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Thanksgiving is approaching and, if you’re like most students, you’re definitely ready for a break from classes and homework. However, right after Thanksgiving you probably have several finals, a handful of essays, and maybe even a semester research paper. While it’s tempting to just forget all about school for a few days, with some careful planning you can make sure you get some rest, eat lots of yummy food, and still prepare for the upcoming exam season.

Here are a few tips for staying stress-free from Thanksgiving Break to Exam Week:

1) Before you leave for Thanksgiving Break lay out a schedule of the upcoming month (right through to the end of finals). On your calendar mark:
• All major quizzes and exams
• All papers
• All finals
• All homework assignments due on the Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving Break

2) Think about the time you have over Thanksgiving break and aim to pick 3-4 chunks of time (a couple of hours each) that you will dedicate to work. Decide what you want to accomplish in each study session and remember to pack what you will need to finish that work! Knowing when you are working on means that, once you finish your work for the day, you can relax and enjoy your vacation.

3) Pick out the tasks that you want to complete in each chunk of time. This might include:
• The homework you have due on the Monday after Thanksgiving Break (nothing is worse than having a relaxing vacation only to stay up all night on Sunday to be ready for your 9am on Monday).
• Outlines or preliminary research for final papers
• Creating a study guide for upcoming exams
Remember: you can refer to your end-of-semester plan (Step 1) to help you identify the most important assignments to focus on.

4) Consider telling your family about your work plans and try to find quiet places to study. If you have a sibling who is in high-school or college you can set up a study time together to both do work or you can head to your local library for a quiet space away from home. If your family knows that you’re planning to study then they can encourage you to focus when you need to (and maybe even bake you some homemade treats as motivation!).

Planning your work is a great way to get ahead; you don’t need to finish every upcoming assignment but a few well-planned study sessions will go a long way. When you’re done studying for the day make sure to enjoy your Thanksgiving!



Are you passionate about science and math?

Still not sure what to study at Wes?

Why not consider engineering?


Yes, Wesleyan does not have an engineering department, but that does not mean that aspiring engineers must give up on their dreams! In fact, Wesleyan encourages all types of positive intellectual pursuits that students might have and the university has even produced its share of engineers who work all around the world (for starters, just check out this list on Wikipedia).

Some have chosen to study engineering after graduating from Wes. However if you want to get a head start, why not consider the 3-2 engineering program which would allow you to spend 3 years at Wes and then 2 years at a partner university (thus the name)? After finishing the program, students earn two bachelor degrees: a BA from Wes and a BS or BE from an affiliate engineering school.


Which engineering schools are affiliated with Wesleyan?


I am interested in the dual degree option! Sign me up!

You should communicate your plan as early as possible with at least two faculty members:

  • Dual Degree Program Liaison (currently Professor Lutz Hüwel of the Physics Department)
  • Your own faculty advisor

It is advisable to talk to different science and math faculty members as well. After all, you will need letters of recommendation from them when you submit a formal application early in the spring semester of your junior year.


If I choose to do the engineering program, what should I major at Wes?

Please keep in mind that completion of a Wesleyan major is required by some engineering schools. Even though many students who pursue the dual degree have chosen to declare math or science related major(s), you can technically major in anything you want while at Wes! That said, you need to plan early and actively seek advice from professors because the course requirements for engineering are quite stringent.


What courses should I take at Wes?

Different schools have different requirements and you are strongly advised to consult the respective engineering school webpages. Typically, two semesters of calculus-based physics, one semester of chemistry, and calculus (including multivariable) are part of the necessary preparation.

For your reference, Columbia has compiled a list of required courses and their Wesleyan equivalents in their curriculum guide.


How can I get engineering research experience at Wes?

There are a number of courses, research, and other engineering-related opportunities at Wes. You can find the list here.


Are there any other dual degree engineering programs available for Wes students?

  • Dartmouth offers a “2-1-1-1” option allowing you to return to Wesleyan for senior year, before finishing the program at Dartmouth
  • Columbia offers a “4-2” option allowing you to spend four years at Wesleyan before transferring to Columbia

When you choose your courses this semester, keep in mind that you will have to declare a major this semester.

Know what your major(s) will be?

  • Look at the department’s website for classes required to declare the major. If you haven’t taken those courses yet, take them this semester and prioritize them when ranking courses during pre-registration! If the requirements are not clear, ask a Department Peer Advisor or the head of that department.
  • Even if you have completed the courses required to declare the major, you should still take a course in that department this semester. Look ahead at what your other requirements will be to complete the major, or at elective classes that look interesting to you.
  • Look ahead at which courses are offered more frequently. For instance, if you know you want to go abroad next Spring and certain courses are only offered in the Spring, it could be a good idea to try to take the course now.


Still deciding on a major? That’s ok!

  • If you are still deciding between a few majors, that’s ok – you can take courses in each of those departments and use that to help you decide. Just make sure you have the courses you will need to declare one or more of those majors when the time comes.


Tips for Choosing a Major

  • Look ahead at the types of courses you will be taking in your next few years at WEsleyan if you choose a certain major. Are there enough courses that interest you? Are there requirements that will prevent you from studying abroad or doing other things that you would like to do? Does the major require a capstone project?
  • You do not need to be a quadruple major! Even if you are passionate about four things, it does not mean that you have to major in it. Some majors allow non-major students into most of their courses, which means you can still take courses in a field without officially being a major.
  • If you are considering double majoring, you can think about how feasible it will be to complete all requirements for those majors. Are there required courses that often overlap? Are there any courses you can take that fulfill both majors?


