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Now I love Wheaton but that wasn't always true. My freshman year I struggled alot. I wasn't happy there and I wanted to transfer. In the end, most of that was my own fault. I'm a shy person and I didn't reach out to make friends. I had never moved far away and had to make new friends before so I didn't know what I was doing. I basically shut down and didn't let people in and just focused on getting good grades. That, ultimately, is not a fulfilling lifestyle. This year was so much better. I changed what activities I was involved in, not because my old ones were bad, just because I needed a change somewhere and that was all I could think to do. Because of this, I had more time for people and I spent this year making some great friends and really investing in them. The people at Wheaton are amazing! If you take the time to get to know them and really go deep in your conversations, you'll find incredible friends. My friends are like my family now and saying goodbye to them for the summer was really hard. We sit up late almost every night talking about life and about what we want to do. When the weather is nice we play outside. When it's not nice (sadly, most of the time), we stay inside and talk, eat, play music, or play games together. Our little group is like a little community and we really rely on each other on a daily basis. This is the kind of community I was looking for when I came to Wheaton. It took me awhile to find it but once I did it was so worth it and I wouldn't transfer for anything!
Wheaton's great if you like the conveniences of a nearby large city with the security and quaintness of a wealthy suburban neighborhood. Recently there has been a big controversy on campus that has made national news. The school has a policy that if a faculty or staff member is going through a divorce, they must talk about it with the administration. Well, a very popular professor on campus recently resigned because he didn't want to talk about a divorce he is going through. It's a difficult situation because no one wants him to leave, and no one thinks he should have to. In my opinion, the rule is in place because we are at a Christian institution and employees are expected to live up to or at least try to live up to Christ's standards. Now, I certainly don't think a divorce should cause someone to be fired, but I definitely think it isn't unreasonable to request that the employee talk about his divorce. How else would you know if a prof was just running away from his wife and children to marry some young, former student or something of the sort? At a Christian institution you have to have boundaries somewhere.
Wheaton, first of all, is gorgeous. When people come to visit, they often either come in the fall or spring; in the fall, beautiful flowers fill the potting beds, the weather is just right, and the sun shines plenty. In the spring, tulips and violets are pushing up everywhere, just about every tree manages to bloom, and even the occasional thunderstorm make the place more wonderful. The students know the truth. The winter - six of the eight months at Wheaton - is brutally cold and not all the pretty. In many ways, that's how the time at Wheaton is. At first, it's the fall - where everything that's been planted in the past years of your life seem to fit just right. And when you leave, honestly, it seems like everything is blooming and blossoming and coming out just right. But between the coming and going lies a few years of a lot of confusion. It's taking strong, conservative Christian values and learning to live a real broken, hurt and twisted world with them. It's falling in love with God while trying to forgive your roommate for hurting you in a way. It's realizing that Wheaton, with all the beauty and perfection, is full of real people who often get in the way of the beauty. Things seem almost too good to be true - a perfect college town, really built up around the college, a beautiful campus, so very close to Chicago, Professors who seem to be the best people in the world, and students who are bright and attractive. But, like always, brokenness will get in the way and lead to disenchantment. Very, very quickly. I love Wheaton.
Area: I love the area of Wheaton for the most part. The campus is beautiful in all the seasons. It still takes my breath away on certain days. Don't be fooled however if you visit the campus in the spring or the fall. Winter is cruel cruel cruel. There really is always something to do if you want. The train into Chicago is only five dollars round trip on weekends and is right on campus. Downtown weekend is half a mile away and has nice restaurants. On campus there will often be some sort of student government event, play, improv show, etc. Find a group a friends and just do everything with them. Food: The food really is very good which sets Wheaton apart because I always heard that college food was supposed to suck. Best thing about Wheaton: If you are at all into acting TRY OUT FOR WORKOUT. it has absolutely been the highlight of my college experience.
Now that I am home after my first year of Wheaton, I can say that it has been a very positive and life-changing experience. I can't imagine going to college anywhere else. The best thing about Wheaton is the people you'll meet. There are a lot of real, down-to-earth students and a good number of strong Christians, but you'll also meet a lot of people who are struggling with their faith as well. When I first got to the college, I expected people to be spiritually mature and very serious about their faith, but this simply isn't true of every person. You will meet people who are, but there will still be a significant amount of people who are just there because their parents want them there, or because they grew up in a Christian family and their faith has just become something they're comfortable with. However, there are many opportunities to challenge and sharpen yourself in the faith.
The best thing about Wheaton is the people, hands down. This really is a community that desires to serve God, not only with their academics and theology, but also with their relationships and every other part of their lives. The only thing I'd change about Wheaton is how cold it is most of the time - my winter coat and boots become my favorite fashion statements. There are Wheaton people everywhere! It seems like everyone I know has a cousin, middle school english teacher, next door neighbor, or whatever else who went to Wheaton. Going to Wheaton places you into a huge global community of alums, professors, and more.
Amy JuniorReviews provided by: Unigo