Impressions Of
Wake Forest University

Academic Experience

Male Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2019

Is there anything you feel either of your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
They are phenomenal when it comes to foreign policy. They have some real thought leaders in foreign policy. They also have a couple of professors that are really well connected. For example, we had a professor who had her own show on MSNBC and now she runs something called Wake the Vote, which is essentially being able to take college students and plug them into really unbelievable opportunities within campaigns. For those that are accepted in the program, you tour nationally and meet all these senators and congressmen who are really well-connected people on the Hill. It’s a very cool opportunity.

The biggest part to be cognizant of with the Politics and International Affairs department at Wake is that there are so many Wake alums in DC just because it’s relatively close to North Carolina. We’re lucky that Wake educates well, and so you have good connections after school.

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I would say it’s collaborative. I wouldn’t say it’s cut-throat. That’s one of the beauties of Wake, it does not have the cutthroat feel, but it does have the rigor. There’s dialogue at Wake that perhaps students at Wake get more work than they would at an Ivy League but without the name behind it. It’s much more collaborative, that’s a big difference between it and other [top tier] schools. At Wake, everybody understands how much work they have, so they would rather find a more efficient means of getting it done.

Female Finance Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel the business school does especially well or especially poorly?
I think Wake Forest really emphasizes career options after graduating from college for business students. A lot of our career fairs and a lot of our resources, especially our extra resources, comes from being in the business school. We have our own career center in the undergraduate business school. I’ve had friends who are pre-med tell me that the career fairs are all geared towards business. I think the school, in general, is really geared towards that. Not to say that they can’t help you with other opportunities, it’s just a plus for me as a business school.

That’s also a downside for people who are not going into business. It might be hard to find career advice options and exit opportunities because, from what I’ve seen, not a lot of companies come for information sessions for other than business.

Social Opportunities

Male Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2019

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I would say the nightlife has died down a little bit since my freshman year, but it’s still very much a work hard play hard atmosphere. A lot of kids will work really, really hard during the week, and are either smart enough or are able to structure their schedules where they’re able to go out in the middle of the week. Wake Wednesdays are something that’s a big thing. There are kids that will absolutely grind during the day and then be able to free up some time at night. It’s a really social school.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
I would say in terms of the social atmosphere for me personally, Greek life allows you to meet a lot of people and do whatever you want to be doing socially. And unfortunately, that’s just not the case if you’re not in a fraternity or a sorority. There’s a huge divide between Greek and non-Greek. [See Old Gold and Black article, “Wake Forest Does Not Offer Enough Alternatives to Greek Life” and article, “Greek Life Wields Too Much Power.”]

Female Finance Major C/O 2020

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
It’s definitely changed since freshman year. Freshmen tend to go to frat parties off-campus, including myself, so a lot of times I would go off campus to frat parties. I went out the most first semester of freshman year.

Now [I like] more of a kickback environment. I haven’t really gone off campus much. I would sometimes go on campus to some of the lounge parties. [Lounge parties are when a fraternity throws a party in a lounge in a dorm.] A lot of the fraternities have lounge parties and parties at their off-campus houses and they switch whether they’re going to have a party on or off campus. The on-campus parties are more chill and laid back. I’ll also get a group of friends together in an apartment and hang out or my sorority will do a movie night. If we do a date function or something off campus that’s something I also like to do. I like those activities more than constantly going to the same party every weekend.

Male Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2019

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I go to fraternity parties generally Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

What impact does Greek life have on nightlife?
I’d say it’s probably greater than most other things. Most of the social life runs through Greek life I would say. [49% of students are in Greek life after recruitment.]

Campus Culture

Male Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the student body?
Generally, well of financially. There is a segment of students on scholarship, but the vast majority of kids at least seem wealthy. It’s a really well-dressed campus, and I think that’s partially reflective of the wealth of the community. I think it is pretty homogenous looking, you’re not going to see a lot of people with dyed hair or people who wear their hair in an interesting way. It’s kind of a cookie-cutter student body, and not in a bad way. It’s a really good-looking student body, a lot of people are in really good shape and I think that leads to more homogeneity. [22% of students at Wake Forest come from the top 1%, while 2.3% come from the bottom 20%.]