Don’t forget about Gen-Eds

  • Some majors require completing the first round of general education requirements to declare the major. If your major requires that, and you have not already done so, get to it!
  • Some majors require completing the second round of gen-eds to complete the major. It is not too early to get started on tackling those as well.


Balancing Major and Non-Major courses

  • It is NOT necessary to take only courses in your prospective major. For most majors, you can take one or two courses per semester in that department and successfully complete your major.
  • You are in the first half of your Wesleyan career. Just because you have declared a major does not mean that you shouldn’t continue to take advantage of your liberal arts education and take courses that interest you. Taking courses in other disciplines that your major help you increase the breadth of your knowledge and often help you look at approach major courses from new perspectives.
  • To help you decide which courses to take this semester, it is a great idea to look ahead at major requirements and see when it will be most convenient for you to fulfill them. It is no way necessary for you to plan out all eight semesters of your college career at once, but it is helpful to make sure you are the right track.


Still have questions? Reach out to your peer advisors at peeradvisors@lyris.wesleyan.edu

Peer Advising Pre-Registration Guidelines for Freshman


General Expectations

  • Now is a great time to use your gen-eds as opportunities to explore your interests! Look into disciplines that you’ve never taken a course in or could possibly be interested in
  • NOTE: you do not have to finish your gen-eds by the end of your freshman year. In fact, you don’t have to finish them ever. That being said, you are at a liberal arts school for a reason and most people will choose to finish their gen-eds in an effort to ensure they get a well rounded education. ALSO–some majors do require you to finish your gen-eds and some require you to have finished the first stage before you apply to the major.


Have you given any thought to a potential major?

  • Finishing up your first semester here at Wes, you certainly do not need to know what you will major in. However, if you have some ideas as to what course of study you would like to pursue, it is important to start thinking about courses you will need to take to be admitted into your potential major(s)
    • This information is readily available on the wesleyan website (or you can search the wesleyan major on google to get the direct link)


Tips for Wes Maps

  • Make sure you fill out all 7 slots! This is EXTREMELY important.
  • Utilize the search function in the top righthand corner. This tool can help you find specific classes, classes at specific times, course categories, etc.
    • This is also very useful during adjustment when you are bidding for classes in real-time


Questions about certain courses/departments?

  • Reach out to faculty members and/or department chairs! These people can be extremely useful in helping you understand a field of study or get a better idea as to what a certain course will entail
    • Added perk: establishing relationships with faculty members will help you in the future when it comes to choosing a major, to picking your major advisor, or to just have a mentor/familiar face on campus


Still have questions? Reach out to your peer advisors at peeradvisors@lyris.wesleyan.edu


What is Pre-Registration?

Over the summer, you studied WesMaps tirelessly, figuring out classes for your first semester of the school year.  Now, you’re expected to do it all over again; but what is pre-registration, and how do you navigate through it?  Well, fortunately your handy academic peer advisors (APAs) are here to help!  Fall pre-registration, much like spring pre-registration, is a period used for students to plan their coursework for the following semester.  You use the system to list 7 courses, in order from the class you want to take the most, to the other classes to fill out your schedule.  To ensure the best schedule, keep a few things in mind.



As you rank your classes in order, keep in mind that there are some classes that are more competitive to get into than others.  Small classes and classes that fulfill major requirements in the smaller departments often fall into the competitive category.  Some things to take into account are past enrollment probability, the number of classes offered in the department, and total enrollment limit.  There are other classes that may have a larger total enrollment limit, but are still very popular classes, like West African Dance for example.


In situations like this, ALWAYS think of your major requirements first.  Is the core class for your major popular?  What is the past enrollment probability?  How many seats are available?  After you have thought this through, rank away!


Balance and Fulfilling Major Requirements

Balance is key to finding success in college.  As you are ranking your classes, think of the grading assessments.  Is the class reading and writing intensive, or is it exam based?  For more about balance, check out this blog post.


Many majors, not all, require that students fulfill at least their stage 1 general education expectations.  This means, each students should take 2 humanities courses (HA), 2 social sciences (SBS), and 2 natural sciences and mathematics (NSM).  When ranking your classes, look to work toward completion of your prospective major, while simultaneously fulfilling GenEd expectations.  When it comes to choosing classes to fulfill major requirements, speaking to another person may be more helpful than reading the department website alone.



Useful Resources

If you have any questions regarding pre-registration, the pre-registration page on the Registrar’s website and the Faculty and Student Advising Handbook are some good places to start. Academic Peer Advisors (APAs) are available if you have any questions about  course selection, schedule planning, Wesmaps, and major declaration. You can always reach out to us via email.


In addition to faculty advisors, some departments also have Department Peer Advisors or DPAs. They are a group of students who have been trained to answer questions regarding specific requirements for departments which offer more structured majors, i.e. ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, COMP, ECON, MATH, MB&B, PHYS, and PSYC. These majors are the ones that require a set sequence of courses. In general, in order to take upper-level classes in these departments, you may be required to have taken a set of core courses and/or met some prerequisites.


