Unofficial Orientation 2020: Making Friends

This is Bab’s heavily truncated (thanks to COVID) repost of fakeshark’s repost of michelle’s update of kitab‘s update of daniphantom‘s update of their own post. Find the rest of the posts in our 2020 Unofficial Orientation series. here

Make lots of friends to share lots of sandwiches with.

Orientation is the time when you’ll meet so many new people that you’ll begin to doubt that Wesleyan actually has less than 3,500 students. (Don’t worry, in a few months, you’ll start to realize exactly how small this place really is.) In order to help you on your journey to make those lifelong college friends that everyone gushes about, here are a few tips and tricks to use during orientation and beyond:

 

  • Get involved with student groups

There are SO many clubs, teams, and societies on campus that it’s pretty hard not to be involved in some capacity. Being active on campus gives you an instant network of people that you share interests with. This is a great way to meet upperclassmen, and to expand your friend group beyond your hallmates, and/or orientation friends. Which leads me to…

 

  • Have various different groups and relationships

It’s easy to get really close really fast when you start college, and that’s a good thing! That being said, remember to spend time with different people. You and your roommate may get along really well, but if you spend all your time together, there’s likely to be some tension. Most of us are used to having distance from our friends—going home after high school, for example.  This distance is pretty important for a lot of relationships—don’t be afraid to take time for yourself and for other relationships. It’s okay if not all your friends know each other; it gives you an opportunity to explore different things and meet more people.

 

  • Balance old and new friendships

Maintaining relationships at home is important too: some of my best friends are people I’ve known since I was little. Don’t get too caught up in old relationships though—spending all your time on the phone with your best friend from home makes it hard to make new friends. As important as old friends are, having friends who understand your current environment and are physically there gets more and more valuable as you get settled at Wes. You’ll be a lot less homesick when you have new friends, and you’ll have more stories for your old friends anyway. Sometimes it’ll feel like you’re leading two different lives: one with your friends at Wes, and one with your friends back home. It’s pretty fun! 

 

  • Relax, nothing’s set in stone

You’re going to make friends. You’re going to make friends you don’t stay friends with. You’re going to make acquaintance-friend hybrids you feel differently about over the course of your time at Wesleyan. You’re probably going to make friends you later hook up with and then feel really awkward around for a while. You’re going to end up with phone numbers of people you talked to twice during orientation. The point being, people will change and grow over the next four years and your relationships will change and grow with them. Don’t stress if you don’t immediately find people you can see yourself being friends with forever. Keep making new friends—your random Usdan acquaintance might end up being your best friend later on. It often feels like everyone has a wonderful, permanent group of friends they’re completely thrilled with, but lots of people are open to new relationships, take advantage.

Best of luck, new (and even returning!) students. Make lots of friends, maybe even some here at Wesleying! 

This will be your home for the next 4 years. Soak it all in – this place is truly something special. 

We hope this guide to ~Official~ Orientation helps you as you embark on your Wesleyan journey. If there’s anything you still have questions about (or we made a mistake somewhere), please reach out to us via Twitter, Facebook, Email, or in the comments! 

Best of luck, Class of 2024!

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Getting from here to there and back again

This is a part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation Series. Find the rest of the posts here

Transportation away from Wesleyan can be a tricky feat for someone without a car. But should you want to someday escape the magnetic beauty of Wes or the general Middletown area, rest assured there are in fact options for you.

Connecticut does to some extent live up to its name. This year more than ever in fact with a new CTRail Hartford Line operating between New Haven and Springfield, MA and with future updates to the M-Link Express Route planned by Noah Kahan ’19.

In this article we will lay out for you all the different modes of transportation available to you at all different price points.

**2020 edit: While we’re sure you’re just itching to try out all the different modes of transportation to and from campus, it should be noted that these are ~unprecedented times~ and you should think carefully about whether & where you travel outside of the Wesleyan/Middletown area. 

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Wesadmits Culture

This is a new post in our 2020 Unofficial Orientation series. Find the rest of the posts here.

Somewhere between the invention of Facebook and right this second came the very first WesAdmits. You’re likely already familiar with WesAdmits 2024 – it’s the Facebook group you got added to with your acceptance and where you learned that every single admitted student ever just happens to like both chill nights in and fun nights out. After the introductory formalities in the spring, WesAdmits opens up to the rest of Wes’s student body and becomes a main forum for student communication – lost WesIDs, student plays, club sign ups, abstract questions, polemic debate – you’ll find it all in WesAdmits. Shit goes down in WesAdmits. Here are some of our tips and tricks for learning your way around the forum:

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Music Scene

This is a coronavirus update of fern’s update of un meli-melo’s update of wilk‘s update of Maya‘s update of their post from 2015Q wrote about this in 2013 and 2014. Some things have changed, but the scene here is still ‘unique, zealous, and sweaty.’

The Mattabassett String Collective, a Wesleyan faculty/staff band, performed an eclectic mix of bluegrass, blues, country and rock during THE MASH, Sept. 7. THE MASH, inspired by Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, highlights the music scene at Wesleyan and kicks off the year-long campus and community-wide Music and Public Life initiative. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

This is part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post with links to the rest of the articles in this series here.

The more I talk to college kids at other schools, the more I realize how much the music scene at Wesleyan sets itself apart. Though we have them, we are not confined to house parties and bars — there’s music nearly every day, all week. Often, there’s so much music that you can’t possibly go to it all, but you try anyway.

