.
i think wesleyan is filled with many different types of people. i find that most people come into wes and find their niche somewhere. there are a lot of motivated, interesting, wonderful people at this school. almost everyone is passionate about something and willing to share their experiences and extend their services. wesleyan, while definitely a "bubble" (people rarely leave campus to go to nyc/newhaven to go out), is a wonderful, experimental environment. students are entrusted to pursue experiences at their own will and i think thats the best and most important thing about the environment and administrative policies. i think a lot of people are molded by the school in one way or another. when they leave wesleyan, they realize the impact of their school, and i think that most times, they take pride in the people they have become. one thing i would not really expect is to be exposed to many different diverse culture unless you go out and pursue it. while there are a lot of different cultures contributing to the student body, i find it is diffcult to find their backgrounds mixing much.
I'm a transfer student from a much larger, public institution and to me it seems as though Wesleyan's size is very well suited to fostering and enabling community. It's not big enough for you to feel insignificant or lost and it's not so small that you get tired of the student body. Wesleyan does live up to it's reputation for weirdness, but it's an endearing weird and one that you'll find you miss when you go home.
You go to an all-girls school? is the reaction of, hmm, 70% of people when they hear that I go to Wesleyan. No, Wesleyan is not Wellesley, and there are plenty of boys at Wesleyan. Some have also heard about the clothing-optional dorm. I'd like to clear this up a little - although limited residences (and I'm sure, private residences) have the option of voting to be clothing-optional, Wesleyan students don't walk around naked. Although, a few walk around barefoot in the good weather, and there is the occasional streaker. And one of my favorite moments at school was when the entire library decided to trick an afternoon tour into thinking that Wesleyan studies naked. (If you were on that tour - we keep our clothes on most of the time and we have a great sense of humor and community.) I think the reason I came to Wesleyan and the reason I don't regret that decision is the fact that there are so many amazing souls on campus. The kind of people that you just connect with - that remember witty inside jokes and have wisdom and experiences a lot of people our age don't. Every semester is a different experience, and it is what you make it. I know you probably hear this a lot. However, it is the truth. The people you hang out with, where you live, what you spend your time doing, what classes you pick, what food you eat, where you travel, are all things you can mold at Wesleyan to give you the best time ever.
I absolutely loved Wesleyan. The best thing was the other students - passionate, brilliant, wildly creative, and totally impressive, but by and large so much more down to earth and fun than kids I've met at, say, Ivy League schools, who I often (not always, of course) found to be more uptight, self-important, etc. Middletown is cute and nice, but people don't spend that much time there, which I didn't mind at all. There's more amazing stuff happening on campus than you could ever actually attend anyways, and if you want, you can always go to NYC for a weekend. Wesleyan controversies typically revolve around identity politics (race/class/gender/sexuality). That stuff gets really, really intense on campus. Wesleyan is super progressive on gender and sexuality issues (by the end of freshman year, nobody I knew even believed in gender any more). It's definitely a bit of a bubble, but I thought it was great. There's tons of pride about Wesleyan being weird and radical. Under the past president (Bennett), there was also a pretty widespread impression that Wesleyan's administration was actively trying to mainstream-ify the character of the student body, supposedly for financial reasons (activists and artists don't make a very strong alumni donor base), but I've heard that the new president (a Wes alum himself) appears to have a stronger commitment to keeping Wesleyan unique, diverse, etc.
Wesleyan is lot more open to ideas of the non traditional/ the non status quo than other Universities and I think that that is a positive. I would make Wesleyan larger and I would have Wesleyan be in possession of a larger endowment so that the many students who can not go here anymore because of financial reasons or who have graduate school loans because of Wesleyan's poor finaid could actually successful attend and graduate from Wesleyan
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