The DPAs and their office hours during November pre-registration period are listed below:

Department DPA Email Office hours Location
ASTR, PHYS Girish Duvvuri ’17 ASTRdpa@wesleyan.edu; PHYSdpa@wesleyan.edu Tue 11/10, 1:30-5 pm
Wed 11/11, 4-5 pm
Thu 11/12, 10 am-12 pm
Fri 11/13, 3-5 pm
Observatory basement
BIOL, MB&B Anna Redgrave ’16* Mon 11/9, 10 am-1 pm
Wed 11/11, 10 am-1 pm
Mon 11/16, 10 am-1 pm
Shanklin 304
CHEM Zarek Siegel ’16 CHEMdpa@wesleyan.edu Thu 11/12, 8-10 pmSat 11/14, 12-2 pmSun 11/15, 3-4 pm Hall-Atwater 56
COMP, MATH Jack Reuter ’16 COMPdpa@wesleyan.edu; MATHdpa@wesleyan.edu Mon 11/9, 5-6 pmThu 11/12, 2:30-3:30 pmFri 11/13, 12-1 pmSun 11/15, 10-11 pm Math workshop (Exley 133A)
ECON Margaux Sica ’16 ECONdpa@wesleyan.edu Thu 11/12, 12-2 pm ECON alcove (PAC)
PSYC Natalie Booth ’17 PSYCdpa@wesleyan.edu Tue 11/10, 4:15-5:15Wed 11/11, 4:15-5:15 Pi Café

* in order to contact Anna, please send an email to her Wesleyan email address.


(Written by Sherrel Mike ’16 and Eki Ramadhan ’16)

Six Tips for Studying

Rubye Peyser

  1. Create a schedule: Put all major assessments for the rest of your semester into a calendar. If you use an online or computer calendar, have it send you a reminder a week before the exam/paper is due. This way, exams will not come as a surprise and you can be as prepared as possible!
  1. A little every day: A huge part of studying should take place before you officially begin preparing for an exam. Everyday before class, review your notes from the previous class and the homework from the night before. Then, preview the topic for the upcoming class (look through the slides, read the syllabus, etc.) This process can take as little as five minutes. Once you’ve done that, you actually need to GO TO CLASS. For almost any course, the material that you’re going to be tested on is what the professor discusses in class. Furthermore, the ways professors describe concepts, the kinds of questions the pose in class, and the examples they give will all they way they will evaluate you on an exam. With this information, you can direct your studying in a manner that will parallel the way the professor’s exam will test you.
  1. Start “officially” studying a week in advance: This one doesn’t need much explaining. Begin organizing your materials and reviewing a week in advance. This will optimize the amount of material you can review and absorb. Some ways to remember to start studying a week in advance: set an alert in your phone or on your computer to remind you a week before an exam; write a note in your calendar, leave a post-it on your door; do whatever you have to do.
  1. Make a study guide Include the important material from class notes, slides, reading, and handouts. Draw diagrams. Come up with examples for concepts. 
  1. Effective flashcards Make flash cards. Making 800,000 flashcards is not always effective. Most classes do not require excessive rote memorization, so make sure that your flashcards are of only key terms, not every word the professor has said all semester. When studying terms, don’t just memorize them: pick out two flashcards and compare and contrast those two concepts. In doing so, come up with a few examples that demonstrate each concept as well ones for their similarities and differences.
  1. Effective study groups: Sometimes study groups can turn into social hours. While spending time with friends is really important, make sure that if your planning on studying, that you actually do so. A good way to make use of this group work is to try to teach each other the concepts covered on the exam. This process benefits all group members: the listeners can learn/review important information, and the person teaching deepens hir understanding of the material and illuminates the areas where ze has gaps in hir knowledge.



Wesleyan is home to many historic and modern buildings. Some have been here since the founding and some just built a few years ago. You would be surprised on how many different rooms and spaces are accessible for students to use! Look at my list below for some helpful hints.


Olin Library is often thought of as a quiet space. This is mostly true. The higher the floor, the quieter it is. There are two exceptions to these quiet spaces.

  1. The Smith Reading Room – this room is located on the left side of the first floor. Here, you are expected to be absolutely quiet.
  2. The Art Library – this space is used for group study. You can generally talk in this room. It is located on the second floor next to the staircase.

Olin also may only appear to have 3 floors, but in reality it has 8 including the basement, first floor, 1a, second floor, 2a, third floor, 3a and the fourth floor. The floor in between often have space to study in groups or by oneself. Check them out!



Exley is usually regarded as a space to talk to friends while studying for an upcoming exam. Each floor in Science Library gets progressively quieter. There have been a couple new features added to Exley which are listed below!

  1. Lobby tables and couches- these can be useful for group projects, having lunch, meeting with friends or studying before class! They even have outlets for your laptop or phone charger!
  2. Group Study Space/ 24 Hour Space – this room is newly equipped with tables, dry erase boards, and carpet. Usually on weekdays, this space is used for class, but has a schedule listed for open times
  3. ITS Lab – Next to Pi is a room equipped with many Macs that are available to students


In addition to Olin and Exley, there are many more spaces to use:

  • College of Letters Library (During the day) – Second floor of 41 Wyllys
  • PAC – rooms on first and second floor as well as QAC center
  • Allbritton – Top floor has a wonderful view
  • Downey House
  • Russell House
  • Daniel Family Commons (Third Floor of Usdan)
  • Resident Lounges – only if you live in those residences


You can also reserve a room using EMS in your student portfolio!



