- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Spanish
- Gender: F
- High School: Providence Christian Academy
- Transfer Student: N
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 has tough academics. Almost everyone was the "smart kid" in high school so it is a competitive atmosphere. If you're up for a challenge you'll do fine here. I love the foreign language department because languages fascinate me. I'm about to leave for the summer study abroad program Wheaton in Spain and I expect that that will be really helpful for my fluency and really amazing as far as cultural experience goes. The classes at Wheaton are hard for the most part and require alot of work outside of class. Most people, especially girls I've noticed, are pretty studious, but not to the point where they don't like to have fun too. You just have to find your group of people who study about as much as you do and play as much as you do. When I have really stressful nights with alot of work, my friends usually stay up with me while I do it. We know who has what work each week and we support each other. If someone has a really stressful night or does badly on a test we usually go out and get them a cheer up present like their favorite candy or some caffeine if they need to stay up late studying. Wheaton students are mostly pretty intellectual and that's been good for me. I'm challenged to think deeply alot of the time. I do more deep thinking outside of class than I do in class. As a language major, in class I'm usually thinking of how to say something. Outside of class I talk with my friends about deeper things and I really get to think about what I believe and why. It's definitely a very academic, studious atmosphere but there is also support and fun to be had whenever you want.
Wheaton students are from all over the country and the world. Almost all of my friends have lived overseas at some point in their lives. Of my group of friends there are people from every region of America and people who have lived at some point in their lives in England, Scotland, Bolivia, Honduras, Africa, Italy, the Middle East, Australia, Asia, France, Norway, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and the list goes on. It's great, especially because I am extremely interested in culture and language and exploring the world, to be able to talk to people who have had so many multicultural experiences. True, the majority of Wheaton students are caucasian, but that doesn't seem to hold them back as far as cultural experience goes. I think for the most part Wheaton students are very globally minded. Most of us really want to get out in the world and understand other cultures and be a light to the world, helping as many people in our lives as we can. Most of my friends and I want to live in other countries for at least part of our lives and work to help people in some capacity. I think spending four years in an environment like Wheaton really helps make you culturally aware and aware of what is going on in the world and how you can help.
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