“I had an incredibleMay 03 2013English
“If you're a serious evangelical Chistian, Wheaton isDec 18 2011Philosophy
The social life is good, though you have to be proactive to get involved. I highly recommend a summer program like HoneyRock or Wheaton in the Holy Lands to get the full Wheaton experience. Your friends will be very intelligent but usually fun loving. Theyre not as lame as the administration would like your parents to believe. Be prepared to a lot of late night academic conversations, and be prepared to be challenged as much by your peers as your professors.
Additionally, the number of missionary kids (mks) at Wheaton is one of the schools hidden gems. The importance of a worldwide, global emphasis is truly special at Wheaton, making the largely (though by no means completely) conservative student body far more flavorful and open minded than you might expect. Wheaton is a community as much as a school; be prepare for it.
Travel with a Wheaton program! You won't regret it.
Go to Wheaton! It's a great school and its relatively small number of graduates show up in important places all over the world!
“Wheaton is perhaps the most highly academic collegeDec 07 2011Philosophy
Incoming freshmen are stoutly conservative and lean towards closed minded. But a highly thoughtful and challenging faculty breaks most students of this within a couple of years - many (not all) students remain conservative, but they know why and they are more engaging than the conservative evangelical stereotype.
I had a wonderful experience with students at Wheaton, who as a whole are supportive, open, and highly intelligent. The athletes can be cliquish, and don't get a ton of student support. Students spend a ton of time studying, and little time out and around. There is a "Wheaton Bubble" you hear about from early on. But students have a lot of opportunity to socialize, though in pretty tame and non-edgy ways. If you like to party and drink, Wheaton is NOT for you, just know that coming in. There is an underground party movement at Wheaton, but only 10-15% of students ever experience it (I was one for a time) and most of them are 21+ upperclassmen.
As for coursework, get ready to work. You will have a ton of reading and writing, and serious labwork if you are a science major (I was Philosophy/premed). But the work is very helpful and meaningful, very rarely is there much busywork. And faculty are very available to help, though you do have to be proactive about seeking help. If you want to study humanities or theology, Wheaton is incredible. The science department is shockingly serious and professional for a Christian school. The social sciences are above average though not quite as strong as science and humanities. Business classes are average and the students less inspired as a whole than the rest of the school. The art department is below average. And if you didnt know, Wheaton has a large and active music cobservatory, and a good number of your peers will be conservies.
The administration is far, far more stodgy the faculty and students, and if you are in any way progressive, it will bother you. Still, they are far from judgmental and you won't be discriminated against. My brother is gay and at Wheaton, and while he's had some issues, he says he would certainly return. The students are especially kind and supportive to him, even if they don't agree with an active gay lifestyle.
Wheaton has some wonderful summer and study abroad programs. Among the best are Wheaton in the Holy Lands (which is bar-none the best Holy Lands summer program around), Honduras Project, Youth Hostel Program in Europe, and the programs at HoneyRock and the Black Hills science station. I highly recommend these programs, they are absolutely life changing. Classic study abroad programs are referred to outside agencies, and don't expect the credits earned to be much use. But the summer study programs off campus, and the social justice type extracurriculars are truly outstanding.
Here's my bottom line. If you're militantly liberal, or dead set on partying or living an alternative lifestyle, dont come. If you don't want to work hard or plan to study fine arts, look elsewhere. But I obviously loved Wheaton, and I made some wonderful friends and took huge steps forward into a deeper academic life. Expect to work, and expect to have a good time, with a little effort. Expact to question your faith and your beliefs, and to go a little crazy because of it. Expect to have your mind forced open. Expect to get involved and spend some summers in Wheaton programs if you want the full Wheaton experience. With some effort and sweat and courage, Wheaton is a place where a Christian can grow like nowhere else in the world. I highly recommend it. Please email me if you have specific questions!