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So, you probably don’t need a peer advisor to tell you that midterms season is upon us…but do not fret! Your peer advisors are here with some helpful tips to make sure that you stay mentally and physically healthy during midterm season.

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  1. SLEEP! Just because you have midterms does not mean that you need to be working on them around the clock. Making sure that you get 7-8 hours of sleep a night will help you feel more productive and prepared during this time. Additionally, the extra sleep can help protect you from getting sick. If you are having trouble sleeping, WesWell can be an invaluable resource! Check out their page on sleep for more tips!   –>   WesWell Sleep Resources

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  1. Eat healthy and exercise – These tips are easier said than done at any time during college. However, they are especially important during this time when stress levels are high and you are expected to be productive at all times. Eating healthy makes you feel healthy – and it doesn’t have to be too hard. Just avoid skipping meals, don’t forget about the salad bar at Usdan, and keep some fruit or other healthy snacks around if stress eating is your thing. Exercise also does not having to be daunting. You can use a quick workout at Freeman or a jog around campus as a study break, or a way to wake you up in the morning and leave you feeling energized.

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  1. Reduce Stress – One of the worst parts about midterms, and college life in general, is the stress! It often seems acceptable that everyone around you is stressed at all times, but even for those who work best under pressure, too much stress is not healthy. Here are some ways to minimize stress around your academics:

-Be planful! Whether you use one of the nifty free planners available at Usdan, iCal, or some other tactic, keeping a calendar with all of your assignments is essential! Trying to remember everything you have to do without writing it down is stressful enough – and chances are you’ll forget about something. When you can visualize your assignments and responsibilities, it also makes it easier to prioritize, and figure out when you’re going to tackle each thing on your to-do list. Here’s a great blog post about how to study for finals, which totally applies to midterms as well! –> Finals Study Tips

-Remember your resources! Remember that you are not alone – and that Wesleyan’s campus is full of supportive resources to help you get through the toughest times. Some great academic resources on campus include – but are not limited to – the Academic Peer Advisors (us!), the Writing Workshop, the Math Workshop, the Quantitative Analysis Center, and the Scientific Computing and Informatics Center. Additionally, if you feel that stress is overwhelming, there is CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) and WesSupport, a student-run support group.

-Make the most of your study time so you don’t waste hours in the library procrastinating on Facebook. You can start by working when you feel most productive, which may mean utilizing hours in between classes or in the morning. It’s also very important to find study spaces that work for you, despite the attempt to stay in bed and avoid the cold weather. Here’s another great blog post highlighting some spaces you may not have thought of before. –> Cool Study Spaces

-Don’t forget to take study breaks! We are humans, not machines, and there’s no way anyone can be productive if they sit and stare at a screen for five hours without a break. So, everyone hour or so, stand up and walk around, have a snack, go outside, or talk to a friend. It’ll make studying easier and less isolating!

Happy Midterm-ing!

By Aleyda Castro

I’m a Latina from Downtown Los Angeles. I am the oldest child in my family and the first to attend a four-year college. As a first generation student I understand the excitement you feel about leaving home and becoming independent. I understand the anxiety and fear you feel regarding that independence, and about whether or not you’re prepared for college. I know about the happiness you feel about taking such a big step and bringing so much pride to your parents.
The first thing you must remember is that you are not alone; you are not the only person experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. You must also keep in mind that there is a reason you were accepted into Wesleyan so you do not have to be afraid of the academics. Will it be difficult? Yes, but it is doable. I understand that it can be difficult to seek help regarding college at home. Some students like myself may even face language barriers that make it virtually impossible to explain things like Financial Aid and the CSS profile to their parents. Due to this, it is always necessary to seek outside resources. These resources are available to you at Wesleyan, as long as you seek them out. You have to build your own support network, not just for academic purposes but also emotional. College can be lots of fun but also very stressful; you need people you can trust on your side, people that are willing to help you.

The following is a list of resources available to you at Wes:

Office Hours (Professors)
My first advice is to take advantage of your professor’s office hours. If you are having a hard time in a class, sit down and talk to your professor, discuss the material that you do not understand. The professors will not know that you do not understand the material unless you tell them. Even if you are not having trouble in a class but you really like the subject go to the office hours and learn more about the department, maybe by learning more about it you discover you want to major in that field. The professor may guide you and even become your advisor in the long run. For many mathematics and science classes, there are also TA sessions that you can attend to make sure you fully understand the material. Take advantage of these sessions, even if you feel like you understand the material double check your work.

Office Hours (Class Deans)
After you have settled in at Wes, take some time out of your schedule to look up your Class Dean’s office hours and drop by to introduce yourself. Talk to your dean about your academic interests and plans; your dean can provide you with other resources about where you can find help to achieve all the goals you have set for yourself. Further down the year, if you are having emotional, academic, economic or other problems that are affecting your ability to learn at Wesleyan, talking to your class dean is a big step to receiving the help you need. If they cannot provide you with the help you need they will always refer you to the people that can help you.

