College of Wooster
BackgroundInterview Date:November 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Graduation Year: 2021
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: Public charter school in Chicago, IL with a graduating class of about 150 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First-Generation College Student: Yes
Minors: Education and Spanish
Extracurricular Activities: I am rushing a fraternity and I play intramural sports.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
We have problem sets that we have to answer every week. We spend some time in class working on them and then if we haven’t finished them we have to do them for homework. The major graded assignments are exams.
Is there anything you felt your major’s department did especially well or poorly?
I think they do very well in helping students one on one. The Math Center is a great example of that because they are open six days a week for students to ask questions.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s totally collaborative. I have friends who always ask for help and I’m always there to help them and vice versa. Also, if everybody in your group doesn’t get something, you can go ask another group for help on a problem and they’ll gladly help you with it.
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
Math was always my favorite subject in high school and it stuck ever since. I still take classes and still enjoy it and plan to go all the way through with it.
How was transitioning academically as a first-generation college student?
My high school as heavily focused on college and we had advisers who prepared us. They told us college was all about academics and learning, especially at a liberal arts college that is heavily research-focused, so adapting wasn’t that hard.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Babcock Hall in a double.
Sophomore: Westminster Cottage in a double.
What has been your favorite living situation so far?
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
It’s perfectly safe.
How was transitioning from Chicago, IL to Wooster, OH in terms of location?
The transition for me was huge because I come from a big city and am going to a very small town. It was really different for me. In a small town, you can focus on academics and building the community, which is different but I enjoy. I like the downtown area, everybody is super nice there. Whenever they see students with Wooster hats or shirts they will be kind to you.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Sometimes I just stay in and play board games with my friends and I also sometimes go out with them to a party, to go eat, or to go see a movie. People are usually pretty welcoming at parties and don’t have a hard limit on how many people could be there.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
We’d either go to a party or go out to a movie. Freshman year I liked exploring the campus and the town more.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
It’s very influential. Whenever you hear about a Greek group throwing a party you know it’s going to be fun because they’re generally fun people to be around.
What have been some of your favorite times at Wooster?
Probably cooking with my friends. Organizations like Proyecto Latino will have nights where you can go cook food and have a relaxing time with your friends. We will also talk about issues that occur on campus and how we can make them better.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Wooster? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m really happy with the weekend options. I wouldn’t want to change anything. It’s just what you would expect coming into a small town.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Some friends I met during organization meetings, study sessions, or through friends of friends. I had other friends come from my high school come here too.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Wooster?
Nothing but nice. People are there whenever you need them. People have your back.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
Perfectly fine. We have organizations that are for international students where a bunch of people from all over the world hang out and talk about similarities. In general, the college is a very mixed group and we all get along very well.
Do you think people leave Wooster happy with their choice? Do you think people love Wooster?
Some people do. Seniors come out of independent study research and want to get done with college because that is not a very fun thing to do and can be very stressful. Socially, leaving the friends you made here is hard, but academically, people feel done with college and feel great leaving.
Have you used financial aid? If so, how easy is the office to work with?
I use financial aid very heavily and without it I wouldn’t be able to go here. Whenever a form is missing for me, they email me right away and give me deadlines to get it in by so I can get the most out of the financial aid process. They are very straightforward with you. If something’s wrong, they’ll tell you. They’re a very good team.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Wooster before you entered as a freshman?
I didn’t completely understand the independent research project. I knew that it was something you do your senior year, but I didn’t realize how much you would work up to it and prepare the three years before. I have to do meetings with my advisor who is getting me ready for my independent study research that I’m going to do my junior year. We’re doing it now so when I start that my junior year I won’t feel overwhelmed and have an idea for a topic and a little bit of evidence before I go into the class.
What is something a prospective Hispanic student should know that we haven’t touched on?
Wooster is very, very welcoming to any type of race or person. Wooster is kind of a sanctuary in that way. It makes it safe for everybody to express their ideas and feelings.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
Go to a game, like a football game. It’s super fun to be in an environment where everyone is cheering for people who go to school with you and sits next to you in class or eats with you in the cafeteria.
Reasons to attend Wooster:
1) Academics are very emphasized and the academic program is great.
2) The level of diversity here is beyond anything I’ve been around. [15% of the population are international students coming from 59 different countries. 20% of the domestic population are students of color.]
3) There are so many clubs and things to do on campus that will keep you busy.
4) The people here will stick with you for the four years and have your back afterward.
5) The campus itself is really beautiful, and they do a really good job of keeping it up.
Reasons to not attend Wooster:
1) It’s too small of a school for how many people are here. There are about 2,000 students and sometimes the cafeteria is super packed and other areas can be overcrowded, which can be overwhelming.