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Wesleyan vs. Brown for ED (biology programs)

runningawayrunningaway Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
edited September 2010 in Wesleyan University
Hey! I have pretty much narrowed down my top two schools to brown and wesleyan, and i am wondering if anyone had thoughts on which would be the right one to ED

I am looking to major in either biochemistry of neuroscience, and what i was wondering is whether there is any significant difference between these programs/departments at the different schools. Pretty much is one significantly superior.

I LOVED both campuses/ the general vibe, although i rather liked wesleyan campus better from what i have seen

I am leaning towards wes mainly because i think i have a somewhat decent shot ED, whereas pretty much no one has a decent shot at brown

A little about me:

I am the classic ap/honors student, first in my small-town class, and pretty much involved in everything. I have never had below an A-
Here are the ap classes I have taken thus far:

sophmore: biology (got an A+, scored a 5)
junior: ap lang (5) apush (took this as an independent study, 5)
senior: ap chem, ap environmental, ap gov, ap spanish, ap lit

my ec list includes:
4 years of spring crew (3 varisty), 2 years of varsity cross country, 3 years of indoor track
4 years of: school newspaper, Interact Club(president next year), Peer Educators Club, Greener Impact(environmental club)
tutored 2 students yearlong in biology
member of the State Student Advisory Council on Education (applied to be student member of state board of ed, interviewed but rejected)
2 years National Honor Society
People to People Student Ambassador Trip
Closeup Washington DC Trip
Brown Summer Program
Yearlong volunteering at local waterfowl conservatory

Awards include:
Governor's Scholar
1st Place in a local writing competition
COLT Award
Bausch Lomb Science Award
Yale Book Award
English Award
and quite a few others

CR: 760
M:640(i know, problem)

oh, and i got an 800 on the bio SATII, and plan to take the US History and English

So, any ideas about the right choice? thanks!
Post edited by runningaway on

Replies to: Wesleyan vs. Brown for ED (biology programs)

  • cowmoocowmoo Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    This is my first time on college confidential gosh, 6 years since I was a nervous-wreck of a high school senior applying to colleges. now, I'm 2 year removed from college graduation and somehow surviving in the real world.

    To answer your question, I was a Molecular Biology & Computer Science double major at Wesleyan. But I also remember fondly my experience as a debate team member going to the debauchery at Providence, where on the back of our debate tournament orientation packet, the captain of the Brown team had kindly listed a "hookup matching service: feeling lonely and horny? fill out this personal info sheet and I'll personally guarantee to find a suitable hookup partner for you."

    But I digress, I could give you the enthusiastic undergrad spiel about amazing undergrad research opportunity is at Wes or if you want to apply medical school, how great the acceptance rate is, blah blah. But the truth is, Brown and Wesleyan are both great schools; if you are indecisive but sold on both schools, you might as well flip a coin. If you are concerned about how your high school experience will be judged (kind of like college seniors feel that the salary of their first job determines the value of their college experience), then hands-down choose Brown.

    But if you gotta a gut feeling that Wesleyan is quirky and that you are also quirky. That dancing by yourself in your room is cool. Or that playing truth-or-dare Janga with friends on Friday nights is as good as getting smashed at the frats. There was this stupid game that I remember that we used to play freshmen year where you sit in a circle with your hands bounded to a person behind you; and someone says a personality phrase (e.g., "anyone who thinks that I gotta a crush on them), and whoever fits the description must free hirself from hir bounding partner and escape to the other side of the circle to try to peck on the cheek of the statement person. And the winner is whoever pecks the cheek first and gets to say the phrase the next round.

    I'll also say that there are also many hypocrisies at Wesleyan. The hippie/accepting environment is a facade that you quickly find out by your sophomore year, just like a big school, you'll have to find out who you are and carve out your own niche. As an RA, I can't tell you the number of times I had crying girls ... and guys in my room bawling out about their social alienation, academic failings ... and sexual frustrations. And I tend to agree with them because I too had the same ... frustrations.

