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Wesleyan University

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Wesleyan is, without a doubt, a fantastic placeBrightPsychology
Wesleyan is, without a doubt, a fantastic place to be an undergraduate. I left a smaller, much more highly ranked liberal arts school (think top-three) because I felt stifled by both the academic and social options, and I think it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Wesleyan, to me, is so unique because of it's brilliant, unique, artistic, laid-back, open-minded, kind, off-beat and one-of-a-kind student body. This is a campus where people really give a damn and really take initiative, and because of that the social and extracurricular lives here thrive. Obviously, there are a good number of not-too-friendly hipsters and a contingent of stereotypical "jocks," but they do NOT dominate the social scene or define Wesleyan in any meaningful way. Furthermore, the vast, vast majority of people I've met--regardless of what label I might apply to them, which is a silly and closeminded practice anyway--seem to have intellectual integrity and sincere passions, which comes across in the lion's share of the courses I've taken.

Professors by-and-large are wonderful as well, and it's unusually easy to get involved with research early on in your undergraduate years. By the beginning of my junior year, I had second authorship on a psychology publication in a major research journal, which will be an asset when grad school app season rolls around. What's more, most professors are kind, accessible, truly interested in their students and doing interesting work, and this--combined with the unique spirit of the student body--keeps intellectualism alive and well at Wes.

Perhaps the best thing about the intellectual life, though, is how casual it often feels. I feel like I can easily have conversations about ideas, theories, news, etc. while still discussing "stupid," or silly, or otherwise non-intellectual topics and everything just bleeds together. There are certainly people here who probably come across as pretentious ivory-tower types, but they are few and far between, and I'm not close friends with any of them. I'm lucky enough to have friends who are simultaneously brilliant (in a non-intimidating way), laid-back, creative, kind, sincere, adventurous, open-minded and world-expanding--something I expected at my previous alma mater, but found MUCH more of here.

Other great things: beautiful on-campus movie theater that plays everything from obscure art films to new Hollwood blockbusters ($5 2 nights/wk; free the other two); great concerts and art of all sorts; cafeteria food is very high-quality for a college...FOR A COLLEGE...and there's always something at least palatable, plus the meal plan includes plenty of points for the great on-campus grocery store; relatively diverse and international student body; woods and streams and waterfalls within walking/biking/running distance; Middletown is a sweet little community with plenty of social problems to explore and address; if you're curious in exploring the psychedelic world, or at least the clouds, that's easy and accepted; fairly attractive student body; Foss Hill is BEAUTIFUL on a nice day; program and senior housing system can be awesome).Not-so-great things: wealth and white privilege; so-so administration that can make problematic decisions at times; cost of tuition; potential administrative attempts to take the weird out of Wes and make it another Williams/Amherst (manifested by things like anti-chalking rules), though I don't really think this is going to happen; portion of the student body that is loud, smashes bottles on the sidewalks, things like that, but they're at every school, and not a big portion of Wes; hmmm struggling to think of other things)

3rd Year Male -- Class 2015
Social Life: A+, Faculty Accessibility: A-
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Wesleyan helped because it has a great reputationOther
Wesleyan helped because it has a great reputation that will at times be noticed on a resume. (Of course some have not heard of it at all, it is a bit under the radar). In addition, equally important is that the academics are first rate and you will gain skills like critical thinking and excellent writing skills and challenged. The atmosphere on campus is intellectually open and serious which is great. I do think there should be more emphasis on some job skills, perhaps majors like social work or journalism. It's very hard to get a job with a liberal arts B.A., now more than when I graduated. In addition, the social scene at Wesleyan may not be to everyone's liking. It's small, and people are very "respectful" and tolerant, but not exactly friendly per se. Students are very mature and independent and go their own way. This may not be the ideal atmosphere for every college freshmen still in their teens. There was also quite a significant amount of drinking and even more so drug use, also not to every student's taste, making the atmosphere not so comfortable for all. The political correctness can get oppressive at times as well. As for me, I'm glad I gained what I did from Wesleyan, but I wouldn't choose it again. I think I could have had a happier college experience elsewhere.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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History/Histories (art history/etc.)
I just want to say that I posted the above review, but my year of graduation was 1986, not 2000.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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