Writing Center
A big fear for many incoming freshmen is whether they are writing at the college level. A great resource available to improve your writing skills is the writing center. However, it is important to consult with your professors first whether they are fine with you having someone at the writing center check your work. Some professors prefer that all work you turn in is 100% your own; meaning no else has seen it but you. That way they themselves can guide you through what you need to improve.

Career Center
If you think you already know what you want to study and want to make sure you’re on the right path, the career center is definitely a great place to start. They can connect you with alumni that studied the same field you want to pursue and even help you find internships in your hometown. It is never too early to drop by the career center. You can introduce yourself to the staff and make sure they know what you’re interested in, so they can keep you in mind when new opportunities present themselves.

Peer Advisors
Academic peer advisors provide an array of academic advice and support to all students. An Academic Peer Advisor will be assigned to your residence hall. This person will be able to provide you with the help, tips and advice you need and if they do not have the information you need they will refer you to the people that can help you.
There are also Department Peer Advisors who are available to those of you who already have an idea of what you want to study. They provide advise to pre-majors and can answer any questions you have about pursuing that specific field of study.

Student Groups
There are groups and organizations on campus that have different focuses and goals. The first generation group on campus was designed to provide support to first generation students. There are also other groups you can join if you seek a different kind of support or help. In order to become further aware of the groups and organizations at Wesleyan, I would recommend all of you to attend the activities fair at the beginning of the school year.

At the risk of sounding cliché in this last section, I will say that you need to surround yourself with friends that will rejoice with you during the good times and support you during the bad times. At the end of the day, these are the people that you will talk to the most about everything that’s happening in your life. I know it can be scary to think about the first few weeks at a new school where you many not know too many people or no one at all, but trust me you will find people that share your same interests soon after you arrive.

I hope this was helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions. You can reach me at apcastro@wesleyan.edu.

Good luck to you all. See you soon.

pre college nerves

About three years ago, I remember how anxious I was the summer before college. My mind kept racing with thoughts on whether I would like college, would I fit in, where was I living, etc. As many of you embark on your four-year journey at Wesleyan, you should keep in mind some of these helpful tips to sooth your pre-college worries


  1. Talk to Current College Students

Whether it is your older sibling, your college friend, or a student at Wesleyan, you can always reach out to students that have been through the college experience. The WesAdmits 2019 Facebook page is great resource to post some questions and reach out to current Wesleyan students. Additionally, you can email your friendly Academic Peer Advisors or Orientation Interns. There are many resources for you to use so make sure you take advantage!


  1. Make a Plan

What clubs are you going to join? What are some goals you have for the upcoming year? What questions do you want to ask your academic advisor? Writing out your concerns or questions is a good way to find out what you need or want to know. The Wesleyan website has a list of all the clubs and activities available to all students. In addition, your Wesleyan email holds all the emails of Wesleyan students, advisors, faculty and staff. You can also contact your Academic Peer Advisors to help you write out a plan.


  1. Learn the skills for living away from home

Are you nervous about those housekeeping task you’ll have to do for yourself once you get to school? Ask anyone who knows those tasks such as laundry, cooking, cleaning to teach you. This is also a great way to bond with a friend or family members before shipping off to Wes.


  1. Learn the Wesleyan Fight Song

If you know all the lyrics to this song, you’ll be more prepared then everyone else. Find it here! http://www.wesleyan.edu/about/know/traditions.html


  1. Put it all in perspective

Hey, you were accepted into Wesleyan University. That’s a big deal. You are smart and ready for college life. Things are going to be different from high school and sure sometimes it is hard, but if you really want to be here, the Wesleyan community welcomes you with open arms.


I hope this blurb was helpful and if you have any questions for me or any other Peer Advisor make sure to contact us! Here’s the link to our info: http://peeradvisor.blogs.wesleyan.edu/about-us/

By Sherrel Mike

I remember when I was an incoming freshman at Wesleyan. I was so excited to choose my own classes and fill my first semester schedule to the brim with classes to get ahead! With all of the excitement of going to college, I forgot one key word: Balance. Oftentimes, many incoming freshman forget to balance their schedules, which ends up adversely affecting their first-semester experiences. Of the many possible rules about how to succeed during your first semester, I like to think that they can be summarized in 3 ideas: class scheduling, pacing, and class assessments.

Class Scheduling and Pacing:

With the many options available, you may want to take everything you can, however, know your limits and know what is required of you so you can better plan out your college career! Let’s do a little math! In order to graduate from Wesleyan, all students must have a minimum of 32 course credits. Course credits are measured on a scale from 0.5-1.25, depending on the demands of the course, with most courses worth 1.0 credit. In addition, you will have 8 semesters to complete this requirement. Thus, by taking around 4 classes each semester, the 32-credit requirement can be met.

Wesleyan’s Academic Regulations Page: http://www.wesleyan.edu/registrar/academic_regulations/

Throughout your years here at Wesleyan, you can of course take more than 4 credits a semester. During your first semester, however, college can be a confusing place, and knowing that your schedule is not overbearing and well paced is always appreciated!

Another topic to keep in mind is the timing of your classes. Most classes at Wesleyan do not meet every day, but they may instead meet twice or three times a week. This being said, it is very easy to overwhelm yourself by scheduling nearly all of your classes into a couple of days. Also, try to be aware of the times classes start and end. If you have a class that ends at 2:30 and another class that starts at 2:40 on the other side of campus, you barely have time to collect your thoughts before you are running off again!

