Based on The New York Times’ “Metropolitan Diaries,” the Middletown Diaries features awkward, funny, novel, or sweet anecdotes, stories, and memories that happen at Wesleyan and in Middletown. To submit to the Middletown Diaries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the polished flyers for clubs, auditions, and meaningful volunteer opportunities available here at Wesleyan, you may have noticed one crude, handwritten note. Titled simply “Frosh Poll,” it poses passersby a single question: “did you get denied from Brown?”. Below are three possible answers: yes, no, and didn’t apply. As first years with nothing much to talk about besides our endeavors with college applications, it quickly became clear that a denial from Brown was a semi-universal experience. For many, the pain of common rejection was a chance for bonding. To examine how legitimate Wesleyan’s reputation as a haven for Brown rejects is, we took to the boards of Usdan to collect data, and, hopefully, strengthen our hypothesis. Initially intended as a harmless joke, the poll garnered a surprising number of likes on Soggy We$ Memes (233 reactions at the time of writing), as well as a fourth column—waitlisted—added by one extremely detail-oriented mystery student, seeking to flex, even anonymously.
With the mounting success of the poll, only one question remains: why? What is it about Wesleyan that attracts Brown hopefuls, and is the University better for it? While it’s amusing to know that this is a common thread among Wes students (17 “yes” votes as compared to one “no”), it’s also been comforting to hear in conversation that students are more than happy to have ended up here. Maybe it’s the pain of rejection that brings us together, or a desire to be better, or quirkier, or more passionate about Foucault than those Ivy League snobs. Either way, what we’ve learned from all the hubbub is that it doesn’t matter why we ended up on this campus, it just matters that we’re here. After all, Brown is a color, not a college. We’ve never seen “Wesleyan” in a crayon box. Not bad for second place.
–Anna Hauser and Sophie Griffin
I successfully dodged the turkey dump, evaded the post-winter-break breakup, and even survived the ever-tempting uncuffing season. I did everything in my power to maintain a long-distance relationship. But alas, one week into summer and my long-awaited reunion with Hometown Honey, and I got dumped. Brutal. He left me to my own devices in the suburbs of Boston due to his self-diagnosed case of “emotional unavailability.”
My heart took a substantial beating in June. To cope, I got really into true crime, took up meditation, and got over it. I concluded that my ex was more like an ungodly lovechild between Prince Humperdinck and an actual weasel than a gentleman. By July, I felt liberated. In all truth, most long-distance relationships in college are complicated at best, and hurtful and damaging to both parties the rest of the time. I looked forward to being completely free when I returned to Wes in September. No FaceTime dates, no falsified justifications to stay in or flee a flirtatious interaction. Just me and my decisions, not having to consider another’s opinions or feelings constantly. I was jazzed to put myself out there…
So, the time has finally come. I’m back on campus. Yay! I should be overjoyed. It’s one week into my stint as Miss Independent, and I have just one thing to say: What the actual fuck.
I had no idea the weirdness involved in being a single lady on campus. I’m a mess, bumbling along Fountain either making no eye contact or, somehow, making waaaay too much eye contact. Everything seems to be a bit of a miss. My experience this first and ever-educational weekend seared into my frontal lobe one all-encompassing question: WHO are these straight boys and WHAT are they doing?
If you’re also newly single on campus, I salute you and wish you luck this upcoming weekend. For now, I’m going to make some tea and redownload Tinder. But don’t get too excited. You better believe I’m the type of gal to swipe for fun and the esteem boost of male attention, but actually meet up with someone? Ya, that’s probably not going to happen. Oh, god, I’m doomed.
Did you know that Wesleyan speaks languages?
Arriving on campus as an international student, my greatest fear was that I would be suddenly exposed only to one language (at least in everyday life). But as it turns out Wes speaks a wonderful palette of accents, words, and dialects.
It has been two weeks since I left my home on the other side of the Atlantic. First week of classes has ended, and I was already stressing out about my endless reading and writing assignments. I was deep in thought, when, standing in line in Usdan to get brunch, I heard two girls speaking Mandarin.
Couple of hours later I was sitting in the Butterfields’ courtyard, typing my essay for Monday class, when I heard Spanish voices right behind me. I smiled. Eight years of studying Latin helped me to distinguish several words with familiar roots. My stressful day was already becoming more pleasant.
After all the mandatory readings were done and the paper successfully written, I sat outside of Usdan to read “Der Himmel kennt keine Günstlinge (Heaven Has No Favorites)” by Erich Maria Remarque. I was reading it in German. Can you imagine how surprised I was to hear a person, who was sitting next to me, speaking German on the phone?
But the most wonderful language experience was yet to come. As I was walking back to my dorm, I heard two people having a conversation in Russian, and I instinctively said “Privet” to them, “Hello” in Russian. All of a sudden, I felt this sweet childhood taste in my mouth. Wesleyan started to feel like home, and I felt safe.
Language often distances people, it creates cultural boundaries, and leads to many misunderstandings. At the same time, language is the most powerful tool that a human being can have, and, along with intelligence, that is hard to take away.
Although English unites us all, hearing people speaking different languages made me less homesick and more confident.
For now, my dear Diary, I have to say goodnight. Wait for more WesStories!