Category Archives: Unofficial Orientation

Unofficial Orientation 2023: Dorm Life FAQ

Holly and Xue wrote the first version of this post in 2006 and it has been reposted every year since then. Dorm Life never changes much. Unless Fauver becomes Bennett (wow this joke is old). (Or unless Clark goes on fire a few times) (Or unless the Butts get flooded on the very first night of freshmen orientation)

Pictured: A bright-eyed young freshman shakes his groove thang, eager to impress his lofty peers. Taken by Rachel Pincus '13.

Pictured: A bright-eyed young freshman shakes his groove thang, eager to impress his lofty peers. Taken by Rachel Pincus ’13. (this can be you too, just 10+ years later!)

This is part of our 2023 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Dear frosh of 2027,

As you are probably fretting about your first day of college, a sense of melancholy (or jittery excitement and increased WesAdmits activity, if you hated high school) has creeped up on you. Are you making lists of toiletries and getting boxes from Staples to pack your life into? Wondering how much action your soon-to-be bed has gotten in the past? A lot, probably.

But don’t be too frazzled. Before you finish your housing form, get your roommate(s) assignment, and make dorm Facebook groups that no one will check after October, Wesleying‘s here to answer your 40ish most pressing questions related to waking-up-and-instantly-having-200-or-so-of-your-peers-to-hang-out-with.

The pertinent FAQ doesn’t change much from year to year, so we tend to update/repost much of the original guide by Norse Goddess Holly-and-Xue ’08 (cuz it’s still damn good and we’re still damn lazy) every year. This re-vamped guide is up to date and full of Wesleyan lingo:

Unofficial Orientation 2023 is here!!

the above photograph was created with official photoshop software and certainly not instagram

Heya class of 2027!

(or you oldies— you’re welcome too)

Freshman orientation is approaching with rapid speed – perhaps this is the most exciting statement to you or perhaps it makes a pit of dread in your stomach. Either way, you are most likely buzzing with questions about every aspect of your new college life that is only a week or so away. What will I be eating? What are my dorms going to be like? Should I hookup with someone on my hall? (hint: not unless you hate yourself). Wtf is WesPlague, Eclectic House, the Butthole, and the Douglas Cannon??? (A personal zoomy favorite). FEAR NOT!! All these answers and so much more will be provided by Wesleying to help you with all your pre-departure needs. 

This year, in Wesleying tradition, we’re posting our Unofficial Orientation series to get you up to speed on all things Wes. And because we’re the cool kids, we’ll tell you all the juicy details that they don’t want you to hear at the real orientation. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the info-dump that is this series. For easy access, all articles will be linked here as they are posted:

You could also look at our Unofficial Orientation 2023 tag, and if you desire feel free to look back at past Unofficial Orientations

If you have any specific questions, post them as comments to this page or email! And if you like what you see and are interested in writing for Wesleying in the future, we’ll be having an interest meeting soon after the semester starts. Stay tuned for the deets! From all of us here at Wesleying, welcome to Wesleyan! We’re so glad you’re here :D


Unofficial Orientation 2022: Drop/Add Tips and Tricks

This is part of our 2021 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Disclaimer: While the tips introduced in this post can be applied universally, you should remember that your odds of getting into a class depend primarily not on your effort, but on the professor’s policies and how popular the class is (and, also, maybe how lucky you are). It’s pretty much impossible to convince a professor of an extremely popular class who simply won’t go over the limit to accept you into their class, even if you do absolutely everything right. But, trying can’t hurt, right?

Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of Unofficial Orientation. The focus of today’s episode will be mainly on the devil known as drop/add. If you don’t know what that is (seriously, how do you not know what that is yet?), the folks at the registrar’s office have provided this overview. During this period, students are able to add or drop pretty much any class to their schedule, regardless of the limits posed by pre-reg (however, your faculty advisor will have to approve an extension in your credit limit if you go above 4 credits). I also highly recommend you check out this FAQ, also kindly prepared by the registrar’s office, as a way to get the basics down before proceeding. This post will not be doing much explaining of Drop/Add itself. It will, however, try to warn you, innocent, unassuming frosh, about the reality of this brutal race and offer some insights (read: randomly gathered knowledge that may have been the results of embarrassing behaviors of the author (and past authors)).