Doing well in school is incredibly important, but if you have no time in between classes to eat or take a breath, you can find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed, which is never a recipe for success. Try to balance the number of classes you have by spreading them throughout the week.

Class Assessments:

The final idea to keep in mind when making your first semester schedule is how you are being assessed. Not all classes are the same! Some may be more writing intensive; others may be more exams. During my first semester, I ended up taking 4 classes that were more writing intensive, and at a couple of points during the semester, I had an essay nearly every day during the week! Fortunately, I got through it, but I wish I had mixed the two. Looking at WesMaps (Course Catalog) can help you to both figure out how to approach your assignments when creating a schedule and prepare mentally for those more difficult times like midterms and finals week.

Finding balance in any new situation is difficult, but when you can, the pay off is great! Have a great summer!

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According to Wesleyan’s website, about 300 students go abroad each year on various programs to many different countries. With statistics like this, it is clear that Wesleyan makes it very possible to study, work, or intern all around the world. Having just returned from a spring semester abroad on Wesleyan’s ECCO program in Bologna, Italy, I can say firsthand that it is a challenging but very rewarding experience. Certain majors, such as Psychology and College of Letters, require or strongly suggest studying abroad, but students of all disciplines also decide to study for a variety of reasons. While I feel that my experience in Bologna was one of the highlights of my Wesleyan experience, studying abroad is not for everybody! Uprooting your entire life and living and studying somewhere else for five months is hard work, so I highly encourage students to make sure they have a strong reason for wanting to go abroad (more than just that your friends are doing it too) and that you feel emotionally prepared to make this giant step.

If you feel that studying abroad is the right choice for you, planning ahead and making smart choices are essential to making your experience the least stressful and most enjoyable as possible! Here are some things to consider:



Wesleyan students have the option of studying abroad a full year, fall semester, or spring semester. While it may be a tad more difficult to obtain credits or financial support, other students also decide to spend their summers studying or working in another country too. Additionally, while the majority of students study during their junior year, others go their sophomore spring or senior fall.

While there are some common pros and cons that Wesleyan students consider when deciding to study in the Fall (pros: do not miss out on events like Spring Fling or Senior Week, have the option to extend their stay to the full academic year, cons: have less control over living arrangements when returning to campus) or the Spring (pros: have the opportunity to continue travelling over the summer, often wonderful weather, cons: must figure out next year’s housing and summer plans remotely), I encourage everybody to take into also account their personal academic plan as well.

While College of Letters students must go abroad their sophomore spring, and College of Social Studies students generally go during their junior fall, most departments allow students to study abroad whenever they would like. It is up to you to make sure that you can receive major credits while abroad, or will be able to complete your major when you return. You should check your major’s website and speak to your major advisor to figure out if you can receive major credits while abroad. You can also check on Wesmaps to see when required courses are offered. For instance, if you major offers required courses (or just courses that interest you more) only in the Fall, maybe it is better for you to study abroad during the Spring. If you are going on a program with a language requirement (Wesleyan’s programs usually have them) make sure you plan your courses ahead of time!

Additionally, certain programs offer different experiences in different semesters.
One example is that my program is the Vassar-Wesleyan program in Paris, which offers a French intensive course in Bordeaux only in the Fall semester. Finally, certain locations may be more desirable during a certain time of year than another. For instance, winters in Sweden tend to be VERY cold and dark. If studying in Sweden during the Fall semester, each day will progressively become darker in colder. If studying in Sweden in the spring, each day will instead become sunnier and warmer, which many people prefer. This brings us to another very important consideration…



For some students, the decision of where they want to study is a no brainer. Many people, myself included, use studying abroad as an opportunity to go somewhere they have wanted to go for their whole lives, either to connect to their roots or learn a language. However, if you know you want to study abroad but have no idea where you want to go, that is okay! Some find universities abroad that specialize in their academic interests, and some are drawn to certain aspects or themes of study abroad programs. Just like when choosing a college, you can choose a country of program by pinpointing things that are important to you. Maybe that is whether you go to an English speaking country or not, whether you live in a home stay or an apartment, or whether you want to live in a big city or a rural village. Once you know what you want from your experience, Wesleyan’s Office of Study Abroad, located on the ground floor of Fisk, is a wonderful resource to help you explore not only Wesleyan sponsored programs, but other programs that Wesleyan students have gone on in the past.

To get started, check out Wesleyan’s study abroad website: http://www.wesleyan.edu/ois/


Happy travels!


June 17, 2015 by Rubye Peyser

Like many of you, I took a few AP courses and exams in high school and did fairly well. The Wesleyan website says that—for someone with qualifying AP scores—taking placement exams is, “strongly encouraged,” but not required. Let’s be honest: it was June; I had just finished my senior year and taking another test did not seem ideal. Plus, Wes didn’t require the exam, so why take it, right?
I was wrong. When I arrived on campus I discovered that to qualify for the language course I wanted to take, I needed to have a certain placement exam score. There are some exceptions to this rule, but in general, professors and departments want to see your current proficiency level in a subject, not just how well you did two years ago when you took the AP.
Needless to say, the first night of orientation I was frazzled (over the placement exams and the fact that I was in my first week of college), took the exam, and did not do as well as expected. My haste in taking the test certainly played into my performance. MORAL NUMBER ONE: Take the test now, even if you think you don’t need to. If you are worried about going down a level, take a load off and (MORAL NUMBER TWO) trust the test. In truth, my Spanish was not as strong as when I graduated high school, so the class I qualified for turned out to be the right fit.
I know these exams are intimidating, but the bottom line is that you’ll be attending a top school so even if the university ultimately places you in the introductory level, the course will still be engaging and challenging.
To access the placement tests, log on to your portfolio, click on Moodle in the top left corner, and the placement tests will be listed under “My Courses.” As always, if you have questions don’t hesitate to email the Peer Advisors at peeradvisors@wesleyan.edu

Enjoy your summer!

