Wake Forest University
BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: I did my high school in both England and America. I did junior and senior year of high school at a public school in America. There were about 400 students in my class.
Extracurricular Activities: I play Club Soccer and I’m in a fraternity.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
We have a lot of readings. We usually have weekly quizzes, but it’s mostly reading based. Then we also have a combination of tests and essays
Is there anything you feel either of your major department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think there should be more problem-based assignments to test your understanding before tests. Right now, it’s just like you read and then there’s a test on what you read, rather than seeing if you can manipulate the information yourself.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I think in most classes it’s pretty collaborative and positive.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your major choice?
My mom was a psychologist back in England, so I’ve always had an interest in that type of stuff. When I got to college I took a range of classes to see what would be interesting, and psychology stood out. I’m happy with my choice.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I was in Babcock
Sophomore: I lived in Poteat Hall
Junior: I lived in Magnolia sharing a suite with three guys from China because I was abroad the semester before.
What was your favorite living situation?
Poteat was my favorite.
Can you describe the level of safety you experienced on and around campus?
I’ve always felt safe on campus.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Jimmy the Greek
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I’m honestly not sure.
Pros and Cons of being in Winston-Salem, NC
Pros: (1) You’re close to a decently big city in Charlotte.
(2) You’ve got good access to airports. Greensboro is a 40-minute drive away.
Cons: (1) There isn’t much to do outside the campus area. In some schools, the town is very intertwined with the student activities, but I wouldn’t say that’s a thing in Winston-Salem.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Occasionally on weekends I’ll go to Greek events, but I also enjoy just not really doing that much because it’s pretty tiring to do that all the time. I go out regularly on Friday, and then occasionally Saturday.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
I met people around where I lived and we would get together and have a small party somewhere, and then try to go into one of the Greek life parties.
What have been your favorite days and nights at Wake Forest?
The tailgates are really fun. That might be because I’m English and that’s not like anything we do at all. It’s so different. I think they’re really great.
How was transitioning from a place where you can legally drink at 18 to a place where you can legally drink at 21?
It’s strange because it seems like you’re not doing anything wrong once you’re past 18, but then it’s still against the rules.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I think it’s fun. I think it’s a little restricted by the Greek life itself. That just naturally separates people on a regular basis. Having stratified Greek events are fun, but occasionally if there was some large collaborative school thing would be a good addition.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met a couple of them through playing soccer and then pledging a fraternity is how I made most of my friends.
How was transitioning as an international student?
I think it was slightly easier for me because I had two years of high school to transition to the culture. But it was more different than I expected because I thought that sharing the same language would make it very similar. The very idea of Greek life is not a thing in England, so just that concept in itself is different and strange. So that’s part of the reason I decided to rush a frat.
What is the impact of Greek life on social life?
I think it’s positive for the most part because it gives you a group early on that you can get to know people, and it gives you the structure to do things on weekends. I think the structure it provides is good.
Do you think international students mix with domestic students much?
I think it depends on where the international student comes from. If they’re from a place like England, they’ll mix a lot more because of the language. While I think if they’re from an Asian country, they don’t mix as much. I’m not sure if they find it more difficult or if they just don’t want to mix as much, but I’d say they mix less with the American students.
Were there any parts of Wake Forest or American university that surprised you when you arrived?
I was surprised by the Greek system because in England that’s not a thing. I was also surprised by the sports following and how college sports are treated almost like professional sports. People will know college players even though they’re not professionals yet. In England, you wouldn’t be able to name any of the players who play for universities. It’s not televised or publicized.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Wake Forest by senior year?
On the whole, yeah. I think some people want to leave by the end because it becomes a little smaller. By the end of the four years, it feels a little constrictive.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I haven’t used the alumni network as much, but I know some of my friends have gotten internships from the alumni network.
Have you used the career office much?
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 Wake Forest before entering as a freshman?
I think I wish I knew the background of the average student. Especially for Wake, it’s a lot of kids from the Northeast that are generally from wealthier families. I think knowing that going in would have been useful. [In 2017, about 26% of undergraduates came from the Northeast. About 70% of students are White. Socioeconomically, 22% of students come from the top 1% and the median family income is $221,500.]
What is something a prospective international student should know that we haven’t touched on?
I think mainly to remember that the drinking age is 21 [laughs].
What is something that a student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
If it works with scheduling, a sports game. Go see basketball, football, or even soccer. Wake’s soccer team is actually very good.
Reasons to attend Wake Forest:
1) On the whole, the education is good.
2) Despite being a small school, it has good and competitive sports teams.
3) On the whole, the people you meet will be very friendly.
Reasons to not attend Wake Forest:
1) It’s a lot of work.
2) There isn’t that much for diversity in the background of students.
3) The size is actually a little small. By the end, it feels small. I think a part of that is there isn’t much to do in Winston-Salem.
4) There isn’t much to do in Winston-Salem