Many student bands have gone on to greater things, like OvercoatsHeems (Himanshu Suri ’07) of Das Racist (Suri and Victor Vasquez ’06), Novelty DaughterAmanda Palmer ’98the RooksHenry Hall ’14 of Grand Cousin (RIP), AND MORE. It’s very special. What’s even better is that 95% of this stuff is totally free.

Except now. Because something something something strange and uncertain times. This semester is going to be way different, and it’s hard to predict exactly how. But I think it’s pretty clear that there will be music in some capacity. If you want some speculation on what the music scene will look like in Fall 2020, or if you just want to psych yourself up for semesters to come, read on after the break.

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Rage Update

This is a part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation series. You can find the rest of the posts here.

There is not much more esteemed at Wes than its history of activism. Wesleying’s Rage Updates are here to welcome you all to the issues of the day, and to educate you on the issues of the past. While it seems to have been an even year sort of update for Wesleying with our first article in 2014, our second in 2016, and our third in 2018, and our fourth in 2019, more than enough has happened this past school year to warrant another for 2020.

As a publication and a series steeped in tradition, we must open with the eloquent words of alt, the author of our first rage update:

You’ve now arrived on campus, and we hope that you find your time here enriching and transformative. In that hope, we feel that it would be ill-advised to allow you to not have at least a foundational understanding of the things that have forced us as a community into dialogue, disagreement, and action.

This is not to scare you or to give you a negative impression of the University. However, we are certain that most if not all of you were told about the “passion” that Wesleyan students have and the issues that we care about on campus are at the forefront of those passions. While there is certainly no requirement to take an activist stance on any of these issues and it is in fact easy to sink beneath the radar on these issues and all the others not covered here, we would plead with you to be engaged in the community that you are now a part of.

Read this, ask questions, and reach out to students and faculty that have been here before you. We hope that as you begin your time here, you fully invest yourself as a community member committed to making Wesleyan as good as it can be for you and for those after you. Caring about Wesleyan does not foreclose critique on Wesleyan and as you read this, and other things like it, we hope you understand that too.

This article is not comprehensive, and merely serves as a taster for the Wesleyan brand of fiery social justice.

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Westech

This is a coronavirus version of sdz‘s repost of fakeshark‘s update of wilk‘s update of michelle‘s update of kitab‘s update of alt‘s update of pyrotechnicsupdate of lesanjuan‘s update of Syed’s 2010 post.

This is part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation Series.  A quick reminder that you can check out the rest of the series here. 

Now more than ever, the Internet is important to us, as every interpersonal relationship we’ve ever had is now existing solely through a screen #socialdistancing. Today, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about the Wes Wide Web. If you’ve reached this far, you’ve proved your competence in terms of navigating through some of Wesleyan’s digital landscape. But, my dear Prefrosh, there’s so much you have to learn. That’s where I come in – I’m going to teach you about the finer things in life, and all things in the WesTech multiverse.

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Being Green

Another 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 2020 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the rest of the 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.

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Athletic Life

This fos’s update of  sdz‘s update of the previous year’s post, which was a short update of wilk‘s short update of D‘s mostly repost of previous athletics unofficial orientation series posts.

 

This is part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation Series. You can check out the rest of the series here

Some of you frosh probably don’t know that WesTech competes in the prestigious NESCAC—the most competitive D3 conference in the country. Despite the throngs of news outlets that flock to many of our sports games, you will never have to enter a lottery system or wait in a line overnight to obtain tickets. We also aren’t like these fans, and we never will be. That’s okay. Do not believe the naysayers who claim that Wesleyan students do not support or appreciate athletics. Little known fact, Wesleyan Football holds a lifetime win record against Michigan (never mind that our first and only meet was in 1883). I have personally witnessed Wes students get so fired up after a basketball loss to Trinity that we started a “safety school” chant. Not our best moment but definitely an example of caring!

Whether you’re attempting to relive your high school glory days, looking to get or stay fit (the freshman fifteen is real), or trying out a new sport, Wesleyan has what you are looking for!

However, Wesleyan varsity athletics have been suspended for Fall 2020 due to the NESCAC covid-19 guidelines. While this is a major bummer, Wes athletics has said that they will “do our best to support club sports this fall”. Even though there won’t be throngs of students in the bleachers shouting the Wesleyan “Fight Song,” at least athletes will have the chance to get out there and play some ball. 

To get you psyched about the eventual return of intercollegiate athletics, here are some highlights from before the pandemic hit.

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Queer Life

This post is an updated version of Sam’s update of his 2016 article, because “heterenormativity is [still] killing this country.”

 

Taken from the 2017 Showtunes Sideways performance. Showtunes Sideways is a musical cabaret that opens up a space for those to perform roles in songs from musicals which they wouldn’t traditionally be cast in. PC Maia Nelles Sager ’17

This is part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the rest of the series here. 

 

Hello, sweet sweet children! This post is here for all of my children of the rainbow to get a sense of what it is like to be a Queer identifying person on campus. This is a revamped version of the post I wrote last year (which you can find ~here~). Now that I’ve gotten a bit more experience under my belt at Wes (I’m going to be a Junior. Ik. I’m so old), I thought it was fair to update my general feeling on The Community™ at Wes. On top of my general experiences, this post will also contain some resources that are here for all LGBTQIA+ bbys.