Join us as a panel of former thesis writers speak about their experience and give advice on how to make the thesis process as easy as possible. This event is intended to give rising senior an insight on the thesis writing process prior to and during their senior year.

The event will be on Monday April 27th in 41 Wyllys, Room 115 at 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Panelist include:

  • Alison Goldberg ’15- Psychology
  • Earl Lin ’15 – American Studies and History double major
  • Veronica Birdsall ’15 – MB&B and Neuroscience double major
  • Veronica Alvarado ’15 – English and Religion double major

This event is brought to you by the Dean’s Office and Student Academic Services.

Are you ahead on your credits and considering graduating early? Want to save 20-25% of the cost of attending Wesleyan? As pre-reg finishes up, this is a great time to think about whether accelerating is right for you.


To graduate you must complete 32 Wesleyan credits, live on campus for 6 semesters, and complete one or more majors. There are several ways that you can get credits beyond the recommended 4 credits per semester:

  • Up to 2 credits may be used from before your time at Wesleyan, in the form of AP and IB scores or college courses taken during high school
  • In-semester course overload – there is no credit limit per semester, so it may be possible to take 5 or more credits at a time. Consider adding 0.5 or 0.25 credit courses to supplement your course load
  • Summer and Winter Session – you can earn up to 2 credits during Wesleyan Summer Session or 1 credit during Winter Session


In addition, there are several ways you could think about your accelerated program:

  • Complete your degree in 6 straight semesters and graduate ahead of your original class
  • For students in the natural sciences, join a lab and forgo doing a senior thesis and instead complete your master’s thesis during your fourth year. That is, graduate with a BA/MA in 4 years instead of 5!
  • Complete your first 4 semesters, take a gap year during your “junior year” and return to campus for your senior year with your original class

This last option is one that isn’t outlined on the 3 year website or widely known on campus. This is how I’m completing my degree and I’d highly recommend it for those considering the 3-year option. During my junior gap year, I worked in three different labs, getting full time research experience (& a published paper!) both in the US and abroad. If you regret not taking time between high school and college, this could be the perfect time. There are 15 months between the end of sophomore year and the beginning of senior year to travel, volunteer, work, or gain experience in a field you’re interested in. Many organizations offer internships during the semester that you wouldn’t be able to participate in during the semester due to location and the time commitment. These experiences can help you identify a topic for a senior thesis or gain practical skills not accessible on campus. Or, if you want the study abroad experience without the cost of a study abroad program, find an organization you’d like to work with and make your own study abroad experience. You’ll probably have to cover your own costs, but it will be considerably cheaper than Wesleyan or study abroad tuition. Feel free to reach out to me (heverett @ wes) for more information about this model!


If accelerating sounds appealing to you, reach out to your advisor and class Dean to discuss your plan. Accelerating makes the most sense when you have a clear goal, either for your post-Wesleyan plans or an unconventional undergraduate program. Graduating early is not for everyone or every course of study – don’t rush through your time at Wesleyan just because you can.


it's not a race, folks!

it’s not a race, folks!

For more information: http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/curriculum/3year.html

So you just had a very long (weirdly longer than any other university) spring break. Now you have been back at Wesleyan for one week. You might have had your midterms, are preparing for upcoming midterms, or are one of the few students that don’t have much work. Currently, you might be dismayed with your midterm grades or worried about how your upcoming exam may affect your overall class grade. So what should you do to see your class progress and performance right now?

  1. Check your grades

On Moodle, certain professors post your grades on the left hand side of that specific class’s Moodle. There you can see your previous grades and upcoming assignments. Additionally, you can observe what percentage of your entire class grade each assignment may be. This is a great place to check your progress! If your professor does not post your grades on Moodle, you should look at your syllabus for your professor’s grading methods and apply this criterion to your previous assignments.

  1. Go to Office Hours

All professors are mandated to have office hours. Here, you can ask your professor questions about readings, question her grading methods, or talk about your professor’s research. Furthermore, office hours are a great way to ask about your grade or your progress in the class. Your professor’s office hours should be posted on the syllabus and class Moodle!

  1. Make a Plan

If you do not like your grades in a class and think you have to catch up on some work, you should map out a plan. Use your agenda, computer, and Google calendar to create a schedule for your work and class assignments. This is a great way to get on track for the second half of the semester. Peer Advisors are a great source to help make a plan and you can email all of us at “peeradvisors@lyris.wesleyan.edu”

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We hope this a helpful way to get back on track or improve your second half of the semester and always feel free to contact any peer advisor at the email above. Good luck!

Come have dinner and learn from alumni, current graduate students and staff about the ins and outs of graduate school and the application process.


