"Alternative" Wes? Ahhh! Help!

<p>Ok, I've visited Wes twice now - once for a info session/tour the other for a class visit/interview. However, I still can't decide if I want to apply ED. Everything that Wes offers appeals to me, except the outwardly hippyish-alternative fact that Wes has. I do not, to any degree, want to go to a school like a Hampshire, Malboro, Bard, or Sarah Lawrence to any extent. I want to go to a school like I know parts of Wes have; Aware, active, concious, politcal, and intellectually curious kids. I want to go to a school of racial and ethnic diversity, but I do not want to go to a school with a hippyculture that would make me feel out of place. </p>

<p>Someone, for my own sanity, help me out here =) Come on Wes students!</p>

<p>What do you mean by "hippyish-alternative" and how is it a problem for you?</p>

<p>The hippyculture or the alternative culture. I don't know how to be much clearer =). I wouldn't feel comfortable in an enviorment filled with people who are outwardly different then myself. Just as I wouldn't feel comfortable in environments such as Hampsire College, Bard, or Sarah Lawrnence. Close minded? Sure, to some degree. </p>

<p>How hippyish ia Wes?</p>

<p>Well, I'm not really sure what to tell you if you can't articulate what you're trying to avoid. There are all sorts of people at Wesleyan. </p>

<p>However, if you don't feel comfortable with people who are outwardly different than you, you might want to look at your local public university. Most top private schools now are heavily committed to diversity and actively try to put people in situations with others who are outwardly different from themselves.</p>

<p>You're not understanding me at all. I want a school with racial and ethnic diversity. What I do not want is to go to a school where the hippy culture (the same culture at Bard, Sarah Lawrence, and Hampshire) is the dominant one. What I'm talking about is the steryotypical hippy-person. Most other people, and you yourself, people dont feel comfortable in an enviornment where there is no one like themselves to indentify with.</p>

<p>You shouldn't stereotype. </p>

I wouldn't feel comfortable in an enviorment filled with people who are outwardly different then myself.


Then don't go to college. You're going to find people "outwardly different" from you wherever you decide to go.</p>

<p>Well, what I'm going for here is that you're going to encounter problems at any school if put people in a box like that and constantly worry about whether your sensibilities are going to be offended. Even if you could identify what "hippyish" qualities you have a problem with, I'm certainly not prepared to make any sort of numerical estimate of how many Wesleyan students exhibit them. I just don't spend time thinking about that kind of thing.</p>

<p>ok you guys I like Wesleyan, but its obvious what he means, and I'm sure he's not trying to sound closeminded. You all know that Wesleyan has a reputation for being "hiipyish" or very liberal, protests, pervasive sexuality, smoking pot, whatever....He's asking (I think?) if everyone is like this(extreme) and if they'll feel out of place. Wesleyan is not for everyone, although I really like it, its not fair to attack this person for asking a valid question that should be addreseed. Its not necessary. To Moot, I'm sure you'd fit in just fine and the whole stereotype about the school has been blown out of proportion</p>

<p>For goodness sakes, I'm not "attacking" anyone. I'm just trying to appeal to the OP that he needs to not worry about whether there will be some people in college whose worldview and behavior he doesn't agree with. I think it goes without saying that not everyone embodies the most extreme stereotypes about any college. </p>

<p>I would just hope prospective Wes kids are savvy enough to realize that without needing to be reassured that there are a lot of modest, liberal, affluent suburbanites in the student body. Of course there are.</p>

<p>Or shouldn't Wes student's be savvy enough to realize what I really mean, and address the issue that's concerning me - no matter what it is.</p>

<p>And I fully understand that not everyone embodies the stereotype in colleges. My question was to what extent is the alternative facet of Wes dominant on campus.</p>

<p>I personally am one of those, "modest, liberal, affluent suburbanites" and I do not mind in the slightest different cultures on campus; In fact that's what is drawing me to Wes. My question is only how much does this specific culture dominate campus life, as I do not want to go to a school such as Bard, Sarah Lawrence or Hampshire, where the "alternative" lifestyle is the dominating one.</p>

<p>All right, everybody calm down. Part of what is throwing the Wes people off is that no one self-identifies as "hippy" anymore. And like the good rationalists they have been trained to emulate, they are refusing to assume they know what you mean. I will try to break it down for you: 1) Wesleyan is in no way like Hampshire or Bard or Marlboro; even though most laid-back, pot smoking, guitar-playing, Wesleyan anarchist, deep down, craves intellectual stimulation and would--quite frankly--be bored to death if the only other people he could interact with were other pot-smoking, guitar-playing, anarchists.</p>

<p>What other elements of hippiedom might you mean? Okay, let's take pot-smoking. A lot of kids have tried it. I think as many people use it regularly as get drunk on an average Amherst weekend. If you want to say, a third of the students at Amherst are drunkards--I could see saying, a third of the students at Wesleyan would take a hit from a joint if offered to them.</p>

<p>What else? Folk singers? There's only been one really good folk singer to graduate from Wesleyan in the past fifteen years and her name is Dar Williams. </p>

<p>Vegetarians? Red meat is not popular at Wesleyan. Most people will eat chicken, dairy and fish, however. There are only about 200 members of the Wesleyan food co-op which--to me--would be almost the minimum requirement if you were going to be a hard-core vegan.</p>

<p>Hard core radicals? Again, the largest demonstration ever held against the administration (an easy target at any liberal university) only drew about 200 people. At Wesleyan, cynics outnumber radicals about five or six to one, just as they do at just about every liberal college I've ever been to.</p>

