College of Wooster
BackgroundInterview Date:Summer 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Graduation Year: 2018
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: Private school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 100 students. There was definitely a culture of going to college
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Business Economics
Extracurricular Activities: I was a varsity athlete and played intramural sports.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It depended on the years. It started out being mostly problem sets and exams. Later on, there were a couple of classes where the only grades were exams, but you had to study every day because the exams were so hard. I had another class where there were no exams and the entire semester was a big group project. It was a competitive market simulation, so every group was graded on how they did in respect to the rest of the class.
Is there anything you felt your major’s department did especially well or poorly?
The professors are really smart and really accomplished in their field. The major’s kind of screwed up because you could take the same class with one professor versus another professor and the same person would get an A in one or a C in the other. It’s not about the material, it’s just that some of the professors are way, way harder than the others. If you don’t know that then your GPA will get screwed up.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
That also depends on the class. Mostly, it’s collaborative, but there’s a couple of classes where it’s pretty competitive.
What is your favorite class in your major?
Marketing, that was the class with the competitive market simulation. That was really interesting. It was fun being able to go into class and know you weren’t being tested on the specific information.
What is your least favorite class in your major?
Accounting. That class only had exams and they were really hard. The class tried to weed out people who weren’t dedicated to the major. It’s one of the most failed classes at Wooster, about half the class finished the course.
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
Yeah, I’m happy I made that choice. I chose it mostly because of interest in the subject, but also because I had friends who were doing it and I liked the professors. I’d say it was about 70% because I liked the material.
How was managing your sport and your coursework?
It’s doable, but it definitely took thought and organization. The sports take up a lot of time right in the middle of the afternoon, and takes up a big block of time where you’re not doing homework. You have to make sure you can get it done before or after practice.
What kind of nightlife do you like to participate in?
I’d definitely go to house parties. Nobody really goes to bars. Sometimes on Wednesdays people will go to a bar downtown, but downtown is pretty small and underdeveloped, so the bars aren’t super fun. I went out pretty frequently on the weekends. I went out almost every Friday and Saturday and many Wednesdays.
One of the interesting things about the party scene at Wooster is that the places that throw parties shift year to year. You’d have to figure out which houses had people living in it that wanted to throw parties and do it in a way that security wouldn’t shut it down.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
Freshman year was meeting up with various groups of friends to party in dorms and going to one the party places. The campus is really small, so even when it was freezing you could walk five minutes to a party.
What have been some of your favorite times at Wooster?
A lot of times things are a lot more fun when it’s warm out, so the beginning of the year and end of the year when it’s not freezing. It’s freezing most of the time at Wooster. Those nice days where you can have day parties are a lot of fun.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
Greek life is definitely around. They’re not national, so they’re specific to Wooster. They do throw parties sometimes, but they [aren’t allowed to have houses anymore]. Student groups now have houses, so people still live in the houses. It’s a weird system, but there is one dorm building that Greek life is officially in and every floor is a different group. There are a lot of parties in that building because they have common areas where they can have parties. Sometimes there will be people in a house for a volunteer program and they end up all being from the same frat, so then they will have parties. So, they do throw parties, but the core of the party scene is not just frats. There is still a lot of parties that are not Greek involved at all.
How happy are you with the nightlife at Wooster? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I would definitely change some stuff. This past year was pretty great, but before that there was a problem with security coming and shutting down parties at 1AM no matter what. Other than that, it was pretty good.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Bornhuetter Hall with one roommate. We got along pretty well.
Sophomore: Douglass Hall with one roommate.
Junior: Douglass Hall with a different roommate.
Senior: I lived in a Senior dorm with one roommate. It was a four-person suite with two double rooms connected by a bathroom.