Unofficial Orientation 2022: Health Resources

This is an update of the re-written, re-edited, and re-updated repost from 2018 which was a repost from 2017, although ~health things~ have remained (basically) the same. The original is an updated version of a post originally written by Catherine MacLean ’14 which appeared on Wesleying. It also includes a section on resources for survivors of sexual assault by Ryden Nelson ’16 and Chloe Murtagh ’15 and a section on the new support groups run by WeSupport by Veronica Harrington ’17.

This is part of our 2021 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Whether you’re a prefrosh or about to start your last semester at Wesleyan you will learn something new from this post (unless you’re a health center pro).

If you think you’re going to make it through four years of a liberal arts education without once having to find some medical support do I have news for you.  This guide is made with the help of some very knowledgeable people on campus, most who have already graduated. We have gone through the post and updated everything that needs updating so you can save yourself at least a little trouble when it comes to navigating the terrain that is the Wesleyan Medical Services.  Before we begin let me stress the need to wash your hands.

Unofficial Orientation 2022: First Year Classes

This is an update of un meli-melo’s post which was an update of Jackson‘s post from 2015, which was an update of skorn‘s post from 2014. Which was an update of DaPope‘s post from 2013. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, or some shit like that, right?


This is part of our 2022 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Take a nice deep breath in; at this point you’re either on-campus or just days away.  The excitement is tangible, new campus, new room, new people.  Before you get too wrapped up in your new freedom let’s talk about the real excitement: Your courses, the splendid garden that is Wesmaps, and what this year might be like academically.

I myself remember being confused by the process of choosing and then actually signing up for that class during my first semester so, hopefully, this post can provide a little clarity on the whole subject (and not the opposite).  Worst comes to worst just remember that most first-year classes are fairly big and your chances of getting into them are pretty high.

On that happy note, let’s dive right into this abyss!

Unofficial Orientation 2022: Eating and Drinking Things At Wes

This post is an updated version of Sam’s update which was an updated version of wilk’s Eating and Drinking orientation article.

This is part of our 2022 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Eating and drinking is a necessity for all living beings, even during your hazy college days. While we all have to adjust our food standards from delicious home-cooked meals to university food, trust me, it could be worse. This year Wesleyan is ranked #15 (we were demoted from #7, sad) in college food on Niche out of all the colleges in the U.S. so you know it’s going to be good. Wes has many options for dining that you can enjoy regardless of your dietary orientation. We’re even ranked #2 by One Green Planet for Most Vegan-Friendly Colleges. There’s a plethora of awesome vegan food and our friends at the Mongolian Grill are always willing to cook up a chicken tortilla topped with cheese if it’s protein that you want.

This is the part of the orientation series where we remind you to eat your veggies.


Unofficial Orientation 2022: Middletown Outings

This is an update of Meli’s update of wilk‘s update of his previous post!

This is part of our 2022 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Toto, we’re not in Bushwick anymore. You’ve now left the comfort of deep Brooklyn, as they call it, for the not-so-dissimilar milieu of Wesleyan. Just kidding, a vast majority of Weskids are from not-Brooklyn, not-LA, and not-Bay-Area, although it might seem otherwise.

For all of you from those (wonderful) places, and all of you from other places, Middletown is different than those places (shocking!). It was once the largest city in Connecticut, circa pre-war-of-1812. Can your hometown claim that title? Nah. Unless you’re from Middletown, in which case you are probably way more qualified than me to write this post.

While Wesleyan is fine and there is usually never a shortage of things to do on campus, Middletown and the surrounding area truly have some wonderful gems that are worth knowing about as you settle in and look for things to do other than vape on Foss.

And if you’re really bold and somehow have an abundance of time before finals arrive, there’s some cool shit beyond the local area too. Here’s our 2022 Outing guide!


Unofficial Orientation 2022: Jobs and Work Study

This is an update of Maury‘s update of fran’s post.

Good luck getting one of those coveted library desk jobs tho lol

This is part of our 2021 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Looking for a job? Here are some tips on where to look, who to ask, and the logistics of being a student employee.

What is work-study?

This is a quota that is included in some financial aid awards, and you can find out if you have it by checking your financial aid award letter. It’s an amount of money that the financial aid office expects you to work in order to contribute to your tuition. Some jobs on campus are work-study only since wages will be subsidized by the financial aid office or/and the federal government. This is beneficial for departments who are working on a limited budget. The wages you make from these jobs will be deposited into your bank account, but the financial aid office expects (although doesn’t require) you to use them to directly pay your tuition.

Work-study jobs will generally be marked as such, but if you have work-study you can earn that money at any campus job (whether or not it is marked as “work-study”). There are also certain volunteer opportunities on campus, like tutoring at Traverse Square, that work-study student can be paid for.

