Student Activities

Welcome to 2017 Wheaton Orientation!

Posted August 16, 2017 by James Sorensen '19, Caitlyn Chelsen '20

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Hello! This is James and Caitlyn and we are 2 of the 12 Wheaton students that make up this year’s Orientation Committee! Over the past several months our team has been planning the ins and outs of orientation week, as well as praying for you and your transition into Wheaton College. We cannot wait to welcome you and we are SO excited to see what God does in you and through you this year. Before you jump in all the way, here are a few tidbits to keep in mind entering O-week:

1. Be bold–During orientation you are going to encounter many situations that push you outside your comfort zone. While this is a rather uncomfortable experience, don’t be afraid to embrace risk once in a while! Who knows where trying something new will lead you. More often than not, pushing past fear is where really wonderful things happen! Who knows, you might even make a few friends along the way!

2. Get sleep–This is super practical, but we know the transition into a new place is exhausting. Making the choice to go to bed when your body needs it will have a huge impact on your ability to adjust to your new environment. Naps are also a blessing (and will continue to be a blessing further into college so you might as well start them early)! Whatever amount of sleep makes you feel rested, make sure it makes it on the life priority list.

3. Ask questions–It is never fun to feel like you don’t understand a new situation. The transition to Wheaton will undoubtedly bring a plethora of questions to your mind. Ask them! Orientation Committee and the other returning students who are volunteering during the week are here to help YOU. We love Wheaton and want you to also, so please ask us anything.

4. Take a deep breath–Orientation can get overwhelming, so give yourself the grace to not feel pressured to figure out everything about college in one week. Understand that building relationships, figuring out a major, and finding your way around campus takes time, so be present and breathe.

We cannot wait to have you on campus very soon! As you prepare to embark on this new adventure, we pray that you are mindful of the Orientation theme verse for the week: 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6 

Hold onto the truth of salvation in these verses and remember that you are deeply loved by God. We are praying for you and cannot wait to meet you class of 2021! 

James Sorensen ’19 is a double major in international relations and economics, and Caitlyn Chelsen ’20 is a communication major. Both James and Caitlyn are on the 2017 Orientation Committee and are excited to meet you this week. 

To learn more about New Student Orientation at Wheaton, visit their website. To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

Top 5 #MyWheaton Posts From 2016-17

Posted April 28, 2017 by Kelsey Plankeel '18

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It is Friday, April 28: the last day of classes for the 2016-17 academic year. Looking back, this year has been full of excitement and unique experiences for individual students and the campus as a whole, many of which have been featured in this very blog. Continue reading below to discover the “Top 5” student posts from the 2016-17 #MyWheaton blog, ranked according to readership.

1. My Wheaton Experience as the First-Ever Undergraduate Student from Estonia

Simona Andreas ’18 fulfilled her 6-year-old self’s dream of coming to America in 2014, when she became the first ever student from Estonia to enroll at Wheaton College. Though it is often challenging being the only student from her home country, Simona says her favorite part about Wheaton is “the people” and she is excited to have paved the way for future students from Estonia to come to Wheaton.

2. Why I Came to Wheaton

Wheaton College wasn’t even on Rebecca Carlson’s ’20 radar in her early college searches. However, when Wheaton began to frequently “pop up” through interactions with a church intern and various alumni, she decided to visit. Now wrapping up her freshman year at Wheaton, Rebecca says, says, “As a public high school graduate, I am still constantly amazed that, through the liberal arts curriculum, I am discussing how biology, elementary education, Spanish, and many other topics are ‘For Christ and His Kingdom’.”

3. The Study of Creation

What could Biology and Art possibly have to do with each other? Just about everything, according to Natalie Flemming ’18. A junior biology and art major at Wheaton, Natalie hopes to enter into a career in medical illustration after graduation. Watch this video to learn more about her liberal arts approach to the study of creation. 

4. Spreading a Message of Love

Graduate student Steve Gaskin M.A. ’18 worked as a traveling hip hop artist with The Impact Movement prior to coming to Wheaton. In his post, Steve recalls how one professor reminded him of God’s purpose for him at Wheaton, despite initial discouragement as a racial minority. Watch this video to learn more about Steve and his work for Christ and his kingdom. 

5. My First Semester With Christ at the Core

The 2016-17 academic year marked the first of the new Christ at the Core curriculum, a liberal arts curriculum designed to foster a distinctly Christian understanding of the liberal arts. Freshman Class Vice President Octavia Powell ’20 was among the first students to study under the curriculum, and she says her First-Year Seminar class, Relationship to Creation, spoke directly to her passion for environmental issues. Describing her Wheaton experience as “attractive, beautiful, and graceful,” Octavia is happy to report that Wheaton has been “insurmountably better” than she ever could have imagined.

Stay tuned for a series of summer 2017 #MyWheaton posts dedicated to showcasing Wheaton students' study abroad, internship, and curricular opportunities, and share your summer experiences on social media using the hashtag #MyWheaton.

To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

Embracing Sisterhood in Willie-O

Posted March 3, 2017 by Danae Brooks '18

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sisterhood-1My experience through Sisterhood is something that is hard to sum up in just a few paragraphs. 

I truly enjoy every bit of it. If it wasn’t for these women I don’t know if I would still be at Wheaton. This is my second year serving as Sisterhood Coordinator through the William Osborne Society. This position has pushed me outside my boundaries and has made me a better person. 

One of the things (that may be a shocker to most) is that I don’t like being up in front of crowds, AT ALL. Sisterhood has given me the confidence to speak up, embrace who I am and accept that I am not perfect. These beautiful black women are the best part of my day and I couldn’t—I wouldn’t—want to imagine my days here at Wheaton without them. 