Wooster does not allow you to live off-campus unless you are from the town of Wooster. You also cannot opt out of the meal plan.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Campus is pretty safe. Sometimes the townies will ride through the main roads, and there have been a couple of instances of them throwing stuff out of cars. That happened to me one time, I had a bottle thrown at me at like 2AM when I was crossing the street. The school has stationed security cars on the main street, and they installed cameras, so that has pretty much stopped that. I’ve never felt scared walking home at dark.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Basil, it’s an Asian fusion restaurant.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Cleveland. It’s only an hour drive away, and it’s a relatively big city. My favorite place to go off-campus in the town is Chipotle or the movie theater, it’s really cheap.
Pros and cons of being located in Wooster, Ohio?
1) Cleveland and Akron are both about an hour away, and Columbus is about an hour and a half away.
2) There are two sides of downtown: Uptown and Downtown. Uptown is where all the chains are, and the other side is more historical with quirky shops and cool, old restaurants.
1) It’s in the middle of nowhere. Outside of the town is just cornfields until you get to another town. All the towns around Wooster are also really small.
2) The townies are not super friendly. [There have been instances of them throwing stuff out of cars at students.] I don’t want to generalize all of them, but there is some ill will with the townspeople of having these rich, entitled college kids living in their town.
3) There is a pretty big demographic difference between the townspeople and the students. The town is pretty conservative, while the students are not, [65% of Wayne County voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election].
How did you meet your closest friends?
A lot of my friends I met on my team. Some of my best friends I met more sophomore year when my roommate situation changed and the whole floor were my teammates so we could pop in each other’s rooms and hang out. That was a pretty good situation. We all solidified ourselves there. You also meet people at parties week after week because it’s a small campus and you see the same people, so you get to know them pretty well. I also met people in my major and my classes.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Wooster?
There’s a pretty big split. About half of the campus never goes to parties and want to do different types of stuff. The other half of campus likes to go to parties, some are more intense than others. There’s one section of the social scene that will try to party all the time, and then there’s a whole spectrum down to people who come to parties but don’t drink. I have a few friends that do that.
One thing I should mention is that junior and senior year my roommate and I would throw a [small party] almost every weekend and around 30 people would pretty consistently come through.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
There is definitely a mix. There are a lot of international kids from various countries. In my close friend group there are several people from India, someone from Cyprus, and someone from Honduras, someone from Japan, and people from multiple countries in Africa. There are a lot of international students, and they mingle with everyone. [13% of students at Wooster are international.]
How would you describe the student body?
Diverse and adamantly engaged.
Do you think people leave Wooster happy with their choice? Do you think people love Wooster?
It totally goes both ways. I really had a good time at Wooster, I’m glad I went. But, you’ll hear people complaining about Wooster. Even I was like, “Wow, this place sucks” sometimes. Complaining about the experience is kind of a way to bond with people. Overall, I think there’s a mix. There are some people who really did not like Wooster, and there are a lot of people, even if they did complain, actually did enjoy their time.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes, the alumni network is helpful. Reaching out to alumni I know or on LinkedIn is how I ended up with my job offer.
Have you used the career office at all? If so, how helpful have they been?
I did not find them very helpful. That was upsetting for me to find out that they were not as helpful as I thought they would be.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Wooster before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew how much your reputation matters. Everybody talks at Wooster because it’s a small campus. I wish I had known the extent to which if you’re interacting with people a lot, that stuff gets spread around. Everybody knows stuff about each other.
Reasons to attend Wooster:
1) The intimate size. By senior year I felt like I knew everybody and everybody knew me. You build up a pretty strong network of connections because of the small campus. [Wooster has a total enrollment of 2,000 students.]
2) It’s really easy to get around because everything is within walking distance.
3) Depending on who you are, you can find a social situation that fits you. No matter what kind of person you are and what kind of social situation you’re looking for, you will be able to find it.
4) The professors are great and really knowledgeable about their subjects.
5) The campus itself is really beautiful, and they do a really good job of keeping it up.
Reasons to not attend Wooster:
1) You can’t live off-campus. You can’t have the freedom to have an apartment by yourself your senior year.
2) If you want a big Greek life scene, Wooster’s not for you. There are fun events, but it’s a small factor than it may be at a different school.