Students accepted early to Wesleyan break the ice and inquire about the school on social media.


In the months before she starts Wesleyan, Emma Distler has one question nagging at her: Will anyone else like Downton Abbey? For Distler, a recently accepted member of the class of 2019, the concern was pressing enough to warrant a post on the WesAdmits 2019 Facebook group.

WesAdmits groups on Facebook play a big role in the lives of soon-to-be, recently arrived, and even current students at Wesleyan, often filled with posts advertising shows or events or seeking help with lost belongings. For the early decision students who were admitted to Wesleyan this winter, the WesAdmits 2019 group also seems to hold the key for pressing questions of shared interests and common identity.

The posters in the groups share personal details with silly asides, creating a sense of intimacy that often characterizes Internet communities.

“I’m silly, super open-minded, and fierce!!” wrote one new student, before adding her Instagram handle and a smiley face.

“If I don’t sound utterly boring feel free to message me or something cause I’m dying to share my Wesleyan excitement and get to know you!” another wrote.

In many cases, the appeal of Wesleyan for students who applied early decision comes entirely from on-campus experiences or interactions with actual Wesleyan students. Noah Seltzer, an admitted student (though he is considering taking a gap year), is the brother of Jacob Seltzer ’17. As a result of this relationship, he hasn’t felt the need to post in the Facebook group.

“I haven’t asked anything in the group and I don’t really have any questions,” he wrote in a message to The Argus. “Jacob has pretty much covered everything.”

Also crucial to his confidence in coming to Wesleyan? Wesleying.

“I’ve been following Wesleying pretty religiously ever since Jacob showed me it,” he wrote.

Wesleying also does a thorough job of reaching out to newly admitted students. Search “Wesleyan 2019” on Twitter and many of the posts, written by newly admitted students, have been retweeted by the Wesleying Twitter account.

Even outside of social media, prospective students often feel closely connected to the school.

“Honestly, it’s pretty hard to articulate why I liked Wesleyan the best,” Seltzer wrote. “Overall, I’d say the main thing was the vibe. Oh, and also the naked parties.”

Aidan Coll, also recently admitted and likely to take a gap year, concurred.

“I think a lot of how I felt when I was there can only be described with the phrase … ‘good vibe,’” he wrote in a message to The Argus. “I made the decision to apply to Wesleyan ED the second I got on campus for my tour. I think I was definitely influenced by the fact that it was a gorgeous spring day when I visited and a bunch of students were hanging out on Foss, but everything about the school seemed perfect to me.”

Katie Maehl, from Waltham, Mass., looks forward to meeting new people outside of her current school, which she has attended since kindergarten.

“Before I decided to apply ED to Wes, my top two choices were Wesleyan and Brown, but I liked Wes better and applied there because, although I liked Brown, the people at Brown seemed to be ones that I’d want to pretend to be like, but the people at Wesleyan seem to be like who I really am, and so I chose Wes,” she wrote in a message to The Argus.

Maehl hopes to find such people on the track team, but she is also an accomplished singer and musician. She plays the flute, guitar, piano, ukulele  and piccolo, and performs in the all-state choir of Massachusetts. She’s active in the Lutheran Church and looks forward to joining the spiritual community at Wesleyan.

Niki Elahi is another multi-talented new recruit to the Wesleyan campus. A native New Yorker with French and Persian heritage, Elahi has performed with her Persian dance group, J-Hoon, at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“I love Wesleyan because I think it is the perfect learning environment for a multi-faceted student,” Elahi wrote in an email to The Argus. “I also appreciate the size of the classes because the learning environment is more suitable as there is a stronger connection to the professors.”

Elahi’s presence in the WesAdmits Facebook group shows her excitement about joining the Wesleyan community, involving photos of her in Wesleyan gear and plans for a meet-up in New York.

In New York, Elahi has had the opportunity to meet some students before arriving next fall, but for Kim Pham, this has not been the case. Not many people in her home state of Tennessee had heard of Wesleyan before her acceptance.

“Because I lived in … [Tennessee] all of my life, I desired to move and experience something totally different after high school, but really I thought Wesleyan was a good fit regardless of location,” Pham wrote in an email to The Argus. “Students at my high school just started learning about Wesleyan since my acceptance, but for the most part, my friends are supportive.”

Pham, interested in neuroscience and engineering but with hobbies ranging from drinking coffee to playing chess to eating all types of cuisine, looks forward to coming to Wesleyan despite the stereotypes and rumors she’s heard.

“Someone also told me that I would turn into a hipster at Wesleyan,” she wrote.

Clara Coggiano will be moving to campus next fall, but she’ll be coming refreshed from a gap year.

“I wanted to take a year off and get some work experience and do some volunteering, so right now I’m working at this local shipping/warehousing company where I assist in the HR department,” Coggiano wrote in an email to The Argus. “I’m also volunteering as an assistant coach on the speech team at my old high school, which is a lot of fun even though I miss competing.”

Despite never having visited Wesleyan, Coggiano is confident that she made the right choice in schools.

“What really interested me about Wes was the open curriculum,” Coggiano wrote. “I’m into a lot of different things and I’m not totally sure what kind of career I want to go into, so I thought Wesleyan would give me the best chance of exploring all of my interests and figuring out something I really loved to do that was also practical enough.”

Matthew Forker is another student with big ambitions. Coming from an arts school in New York, he’s interested in music, including Indian classical music, and environmental work.

“I’m the senior class president at my high school, and one of the main things that the student government has gotten done so far is implementing recycling and composting in our cafeteria, which was something that we did not have before,” Forker wrote.“I think that sustainable living should be taught in schools at a young age, and this was a step in that direction for my school.”

Forker is ready to bring that enthusiasm to Wesleyan and is looking forward to the many opportunities that will be presented to him both inside and outside the classroom.

“I’m excited to be excited about learning again,” he wrote.

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