Eugene Wong ’09, Economics and Math double major
MBA 2015, Yale School of Management

Andrea DePetris ’10, Psychology major
PhD 2016, University of Connecticut, Clinical Psychology

Emily Goettsche ’12, Neuroscience and Behavior major
MPH 2015, Yale School of Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Ruthann Coyote, PhD
Pre-Professional Advisor, Pre-law and Health Professions
Wesleyan Career Center

Get a better understanding of the timing, how to select a school, preparing for entrance exams and how to pay for grad school!

Thursday, March 26, 6:30 pm to 8 pm.
Daniel Family Commons

Please RSVP here

Co-sponsored by the Deans Office, Student Academic Resources and the Career Center

Your job will be better than this movie.

Your job will be better than this movie.

What are you doing this summer? I know, it’s hard to think farther ahead than midterms, but now’s the perfect time to start planning for your summer internship. Here are some tips on how to get started.

1. Explore the CRC website

The CRC website is LOADED with info that’ll be really useful as you begin your internship search.   Have a look at CareerDrive, which catalogues job and internship opportunities. Use WesConnect to network with alums in your fields of interest.

2. Write up your résumé and a general cover letter

It seems like a daunting task, but there are a lot of helpful templates that make it much easier. Again, head to the CRC website! They’ve got sample résumés for students of all years and levels of experience. If you’re apply for many internships in the same field, write up a general cover letter and then personalize it for each company you apply to.

3. Ask you professors!

Not only will you definitely need to ask your profs for recommendations for most internship apps (email your local peer advisor for tips on how to ask!), but even if you have no idea where to start looking for internships your profs may be able to help! Ask if they have any advice, or even better if they know of any specific internships that they think might be good for you to check out.

4. Make friends with a career counselor!

Once your résumé is approved by the CRC you’re able to apply for programs through Wesleyan. Be sure to ask someone at the CRC to review your cover letters, too.

5. Apply for your dream job

Even if you can’t find an in to your favorite job through the CRC, don’t give up! Look on the company’s website to see if they’re soliciting interns. Even if they’re not, apply anyway. If you have no idea where to even begin, just google “internships” and what you are interested in and don’t be afraid to apply to random things!

6. Consider Wesleyan!

There are lots of summer opportunities right on campus! If you really don’t see any appealing internships the admissions office is often looking to hire tour guides for the summer as well as orientation interns. If you are interested in doing lab work there are opportunities to get paid to work in a lab on campus through the McNair Program and Wesleyan Summer Research funding. If you are interested in learning statistical softwares/working with one of your professors there is the QAC apprenticeship program! Ask your professors, deans, the Wesleyan website, or your peer advisors about these on-campus opportunities.

7. Don’t give up!

Brace yourself for rejection. I’ve actually learned to be happy about rejection– at least it means you’re on their radar! Cast a broad net and be persistent, and you’re unlikely to come up empty handed.

New Semester, New You


How can you make this semester your best semester yet? How can you throw away those B’s and lasso in those A’s? Take a look at a couple suggestions for starting off this spring semester.

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  1. Reflect and Set Goals

Take an hour of your time, sit down, and really think about what you want to achieve this semester. May it be taking some more time to study for each class or joining a new club, you should write down some objectives and put them somewhere you can see them every day. Placing post-it notes near your desk or drawing your goals on poster board and hanging it up in your room can make your desired goals tangible. It is important to additionally make sure these goals are realistic and you are willing to put in the time and effort to complete them. An unrealistic goal may be getting a 4.0 while writing a novel and directing a major motion film. A realistic goal: Trying to get an A in Intro to Chemistry after you got a B+ your first semester.

  1. Make a Schedule

It is important to map out your semester by using a Master Schedule, which includes important assignments, testing dates, upcoming readings and really everything you have planned for this semester. Take the time now to look over your syllabi and write in those major assignments and dates. There are many strategies to make such a schedule. You can use your calendar on your Gmail account, iCal, or an university planner (which are free at Usdan). With your new Master Schedule, you can see which weeks you will be the busiest and which weeks you might have less work so you can plan for the upcoming busy week.

  1. Use Wesleyan’s Resources

The university provides many helpful outlets that are not used! If you need assistance with anything, academic or other, please use all the wonderful resources here at Wes. Below I will provide a shortlist of some great places:

I hope this helps you off to a good start. Good luck on your new semester and please contact the Peer Advisors if you ever have any questions!


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Prepare yourself to succeed this semester by attending these workshops on metacognition, a strategy that involves assessing and taking control of your own thought processes to help you become a better student!

Workshop 3 on Thursday, January 29, 2015

Time: 7:00 PM-8:15 PM

Location:       41 Wyllys, Olson Commons (CRC lobby space)

Audience:      Under Represented Minorities, Veterans, and First-Gen college students

Title:              The Journey to Excellence

Please RSVP by email for Workshop 3 cfcd@wesleyan.edu


Workshop 4 on Friday, January 30, 2015

Time:  9:00 AM-11:00 AM

Location:       Exley Science Center, Woodhead Lounge

Audience:      All Undergraduate Students

Title:                Metacognition:  The Key to Acing Courses!

Please RSVP by email for breakfast (served at 8:30) and Workshop 4 cfcd@wesleyan.edu

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