It’s the tail end of the college applications process, and you’re probably ready to gag after touring every single liberal arts school in New England or flying coast to coast with pamphlets in hand. You may also be feeling pressured to choose a college, and to choose one right now, but don’t let any of those misgivings stand in the way of a fabulous WesFest experience. Check out these tips below, and I guarantee it’ll be a blast!
1. Go with the flow.
This one’s pretty self-evident: you’ll have the most fun if you allow yourself to relax and really get to know the campus. During my WesFest overnight last year, I heard some slam poetry, saw an amazing Second Stage show, crashed a party in a senior house, and sang the Fight Song at a WestCo birthday that got broken up within 15 minutes of my arrival. It wasn’t the night I was expecting, but I definitely had a better time than the girl who complained every step of the way about being separated from her host or the boy who claimed he “wasn’t into that scene” and silently judged the rest of us. What you do during WesFest won’t determine the rest of your college experience by any means, but having a positive attitude will help make your two to three days on campus good ones no matter what your final decision about the school.
2. Make friends and flirt awkwardly.
Don’t be afraid to say hi to the kid waiting in line next to you in the Office of Admissions or introduce yourself to the clump of prefrosh gathered around a map. Chances are, they’re just as out of their element as you are, and two bewildered prefrosh will probably have cooler adventures than one. And, of course, we all remember our WesFest crushes: that oh-so-special stranger who joined our table at Usdan and convinced us that Wesleyan is a sexy place full of sexy, sexy people (which it absolutely is!). Make some corny jokes, bump elbows, and generally make an idiot of yourself. In a year or so, your only memories of this encounter will be a distant-but-totally-not-cringe-inducing Facebook friendship.
3. Party safe.
If you’ve never touched a drop of alcohol before, this is not the week to get blackout drunk and end up in the hospital. It causes trouble for your host and will definitely not score you a hookup with that sophomore you were coveting. Be open-minded, but don’t be afraid to take care of your needs: if it’s time to call it a night, say so. No one will think you’re any less “cool” (and if they do, it’s probably because they’re also impressionable prefrosh).
4. Be an overenthusiastic dork.
You only get to be a prefrosh for so long, so why not ham it up? If you love Wesleyan, get excited about all the fun activities the Admissions Office has planned for you, and don’t be embarrassed if your level of enthusiasm makes you sound like a kindergartener just starting school. Ask tons of questions, visit a class or two, and see where the day takes you!
5. Ask for directions.
Most of us remember our WesFest days with fondness and are more than happy to send a lost prefrosh in the right direction. This is probably your best bet for accidentally meeting upperclassmen and for getting a sense of just how friendly the student body really is. (You may even luck out and run into the person you wind up dating next year, although the odds are somewhat against you on that one.) Just offer up your winningest smile, gesture at your Office of Admissions gear, and say, “Excuse me, how do I get to Usdan?”
1. Don’t freak out about the food.
The food is great. Period. On a typical day, Usdan offers kosher, stir fry, Classics (basically buttery comfort food), vegetarian/vegan, Pastabilities (pasta and sauce of your choice), pizza, gluten-free cuisine, and a soup/salad/sandwich bar. Oh, and let’s not forget the baked desserts at every meal (if you’re like me, those will be your sugary undoing). On top of that, there are tons of other on-campus options: Usdan Café, Red and Black, Summies, WesWings, Star and Crescent, Espwesso, and Pi Café. There’s also Main Street, which is full of excellent and diverse eateries. In short, you won’t starve, and you may even find yourself preferring buffet life to home-cooked meals (just kidding, Mom and Dad!).
2. Don’t be “that kid.”
Unless you applied ED or things didn’t work out too well with college apps, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be considering other schools while at Wes. It’s fine if you mention where else you’re looking, but please, please don’t be that obnoxious prefrosh who starts every conversation with, “Well, I got into Brown and Stanford and I’m only here ’cause my grandma made me….” Believe me, if you keep that up, your fellow prefrosh will want you to go to Brown or Stanford, or really, anywhere other than Wes.
3. Don’t worry about meeting your B.F.F.
So much happens during WesFest that there’s only a tiny chance you’ll bump into your future best friend or roommate. In fact, you probably won’t know ze exists until you cross paths once at Wes, which is exactly how it should be. There’s more than a kernel of truth to the myth that your WesFest buddies will become mere acquaintances after a whole summer has passed, so don’t fret if you haven’t encountered your soul mate yet. You’ve got plenty of time, and plenty of memories to make in the meantime.
4. Don’t judge the school purely by your host’s behavior.
My host was lovely, but because it was a Wednesday night, she was preoccupied with homework and sent me off with her friends and a gaggle of other prefrosh. As I mentioned before, I still had a great time, and I was actually reassured that so many other Wes students were willing to step in to take charge of my night. Your host may be going through tech week for a show or dealing with a cranky professor, but as long as you meet some good people (which you almost inevitably will), you’ll be able to form just as strong of an impression of Wesleyan through other interactions.