“I tried to look around myself more critically, and… shit, it was just as awesome a place I’ve always thought.”
This year, for the first time ever, we asked prefrosh to send in their impressions of WesFest for publication on Wesleying. Our first guest post comes from Chris Gortmaker ’17, an Early Decision prefrosh from Belmont, Massachusetts. Feel free to leave a comment, but don’t be an asshole. Here’s Chris:
Wesfest was awesome, but really, I wouldn’t have expected anything less. As an ED1 admit, I went to Wesfest without any doubts as to where I’d be spending my next four years. My decision was in, and my two-and-a-half days on campus did nothing but affirm my choice. The fellow prefrosh I met were consistently great people, and everything from Battle of the Bands at Eclectic to wine and cheese (the cheese notoriously absent) at WestCo kicked my ass with just how right it felt.
My sense of belonging stayed with me throughout, but was put somewhat into perspective at the Wednesday night comedy show in the Nics Lounge. A stand-up comedian whose name I forget—I do recall that he, in full police officer garb and brandishing a nightstick, endearingly harassed me later that night in WestCo—brought up an interesting point at the beginning of his act. He proclaimed that Wesleyan was in all respects the best school there was, and that all of us prefrosh present would be crazy not to choose Wes. I heard my own voice in his, as I had been saying things along these lines all day to the other prefrosh I met. Sarcasm began to creep into his voice as he exaggerated, blowing up his praise for Wesleyan to an absurd extent. He exclaimed, “Wow, what is this—a cult?”
In its comedy and insightfulness, this observation opened my eyes for a moment. As an ED admit, I wasn’t viewing WesFest from a perspective that a more skeptical Regular Decision admit might have; I saw Wes as my definite future and there was no need for critical observation. I tried to look around myself more critically, and… shit, it was just as awesome a place as I’ve always thought. My experiences of Foss-lounging, a cappella, slam poetry, parliamentary debate, and just straight-up Wes banter were everything I’d hoped they would be. Especially the sassy guy who made me a smoothie in the Usdan Cafe. I’ve never been served a beverage like that before.
I’m sure that in my next four years I’ll discover a number of things I don’t like at Wes, but for now I’m happy to be part of the cult. Why wouldn’t I be? I know that I’ve picked an awesome school for myself when my main issue is finding an issue to write about and issue to the student blog for their latest issue. When you repeat any word enough times it becomes weird. “Issue” is definitely one of those words, but I digress.
Thank you, Wes, for the great time last week!
All photos via Olivia Drake and the Wesleyan Connection.