I’m sitting in Arnie’s writing this blog, at least for now. It’s the Sunday night before my last Monday at Wabash as a freshman. That’s crazy. I swung by to see Howard Hewitt the other day (he’s the guy behind all of this “blogging” stuff), and we reminisced about how it seemed like only weeks ago that I was sitting in his office, interviewing to become a freshman blogger. The idea behind freshmen blogging is a simple one: put your experience as a Wabash freshman into words. Why? Most importantly, so that any young man interested in becoming a Wabash man will have a real, unbiased glimpse into what their first year could be like in Crawfordsville. I like to think I’ve done a pretty good job of staying true to my first year. I haven’t kept you guys from the low points. I’ve exalted the high points! I’ve written about the laughs, and I’ve detailed the struggles. I’ve even written about pure nonsense as a result of having nothing better to write about! All of these represent the real aspects of Wabash College. However, looking back, I realize that there is one MAJOR aspect of the freshman blogger that I have never really written about, possibly the most important part: Why I chose Wabash. I may have hinted at it, but for the high school seniors considering Wabash who have read my blog (IF there are any…), I’ve never really discussed why Wabash was my final choice. This may have been because I wasn’t really SURE myself about what Wabash really was! I’ve been experiencing it for the first time as you read about it. But now with a full year under my belt, I’ll write about my expectations about Wabash, and why it ended up being the perfect college for me.
Expectation Number 1: Wabash is for REALLY smart people.
This is what caught my attention right off the bat. I was introduced to Wabash when Spencer Burk ’14, and Mt. Vernon alumnus, was applying to attend Wabash during his senior year at MV. After checking some of the statistics behind Wabash, I realized that it scored much, much higher all across the board than any other colleges of its size, and many that were much bigger. I decided that if I was going to attend a small school, it would be Wabash. So was I right? Yes and no. Honestly, I have met some DUDS at Wabash. Only time will tell if they make it here or not. However, I have also met some of the brightest students you can imagine, and they have excelled at Wabash. And at the same time, I also feel like I can excel here, and really learn. So academically speaking, Wabash has met my expectations so far.
Expectation Number 2: Everybody Will Know Everybody
From what I heard from alumni, current students, and professors, Wabash formed a community that was pretty exclusive, and once you were a part of it…you were a PART of it. With a student population hovering right around 1000, it is impossible to walk from one end of campus to the other without seeing someone that I know. And I like that. I know that that’s not for everyone, but I have loved it, and I think that’s what makes Wabash so great. The connections you can build here are as important as everyone said. You never know who that kid I just met at Arnie’s (really) will be connected to. Maybe they’ll hire me some day! Not to mention that if you’re a people person like me, it makes living here a lot more fun when you can find friends everywhere you go. On such a small campus, it is easier for students who want to distinguish themselves to do so. Becoming a real leader in clubs and other campus activities is much easier at Wabash than at a school of a larger size, so the opportunities here are available to a wider variety of students. So that’s nice.
Expectation Number 3: Professors Actually Care
I may be biased here, because my first professor at Wabash, and my adviser, was Dr. Hoerl. I’m not sure you can find a professor more dedicated to her students than Dr. Hoerl. From cooking us a homemade Venetian meal to committing all of her advisee’s birthdays to memory, Dr. Hoerl truly cares about her students at Wabash. And almost every professor I’ve had has been more or less as exceptional. Professors here do not let hard work go unnoticed, and that’s a key reason for why I chose Wabash. I truly believed that if I put in the effort here, I could succeed. This blog is getting a little lengthy, so I need to wrap it up. But to any prospective students out there, I hope this gives you a little more insight into my decision to pursue a college education in Crawfordsville.
Good luck at finals, Wallies!