Important note: if you’re in a work-study position, you can only work for the number of hours your work-study allotment allows. If you exceed the number of hours it’s up to your supervisor if they want to continue employing you.

What if I’m not on work-study? Worry not, there are campus jobs available for you as well.

Unofficial Orientation 2022: Financial Aid

This is an update of Maury‘s update of fern‘s post. 

While we attempt to provide as much relevant and up-to-date information as possible please do not make decisions based on what you read here. All the most correct and comprehensive information will be found on Wesleyan’s Financial aid website. This article should only be used as a map to understand and point you towards relevant financial aid information. If you have any questions about financial aid contact the financial aid office using the contact information on their website.

This is part of our 2021 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

With a price tag of $85,202 for first years, $84,902 for sophomores and $85,628 for upperclassmen, there is no doubt that financial aid is a massive topic. In this article, we’ll try to spell out as much as possible and leave the relevant links so that you can have some understanding of how to go about making sense of financial aid.

Hopefully, you already know most of the stuff we’ll tell you here, especially given that the finaid deadlines have passed for this year. However, I’ll lay it for future reference.

It’s worth noting that financial aid is completely need-based, the office does not offer any merit scholarships. That being said, Wesleyan offers the Hamilton Prize in which new students can submit a piece of writing (“fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or other creative written expression” as the website says). The grand prize winner is granted a 4-year full-tuition scholarship and in each of the other categories (out of prose, poetry/song, screenplay/playwriting) an honorable mention is chosen to win a $5,000 stipend. Wesleyan also offers the Freeman Asian Scholarship Program which offers a merit-based full-tuition scholarship to one student from each of the following countries: People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

If you’re looking to find an estimate of how much Wesleyan will expect you to pay they offer a handy calculator. In the most basic sense financial aid is calculated by what is called “demonstrated need”. What that boils down to is (cost of attendance) – (the amount of money Wesleyan/the government think you can afford to pay).

The first thing you need to do is apply for financial aid. The process and deadlines change depending on who you are (i.e. a first-year student, a first-year international student, gap-year, returning student, etc.). You’ll find all the most up to date information on how to apply depending on who you are on Wesleyan’s financial aid website.

If you’re an undocumented or DACA student the process is similar, but you do not fill out the Federal Aid Application (FAFSA).

Using Outside Scholarships

If you’re receiving outside scholarships Wesleyan replaces your “self-help” portion of the financial aid package (this means the work-study and loans) with the money you’re receiving from your outside scholarship.

If your outside scholarship exceeds the “self-help” portion of your package then you can contact the financial aid office to have the amount put towards the school’s health insurance or towards a one-time laptop purchase (up to $1500).

If your outside scholarship still exceeds these amounts the financial aid office says that your Wesleyan scholarship will be adjusted “dollar for dollar”. Basically they won’t let the amount of money you’re getting from them plus any outside amount exceed the cost of attendance.


Part of your finaid package might include work-study. In your award letter, you will be given an amount of money that Wesleyan expects you to pay towards tuition from your work-study. However, wages from work-study jobs are paid to your own bank account and do not automatically go towards tuition.

Not all campus jobs are exclusively work-study. Even if work-study is not part of your financial aid package or you do not have financial aid you can get a job on campus. More on that in our article on student jobs.

Financial Aid Under COVID

If COVID-19 has effected your financial resources, the financial aid FAQ can point you to resources to help.

Unofficial Orientation 2022: Being Green

Another repost of a repost of a repost of a repost of a repost of Samira‘s two updates of DMZ‘s original 2012 post. Don’t worry, though, because this article is like those pine trees you’re gonna save by reducing your printing use: Evergreen.

This is part of our 2022 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

If you came to Wesleyan because of some vague, or obvious, interest in environmentalism, then you’re in luck! If you find the right people, organizations, classes, etc. then you’ll have a great support system for keeping green on campus. If you thought it was impressive that the admissions building has solar panels on top of it (mostly a ploy to get environmentalist students to apply), then you’ll have a great time getting involved with sustainability efforts at Wes.

First of all, Wesleyan has a sustainability coordinator, whose role is to help further Wesleyan’s mission of sustainability, including making things clearer to you. Her name is Jen Kleindienst and you can send her an email at jkleindienst(at)wes. For any and all questions regarding sustainability, you should also check out Wesleyan’s sustainability website