This post comes from Parrish Jenkins, one of our esteemed Admissions Counselors and a PK of 2006! Below Parrish writes about her experience while at Wesleyan, the things that she did right and the things that, well, didn’t go so right.
What I know I did right:
1) I will second Paula, and say I got involved!
* I did not join many clubs in high school, and I was excited to explore all of Wesleyan’s clubs and organizations my first semester. Not only did it help me meet people, and become more extroverted, but it also forced me to manage my time.
2) I got un-involved!
* This may sound counter intuitive, but as quickly as I got involved, my first semester was overwhelming. By January, I had to make some tough decisions, and figure out what I could handle as extracurricular activities, and what needed to wait until the next year. Wesleyan’s academic rigor is challenging, but extracurriculars are just as important. Find clubs and causes that fit your schedule and your philosophy so you can commit to things, but still have time to be successful.
3) I learned the history of Wesleyan
* You don’t have to be a walking time line of factual information, but I really enjoyed learning about Wesleyan’s origins, legendary alumnae, and sisterhood traditions, past and present during my time here. You’re spending a good chunk of money and time here for four years, and it helps to know more about the College than just your professors. See yourself as a graduate the day you start class!
4) I learned my way around Macon
* If you haven’t already figured it out, Macon is not Atlanta, nor any other city to want it to be like. Macon is Macon. And it is what you make of it. I knew I would never feel like this was my home, if I didn’t know it as well as I knew Watkinsville, or Athens for that matter. I never sat in my dorm room and whined about nothing to do. I found trivia nights, coffee shops, movies, bars and non-Wesleyan peeps to hang out with. I love my sisters, but if you treat Wesleyan like a bubble, it will be one.
5) I worked hard, and I played hard.
* I naturally expect a lot from myself. And even though I often struggled with time management and a little procrastination, life was easier when I finished early and left some time to treat myself.
What I did wrong – do I have to admit that I’m wrong?
1) I didn’t go to the gym. At all.
* Yes, walking to and from class, and up and down stairs is activity for the day. But the real world charges a lot for a gym membership. And Mathews is free. And I really like lunch time yoga. I should have started sooner!
2) I didn’t make enough friends.
* Don’t get me wrong, I was not socially inept. I had a great core group of friends. However, I know that I missed many opportunities to meet and get to know other young women. Don’t limit yourself to your incoming class, or your Big Sister class. Support comes from and mentors come in all ages!
3) I didn’t take enough electives.
* I took what I needed to for Gen Ed. But I regret not taking more electives, or even other 200 or 300 level classes just for the learning experience. Public speaking is great, but how about a Gender in the Media class. Biology is awesome, but I would gladly go back and study Neuroscience or Ecology just for fun. So what if I didn’t make an A in the class?
4) I didn’t do community service.
* Don’t judge me. I did some W.O.W days, but I know I missed out with lots of fun and meaningful projects around Macon. Now that I live and work here, it’s important to me to be a positive force in the community. Start early!
5) I dominated.
* My type A, driven personality took over first year, and still has trouble letting go of the reins! I struggled with delegating tasks, and wanting to do everything myself – perfectly. I had to find a balance between my fierce, task oriented and independent personality, and collaborating so that everyone benefited from the experience, not just me.