When I came to Wheaton, I expected it to be another four years of my high school experience. Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed high school, but I wanted college to be a new chapter of my life, not the rereading of an old one. During my senior year, I tried to stay away from any Christian college. I was headed straight for the most academically rigorous school out there, and I didn’t think a Christian school could give me the level of education I wanted.
At least, not until I came to Wheaton. When I visited, I became completely convinced that I could get a great Christian education. However, it wasn’t until I actually began to live here that I realized the value of the Wheaton community. In students, professors, everyone, the love of Christ shines brightly. If someone had told me that I would find a second family—most of which were within five years of my age—during the first year I came to Wheaton, I would have thought they were joking, but God provided.
As I began to grow in this community, I increasingly found quirky and idiosyncratic things about this place. I started to post and number the funniest, weirdest, and most impactful ones on Facebook as my very own Wheatonisms. Here are a few examples:
Wheatonism #4: “integration of faith and learning”
If you ever come to Wheaton, you’ll hear this over and over again, and thankfully, the professors mean it. I haven’t had a class yet in which the professor hasn’t connected the discipline with the Bible.
Wheatonism #10: People dress as Bible characters for Halloween
Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. Not to mention Jesus…
Wheatonism #11: Chicken Finger Day in SAGA (Anderson Commons)
Chicken fingers come around once or twice a semester in the dining room, and trust me, you won’t understand until it happens. At home, I don’t even like chicken fingers. But here, it’s not just food; it’s part of the culture.
Wheatonism #19: Floating
Okay, so first, you craft a root beer float using two straws, then you find a couple that looks like they might be on a first date. (Bonus points if at least one of them is a close friend!) You walk up to the table sneakily, and put the float between them. Let the awkwardness begin!
Wheatonism #24: Professors Care
One of your profs begins to tear up as he says, "If anything I have taught you has been of Christ, hold on to it. If anything I have taught has not been of Christ, I pray that God would cast it away from you. At the end of the day, I hope you saw Christ, not me, in this class." Needless to say, there was a rush of applause at the end of that day, for we did see Christ in that room, every day we were in it. However, it was not merely the level of respect for God's word and honest search for its understanding which won our hearts and ears, but also the care for the lives of each and every one of his 100+ students, shown partly by the fact that he knew ALL of our names.
So all in all, my freshman year a Wheaton has been great so far! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings. But a piece of advice to all of you prospective students out there: If you want to find a place where people search for God wholeheartedly, love each other in community, and seek for knowledge deeply, come to Wheaton. That’s who we are.
We asked students, faculty, and staff to describe their semester in one word and here is what we got:
From Orientation to finals week, it has been an awesome semester and we can't wait for next year!
It has now been two months since we first launched #MyWheaton. If you have been on campus you may have seen the posters spreading the news about our blog. We have loved seeing the wide array of images on instagram, and all the tweets keeping us up to date on Wheaton life this semester. Here are a few of our favorites:
Our goal for this hashtag and for the blog is to share the stories of Wheaton. So keep using #mywheaton to share your story!
College is likely the only time in life where you will get the chance to live with thirty other people, the same age, on the same floor. During my freshman year, I was placed on the fourth floor of Traber dorm, or in Wheaton dialect, T4. I had the chance to meet, as well as hang out with guys I might not have otherwise known had I attended a commuter campus near my home.
I was randomly placed with a roommate, and I can honestly say that within minutes I was so thankful for the random placement. My roommate has become one of my closest friends and we are rooming together again for our sophomore year. Coming from a family with only sisters, living with another guy was a change for me but an awesome experience. By sharing a room we quickly learned about each other, our interests, life stories, and we also grew together in our Christian faith through our involvement in a Discipleship Small Group (DSG). It was comforting to know that I was not alone in this new transition in life and that all these guys I was living next to were in the same situation. It was so much fun having a constant influx of guys coming into my room to talk to my roommate and me. Instead of texting friends to ask how life was going we could simply walk into their room and ask them in person.
Another highlight of my freshman dorm experience was the Bro-Sis activities that are created throughout the year. Beginning in the middle of welcome week, brother and sister floors are paired up. This gives you an easy opportunity to meet girls or vice versa and allows you to form quick friendships with one another. Many of these activities are also what become highlights during freshman year including raids (one floor having a party in the middle of the night for another floor), meals together, movie nights, etc.
We all chose Wheaton for various reasons important to us, including family history, Christian influence, academic reputation and the hope of lifelong relationships. But the opportunity to live and become brothers and sisters with those who only a year ago were perfect strangers is a gift that only comes from living in community together. Regardless of what initially attracted us to Wheaton, the benefits of experiencing life together refines us into individuals that God will use to influence the world.
This past week I joined visitors for a student-led tour of campus.Of all the places we visited, I narrowed it down to five must-see stops for anyone visiting the campus.
At the top of my list is the Beamer Center, the hub of student activities featuring Sam’s Café, The Stupe, the Student Activities Office, Office of Multicultural Development, and the College Post Office (CPO). The Beamer Center is a great place to study, connect with friends, work on group projects, or even just grab a bowl of ice cream for a late night snack at Sam’s.
Neighboring the Beamer Center is the Meyer Science Center; a state of the art science building completed in 2010 that includes an astronomical observatory, a greenhouse, and an interactive museum of Perry Mastodon. With its impressive labs, as well as different types of science instruments on display, looking around the science center is an exciting tour on its own.
A third place that I would highly recommend seeing is the freshman dorms, Fischer Hall and Smith-Traber Hall. Not only is it a great opportunity to get an inside look at what it is like to be living in the Wheaton community, it is entertaining to see the themes of each floor as well as the varieties of room décor in both the boys and girls rooms.
My next suggested stop would definitely be Blanchard Hall. This building is unlike anything else on campus, a modern day castle, towering above campus. Originally built in 1851 and completed in 1927, Blanchard was the first building on campus and now houses the Humanities and Social Science departments as well as the Office of the President. With its amazing views of campus and cool corridors to walk throughout the building, having classes in Blanchard is always a treat.
Last, but not least, is the Sports and Recreation Complex (SRC). Featuring an 8,000 square foot weight room, three gymnasiums, an elevated jogging track, and climbing wall, the SRC is an on-campus fitness center, free for all students. After a day of classes, running on the treadmill, lifting weights, or playing intramural soccer in the multi-purpose gym is a great way to end the day.
These five places are only a snapshot of the spots visited throughout the tour. With numerous things to see and learn throughout the tour, I would highly recommend experiencing the Wheaton campus to get a better understanding of life at Wheaton. Plan a campus visit and #mywheaton with your favorite spots!
Five fun facts that I learned on the campus tour:
- Blanchard Hall was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
- Adams Hall, now the Art building, was originally the college gymnasium. In order to run a mile in the gym it required 33 laps.
- The Wade Center includes movie props from the set of Disney’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
- Williston Hall was the first residence hall on campus.
- Before being moved into the Beamer Center, The Stupe was originally located in the Memorial Student Center.