<p>I'm actually running out of elements. If there are any others that you can think of, I will try to help.</p>

<p>I think something that makes it so special is that it is hard to stereotype a certain kind of people - because so many share a lot of the same emotional/intellectual beliefs and motives.</p>

<p>One thing that would help me however, is you to kind of, to the best of your ability, try and identify the amount of outwardly alternative people there are- let's just say people who have funky hair, long beards, hippyish clothes etc. Would you say more than half of the people are outwardly alternative?</p>

<p>or, making matters worse. But, I said, I would work with you and so, I will. Outwardly alternative? Okay, there is the Goth house. It's not really a Goth themed house; it's more like a frat that got taken over by some Goths. I doubt if there are more than a few dozen members. Then, there's West College; they are often accused of being the center of all things alternative at Wesleyan. That's probably unfair to the residents of West College, most of whom are freshman. But, let's just say every one of them had wierd hair and wore vintage clothing (they don't, but, let's just say) there are only 120 people in all of West College. That brings us to about 200 possibly, actively, outwardly wierd people. As I said, I don't know if this is helping or just making things worse. But, somehow, it always comes back to the same basic number: there are always going to be about 200 or so people at Wesleyan--10% (and perhaps this is true of life in general) who have far bigger b_lls than you or I.</p>

<p>Yah, that helped. When I visited Wes, I saw people sitting on the hill just smoking weed in groups. That was semi-disconcerting after I met a couple of seniors who are specifically like myself. Did I just go to the wrong place at the wrong time or is this a normal occurance? </p>

<p>I love what Wes has to offer. The genuine intellectual curiosity, the cultural and ethnic diversity, the learning for learning's sake, and the constant necessity to strive for more and hope for better. I just don't want to go to a campus where the predominant culture is one is one that I don't identify with - surely you'll understand that, because I assume you yourself wouldn't want to be around people that you'd don't personally identify with on a physical or emotional level. </p>

<p>I appreciate the help, john</p>

<p>It's unusual to see people smoking weed in broad daylight because it can lead to trouble with the Student Judiciary Board (SJB) and you never know who might fink you out, campus police being one strong possibility. That being said, few places in New England offer the temptation that Foss Hill does on a sunny afternoon. For most of my time at Wes, the view of the Connecticut River from that elevation, purely by itself, was enough to make me high. :)</p>

<p>Honestly, Moot, I led a pretty sheltered life in high school and had to adjust how zany Wesleyan is. Zany isn't a bad thing. It also isn't a concrete thing, and no one has the time to be zany 24 hours a day. Besides, consider the alternative. Some day you'll be a graduate with a BA out there in the real world working in an office or toiling away in grad school and you'll find you miss the randomness of life at Wes, walking out of the Science Tower at midnight and seeing some of those "hippy-alternative" people outside WestCo with make-shift percussion instruments.</p>

<p>You won't be happy with 100% of everything that happens to you at college, but that's life. Live it. Embrace it. Be brave.</p>

<p>Hi Moot,</p>

<p>I think I can give you a little insight into Wesleyan. I have as son
who's a junior at Bowdoin and my daughter is a freshman at Wes. We're
from same surban-type background as you. My son loves Bowdoin, and we
always thought that our daughter would go to one of the 3 Maine schools.
We had toured Wes in the fall of her senior year and liked it. When she got in
She and I went down for admitted students day, which they call WESFEST,
which also happens to be the wildest weekend of the year for some reason.
After reading the Princeton Review blurb of Wes I expected to see lots of
green-haired, multi-pierced, tattooed, potsmoking kids along with the
crunchy granola kids that the Princeton Review describes.... where did they
get that write up ... I think its 20 years out of date. We had a great day
at Wesleyan everyone was so friendly, great sense of community, and I can
tell you first hand that Wes kids looked liked the mix at any other NESCAC school.What was different about WES is the great sense of community when it comes to diversity, other NESCAC schools have to try hard to to show
that they are diverse. At Wes there's such a great mix of individuals and
it's been that way for a long time. My Bowdoin son has been down to Wes
several times and loves it. My Wes daughter is a non-drinker and loves the
social life. She's gone to lots of parties and no pressure to drink or to do
drugs. She's a math/science student and loves her teachers/courses so far.</p>

<pre><code> My son plays a varsity sport at Bowdoin and my daugter was also a

<p>recruited athlete. We've visited all the NESCAC schools several times over
the past few years. Each school definitely has its own personality, including
Wesleyan. Get to as many campuses as you can. Good luck with the college

<p>Moot - can you do an overnight visit to Wesleyan? That might help you. I think overnight visits are a good idea before deciding to apply anywhere ED.</p>

<p>I agree with jrpar - an overnight visit sounds like a really good idea in your case. As a freshman, I won't deny that Wesleyan has a certain atmosphere that drew me towards it, and pushes other people away. Visit it, and find out if it's for you... and if you're not sure, you probably shouldn't apply early decision.</p>

<p>In terms of alternative schools, I'd say that Williams, Amherst, Middlebury, Bowdoin, etc. probably have active and intellectual students who don't have the same reputation - a little more mainstream and "preppy," if that's what you're looking for. Of course, by reputation, to be politically correct, I mean the average student - there are different types of people at every school.</p>

<p>Thanks guys-</p>

<p>Madjoy, that's not to say that Wes doesn't have a good amount of, "mainstream and "preppy"" right? When I visited Wes, I got the impression that there was a large facet of Wes that shared the same intellectual curiosity, but was also preppy. Tell me if I'm wrong here</p>