Get Ready for Wes, week 6

Dean’s Note

You should have received a note from Joan Chiari, our wonderful assistant, today explaining that this year’s Common Reading (Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum) is now available to you online and that you must use the code provided. The link for your responses is also included in that note.

Pre-Registration Planning will open on Monday, July 15. It seems that most of you have already taken advantage of the various advising resources available online and I am pleased that several of you have contacted me, other staff members, and the interns by email and phone. Keep it up! We welcome the opportunity to answer your questions and help you feel more confident about your transition to Wesleyan. The Academic Peer Advisors have put together some tips and strategies as we move toward pre-registration, so these are the bulk of this week’s note to you, as it is wonderful advice:

1. Advising Guidelines

What you are encouraged to do, and will find very helpful, is to read through the Advising Guidelines (don’t skip this!). A big theme emphasized is balance. It’s going to be your first semester at Wesleyan, meaning you will have many more semesters to take classes you won’t be able to take right now, so don’t feel pressured to take all major requirements or all one-specific type of class. You have several opportunities to solidify your class schedule, extending almost two weeks after the first day of classes, so don’t stress!

2. Pre-Registration Planning

There are three stages of choosing courses that lead to being enrolled in four full credit courses (or maybe 4.25 or 4.50 if you take a lab course, for example).

This phase beings in July. If you are an incoming first-year student, you will rank seven first-year seminars and seven introductory courses. If you are a transfer, you’ll be ranking seven introductory and/or upper-level courses from WesMaps. First year seminars aren’t mandatory, but highly encouraged! Having taken a first-year seminar myself, I can say that the meetings with professors, emphasis on developing your writing skills, and small classroom setting really helped prepare me for taking a wide range of classes at Wes. Wesvising is a great tool for looking at the different departments at Wesleyan and getting an idea of where you may want to look for classes on WesMaps.

3. Pre-Registration Adjustment

In late August, you will see a list of your ‘pending advisor approval’ courses in WesPortal. After seeing your tentative schedule, you’ll meet with your faculty advisor during orientation to talk about your current courses and what you want your academic experience at Wesleyan to look like. You will then have an opportunity to change, drop, or add courses before classes start during Pre-Registration Adjustment.

Peer Advisor Tips:

Consider class size and lecture vs. discussion
Some classes are larger lectures while others are smaller discussions. It’s great to have a mix of lectures and discussions that way you can engage in your classes by both listening and taking notes and participating and have a balance between the two.

Pursue an assortment of subjects
Don’t just list courses all in the same department/division-think about having a mix. A balanced approach will help you start to fulfill General Education Expectations.

Keep assessments in mind
On WesMaps, look at the types of assessments used for each class (tests, papers, etc.) that way you can try to choose classes that will give you the chance to demonstrate your understanding in different ways.

Plan out your days of the week
If you take all four of your full credit classes on Tuesday and Thursday, you’ll probably find yourself very tired these days and possibly wanting some more structure on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. To avoid this, try to space out your classes over the span of the week.

Do you think you’ll want to go abroad?
It might seem really far off, but many of the non-English speaking programs require 2 years of language, so if you want to go abroad during junior year, you should consider taking the language for the country you want to study in your first year. Note that many languages require that you begin a language during fall semesters. You can explore the study abroad programs here and also see the contact information for any questions that come up.

The Peer Advisors’ advice is available on our class blog in its long form. The Registrar’s Office also put together a New Student User Guide to Pre-Registration, so please look that over as well.

Finally, if you’re intrigued by the prospect of continuing a language you’ve been studying, starting a new language and/or studying abroad, check out these recent Wes students’ reflections on what their language study has meant to them.

Message from the Orientation Interns

Hello new students!

The Interns know that you’ve been bombarded with a lot of information about course registration. As upperclass students, we’re pre-registration experts and are always happy to answer your questions. Email us at and check out this Pre-Registration User Guide for new students.

If you’re already starting to think about packing for school, check out the packing list on our website. You can view it here.

For all International Students:
Naraa, the ISO Intern, put together a video for International Students about what to pack. Click here to view the video!

Good luck with everything! GO WES!

The Orientation Interns
Naraa Altai ‘22
Ivanie Cedeño ‘22
Michelle Lei ‘21
Ariana Baez ‘22
Anya Kisicki ‘22
(860) 685 5666

Summer Sendoffs

Sunday, July 21—Bay Area, CA
Tuesday, July 23—West Hartford, CT
Sunday, July 28—Beijing
Wednesday, July 31—Mamaroneck, NY
Thursday, August 1—New York City, NY
Sunday, August 3—Hong Kong
Sunday, August 4—Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, August 8—Mumbai
Thursday, August 8—Boston, MA
Sunday, August 11—Chicago, IL
Thursday, August 15—Seattle, WA

More information is available here.