Female Finance Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the overall social scene?
Very work hard play hard, and for some people, it’s work hard play harder. I think everyone likes to socialize. Everyone likes to do things every single weekend. There are people who like to go out every night, and they have that opportunity to go out every night, and there are also people who like to socialize every once in a while and make sure they study.

To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
First, I would say that we’re a pretty White dominated school. About 70% of students are White, so the ethnic diversity is pretty low in that respect. In my opinion, even when that diversity shows, everyone is pretty accepting. I think everyone mixes together really well.

Female Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2020

How do you like the size of Wake Forest in terms of undergraduate enrollment? How has it influenced your social experience? [Wake Forest has about 5,100 undergraduates.]
I like the size of Wake because it’s medium-sized so it doesn’t feel too big and overwhelming, but at the same time, you don’t know everyone. It’s influenced my social experience because when I go out I know a lot of people, but there are also a lot of places that I don’t go to and don’t know people.

Winston-Salem, NC

Pros of

  • “You’re near other colleges, like Davidson College and Duke.”
  • “Because there isn’t much activity, your focus is on Wake and your friends there. You can’t get that distracted.”
  • “You’re close to a decently big city in Charlotte.” [Winston-Salem to Charlotte is about a 1 hour and 20-minute drive.]
  • “It’s close enough where it’s drivable to the beach and the mountains if you want do that for a long weekend.”
  • “There is a college town vibe that I like.”

Cons of

  • “Winston-Salem is not known as the best city in the U.S. there are certain areas that we just don’t go.” [The overall crime rate in Winston-Salem is 52% higher than the national average.]
  • “I didn’t have a car freshman year and I felt really limited because you can’t walk downtown or walk to the restaurants I would want to go to.”
  • “There isn’t much to do outside the campus area. At some schools, the town is very intertwined with student activities, but I wouldn’t say that is true in Winston-Salem.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Finance Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Wake Forest before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew how much of an impact Greek life has on the student body. That’s why I emphasize to people who are interested in Wake that it is a big deal and it does dominate the social life if you let it do that.

What is something a prospective student may have missed on a visit that is worth checking out?
There is an area of dorms in North Campus that I didn’t see on my tour that I think is worth knowing about because you find it later and you’re like, “What’s that?” They don’t show it because no freshmen live there, but I think it’s worth seeing to see what could be your opportunities in the future.

Female Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Wake Forest before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew that I would basically have to join a sorority for social reasons. In high school I didn’t think that I would want to join a sorority, but at Wake you need to be in one to have the active social life [that I wanted].

Reasons to attend and not to attend Wake Forest University

To Attend

  • “The relationships you can develop with professors. There are many, many opportunities to get to know professors, maybe better than you wanted to get to know them.”
  • “The resources Wake has. If a student seeks it out, there are different faculty or different services that will try to help maximize the student’s experience. It is the perfect spot for students that want to take advantage of resources, have deep, meaningful relationships with faculty, and really dive into their education and take ownership of it.”
  • “If you’re very service oriented, the school is very service oriented. That was something that I was really attracted to in Wake Forest.”
  • “It’s great that we have a small environment but we are in the ACC and have big sports teams. Being in that conference brings up the morale of the campus.”

To Not Attend

  • “If you really don’t like Greek life, do not come to Wake Forest. I know someone who transferred who loved the school but Greek life was too much.”
  • “It’s a very small community where everyone knows everyone, so if you would rather have a bigger school, don’t come. It feels big at first, but shrinks as you get older.”
  • “It’s very much a bubble campus where most things happen on campus, so prepare for that.”
  • “The city is not a reason to come here. It’s not a great place to hang out.”


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