    Like some of my dissatisfied residents, I had thought about transferring to some place more practical, less ideal. Being Asian, I want to say "F this Kumbaya crap, I'll just transfer to Cornell and make my mom happy; get myself knee-deep in with the AzN scene and get an EE degree and make some money after graduation." I stuck it out though because I loved the research that I was doing for my professor (despite the utter lack of application to the real world), I liked my friends (despite their selfishness), and still liked the idealism (despite the hypocrisy) on the campus.

    Sorry about totally not answering your question, but that was also the point. Six years ago, I was a nervous-wreck high school senior who fretted about his chance to get into a ivy league school, stressed so much about my EC's, GPA's, SAT's that I never got past what would happen after I got accepted by the colleges. So for your sake, I'll toss out my numbers, 3.65 GPA/4.50 WGPA/770 SATV/710 SATM/800 SATII-Math/700 SATII-Writing => Accepted: Wesleyan/Cornell/Grinnell/UMichgan/UMaryland, Rejected: UC Berkeley. Good luck!

    tl;dr: for sure go with Brown
  • runningawayrunningaway Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    HAHA thank you SO much for the advice! Your response made me laugh, and feel a little better, although I am still not sure. The worst thing at all is the uncertainty. This is my FUTURE!!! I am mostly scared that if I go for Brown ED I will get rejected, and then get rejected for Wesleyan RD. And then what. But it is nice to know that SOMEBODY got through this intact :). And all my uber-stress now is going to seem distant and juvenile someday.

    And I TRULY appreciate the honesty.

    Do you find that your Wesleyan alum has significantly opened doors for you in any way?
  • cowmoocowmoo Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    About as much as the alum of your high school you are about to graduate will help you find a summer internship or get into a good college.

    When I was in high school, I was so stressed about college because it was my FUTURE!! I looked up alums who graduated what school, looked at the grad school acceptance rate at what school, average salary of graduates of what school, and of course the acceptance rate/average SAT score of what school.

    What I asked myself later though was that, do I want to do the same crap that some old geezer who just happened to graduate from the school that I go to; do I want to go to some law/medical school just to impress some people right now and end up committing something that I don't want for the rest of my life; do I want to get paid a high salary so I could trade in for 8-10 hours of my life everyday to do mindless work; stress over college acceptance that I really don't have control over (sure it's my future, sure I can work on my essay & polish on my presentation; but I couldn't hack my high school registrar/collegeboard to change my GPA and SAT, :-(

    Some of these things you really have to find out for yourself. It's kind of like when you were in middle school and everyone is jockeying for positions to be in the "popular clique." Maybe you were already in the popular clique but you find yourself stressed to maintain the posturing and image; or you were in the middling crowd and you find yourself constantly stressed out to keep up the jones and how to go about "moving up"; or you were a loner/indie type and you may think that you are "above the fray," but secretly you are stressing about whether you made the wrong choice in life not to conform.

    Truth be told, some people are still worried about this type of crap long after middle school, high school, college, grad school, 'till the day that they die. But some people laugh it off sometime after middle school, about how ridiculous was it for them to want to be in the "popular clique," either because they found who they truly are or who their true friends are.

    So it's kinda like that.

    But for a straight answer, I got my summer internship for my freshman, sophomore and junior year all through Wesleyan alums. Like most LAC, it's a small but very strong. But I'll be honest though, Brown will probably offer you a better alum network because people will always give you the benefit of doubt if you went to a ivy league school. But you'll probably only understand how trivial a college alum network is after you graduate from college; it's kinda of like asking if a school's colors matches my favorite colors.
  • runningawayrunningaway Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Thanks again for being so straight with me! I went back to visit Wes again, interviewed and talked to some people, and I really think it might be the place for me! I just have a good feeling, and honestly, i am not going to choose a school a dont like as much for some silly name.
    so thanks again and good luck!
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