Wake Forest University
BackgroundInterview Date:August 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
First Generation College Student: No
High School Experience: Public school outside of Boston, MA in Brookline with about 500 students in the graduating class.
Minor: Computer Science
Extracurricular Activities: I play on the Club Golf team and I’m in the Sports Analytics Club.
Are you in Greek life?
I’m not part a Greek life, but all my friends are in Greek life and all the people I live with are in Greek life.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It’s usually all tests. The coursework varies from professor to professor. Like, one of my classes this past semester had problem sets that you’d hand in be 20% of your grade and another was just tests.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think the grading is too subjective. It varies a lot of from professor to professor and some are unnecessarily hard.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
It’s collaborative for sure. It’s a little competitive but I work with a lot of people. I don’t mind asking people or help or giving people help.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
American Constitutional History.
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
Fundamentals of Computer Science, it was a weed-out class for computer science and I had an absurdly difficult professor.
Why did you choose Economics?
I want to get into sports analytics, so the combination of Economics and Computer Science is a good way to go for what I want to do with my career.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Luter, which was the only freshman hall that has suite-style rooms. You’re in a double and you share a bathroom with another double.
Sophomore: I lived on the quad with 5 of my other friends in Davis Hall.
Junior: Abroad in the fall and then I came back and got lucky and got one of the last non-terrible doubles in a place called Huffman Hall which is also on the quad
Senior: Off campus, you have to live on campus for three years at Wake
What was your favorite living situation?
The suite with 5 of my friends was a lot of fun.
Can you describe the level of safety you experienced on and around campus?
I find Wake to be pretty safe, but we have had a number of incidents. There was a shooting in this place called The Barn. It wasn’t a Wake Forest student who was killed or who shot them. It was a Winston-Salem State party that rented out the space. There have also been various thefts. Winston-Salem is kind of a dangerous area, but Wake Forest is pretty safe.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
There’s a lot of really good ones. Putter’s is really good and Taco Riendo is a place with good Mexican food that people go to.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
It’s pretty hard honestly. A lot of freshmen don’t have cars. I don’t have a car. There isn’t much to do out in Winston-Salem. I like to play golf, I play golf with my friends a good amount.
Pros and Cons of being in Winston-Salem, NC
There are not a lot of pros. They just built this place called Wake Downtown, that’s like a Wake study space and classrooms that are really nice. But the city itself is kind of dangerous and not that great.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Most of my friends are in Greek life, and Wake’s pretty much a bubble and all the parties are through Greek life, so I go to my friends’ fraternity when they have parties. On Thursdays there’s a bar called Last Resort, people call it “LR,” but you have to pay a $20 cover if you’re not 21 so I don’t go to that. There’s another bar that some people like to go to on Wednesdays called Tate’s, but that’s not quite as big as LR. A lot of people go to LR. Otherwise, mainly people just go out to Greek life stuff.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
The fraternities have cars that come around and pick you up called pledge cars. The whole freshman class pretty much waits outside to be picked up by a car. It’s a mad rush to get in them, it’s pretty funny looking back on them. The cars go to specific frats.
Do freshman boys have trouble getting into parties?
Not in the first semester because you don’t rush until the second semester, so the first semester you can get in pretty much wherever. There are like one or two frats that might not let you in, but most of them will. During the second semester it gets tougher if you don’t get a bid. If you end up knowing people in the frats, like I do, and then choosing not to be in a frat it’s alright. I think if you want to join a frat it’s not too difficult to get into the middle-tier frats. The higher-tier frats are pretty competitive. Not being in a frat at all or not knowing anyone would be pretty tough because they do run the social life. [See Old Gold and Black article, “Wake Forest Does Not Offer Enough Alternatives to Greek Life” and article, “Greek Life Wields Too Much Power.”]
How happy were you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
Pretty happy. I was abroad the first semester this year, so coming back was kind of a reality check and I was a little sad, but it’s good in general.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I did a pre-orientation program where I met one kid, and then he lived in a dorm, and a lot of my friends lived in that dorm, and one of their friends was from their same town. So that was my main group. I’m still pretty close with some kids that were in my dorm as well.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Wake Forest?
It’s fun, it’s definitely fun. It’s also pretty cliquey, which I wish it wasn’t. But people still generally don’t mind hanging out with a lot of other people, but it does tend to get cliquey sometimes.
What is the impact of Greek life on social life?
It dominates social life. It’s a bubble, so people don’t go out downtown very much.
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Yes, I don’t think it’s very discriminatory.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Wake Forest by senior year?
Yeah, I really do. I think people really enjoy it. I was surprised by the quality of people I’ve met here and I am definitely happy with it.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes, actually I got an internship with a guy who went to Wake.
Have you used the career office much?
No, I haven’t used them at all.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful professionally?
C++ and Sequel
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Wake Forest before entering as a freshman?
Maybe how big Greek life is or how much of a bubble it is. Nobody really goes into Winston-Salem very much.
Reasons to attend Wake Forest:
1) It’s really fun. It’s a great social scene if you like to go out and have fun.
2) It’s a good academic school. It looks good on a resume.
3) There is a strong alumni network. Wake people take kindly to Wake people. We just had an alumni event in Washington, D.C. and there were a lot of people ready to help.
Reasons to not attend Wake Forest:
1) It’s really, really difficult. There’s no grade inflation, there’s grade deflation. Be prepared to work very hard and harder than other schools that I’ve heard about for not as good grades.
2) The professors vary. There are some very good professors and there are some professors who don’t really teach and grade harshly.
3) Winston-Salem is not a good city at all.