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The highlight of this year? I can’t even to begin to tell you. So many wonderful things have happened that saying one is the highlight is just not possible. However, this semester, Sisterhood threw a baby shower for the amazing Emma Schuchardt, president of Willie-O. I guess this one takes the cake for this semester. Though honestly, anytime we get together is one to be treasured.  These women are truly Queens in my eyes. 

Danae Brooks ’18 is an Applied Health Science and Spanish double major. She is also captain of the cheerleading squad at Wheaton and Sisterhood Coordinator for Willie-O through the Office of Multicultural Development

To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

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My First Semester With Christ At The Core

Posted February 3, 2017 by Octavia Powell '20

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powell-1After my first few months at college, I can safely say that no amount of anticipation about Wheaton could ever compare to me actually being here. And here is such a lovely place to be. I use the word lovely not out of habit or in an attempt to adhere to clichés, but because when I think of my first semester on campus the word "lovely"—defined by Webster’s dictionary as “attractive or beautiful especially in a graceful way—immediately comes to mind. 

What attracted me to Wheaton, and what continues to help me fall in love with this school more and more, is just how much people care about something—or more specifically, someone—other than themselves. "For Christ and His Kingdom" isn’t just the mantra here, I see it applied everywhere. The students’ and faculty’s love for Christ is what shapes them into the caring and mindful people that they are. The friendships I’ve made here aren't just friendships based on proximity. My friends are people that I care about deeply and I know that they feel the same way. The relationships I’ve established with people here have been priceless and it’s only been about 6 months.

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It’s beautiful to me how Wheaton’s academics transcend the typical secular scope of education and integrate faith with learning so effortlessly. My professors never fail to truly astound me with with their passion for their field and how they help me to see that my faith isn’t something to just be applied in a Bible and theology class. My CORE class—Relationship to Creation—was something I really valued because it directly related to a passion of mine. In high school I volunteered at my local zoo and raised awareness for environmental issues but I’d never looked at how we should be caring for the world around us from a Christian perspective. This class, along with others, have truly helped me to gain a respect for the Christian liberal arts. The Christ at the Core curriculum may be new but it’s goal of keeping Christ at the center of every academic pursuit is something I admire, especially when the rest of the world tells me that my faith has to be separate from the rest of my life.

The leadership staff here lead through constant acts of service and grace. Other than the friends I’ve made and the classes I attend, my Wheaton experience so far has been primarily defined by my time serving on Student Government as freshman class vice president. Through being appointed to this position I have met so many wonderful student leaders and faculty members that serve with the perfect combination of strength and dignity. The Christian leaders here daily inspire me and I strive to gain knowledge from them to better learn how to serve my class and later, the world.

I don’t know what I thought college would be like, but the experiences I’ve had here are insurmountably better than I ever could have imagined.

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Octavia Powell ’20 is the freshman class vice president at Wheaton and is considering a major in international relations. The Class of 2020 is the first to study under the new general education curriculum, Christ at the Core. Photo captions (top to bottom): Octavia (right) and friends at a Christmas banquet hosted by the Office of Multicultural Development; 2016-17 Student Government leaders; Octavia (right) and friends enjoying one of the first snowfalls of the season.

To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

Confronting Identity Through Traditional Dance

Posted November 18, 2016 by Serena Suh '18

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serena-suhIt is the night of the talent show. Over the past three months, I had probably practiced every second of my dance more times than the hours I’d slept this semester. The emcees call my name. I walk out and take my place on stage. With the audience, I watch a short clip of a young girl and her father in traditional Korean dress prancing merrily down a dirt path. It is a scene from Spirit’s Homecoming (귀향), a film dedicated to comfort women during the Japanese occupation in Korea. Although I am two generations removed from the colonial experience, the memory of terror and injustice still remains in painfully striking ways. I am a 1.5 generation Korean American (meaning I was born in Korea but moved to the states at a very young age), and therefore face the dilemma of belonging to Korea or the United States, yet I still feel a strange sense of familiarity to this history. 

This—Korea’s story of pain and resilience, my story as a Korean American—is the story that I wanted to convey at the talent show. 

However, it was not always so rosy for the few months preceding the show. There were multiple times when I doubted my performance. You see, Asian Americans have a history of being seen as an “other” in the United States. It has been manifested in so many ways throughout history. Especially as a person who has called the States my home, this is hurtful. The question arose: am I just perpetuating the othering experienced by so many Asian immigrants? Will my dance be received well by the audience? While talent show was a very fun experience, it also forced me to confront the questions of identity that I never really had before. In the end, I was able to perform that night with a calm heart. However, it was only through the conversations with different students, staff, and faculty that I confidently walked onto stage. Fellow students encouraged me to be confident and cheered me on as I spent hours in the dance studio; faculty and staff were affirming and comforting, reminding me that what I believe and who I am should be embraced. 

Although sometimes stressful, this experience has reminded me why I am still excited to be at Wheaton College. There are so many people here that encourage, stretch, and grow me in ways that I cannot imagine happening anywhere else. And so, inspired not only by the video of the Korean father and daughter, but also by the amazing support of my friends at Wheaton, I danced. 

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Serena Suh ’18 is a philosophy (integrated anthropology) and international relations double major at Wheaton. Photo captions (top to bottom): Serena performing a traditional fan dance at the 2016 Wheaton Talent Show; Serena and fellow Mac 4 floormates at the 2016 President's Ball.

To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

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