Middletown, CT: Wesleyan has a beautiful, 130-acre campus. The buildings are well-kept and held a comforting aura for me. There are many grassy quadrangles outside dorms with big oaks and maples which just invite you to sit under with a good book. Although Wesleyan was founded in 1831, many buildings such as the Olin Library and the Science Center are very modern. I was given a tour by a friend attending the university who was able to provide insights that a regular tour might have lacked.
Middletown is approximately the size of Cambridge, Mass, perhaps a bit smaller. Though I cannot say that I loved the town, it provides restaurants and shops within walking distance of the school. The school has bought many beautiful houses surrounding the university for upperclassmen to rent or for academic departments.
Housing improves greatly as one becomes upperclassmen. A student first starts with freshman housing, or has the luck of the draw between the other two dorm complexes. There are special dorms called West and East College which require separate applications, which seem similar to fraternities and sororities and are subject to more “wild” times. The underclass dorms share bathrooms and provide no cooking facilities, but the rooms are spacious and adequate enough. As one becomes an upperclassman, there is a choice of the low and high rise apartments. One may have a separate bedroom, but share a kitchen and bathroom with a dormmate. The houses are mainly reserved for groups of 5 or 10 seniors.
The old athletic facilities do not impress me too much, but the new facilities are said to be fantasic and up-to-date with an olympic-sized pool and new fieldhouse. I only had a glimpse of the eating facilities, which seemed spacious and clean. Most students were friendly and seemed to enjoy Wesleyan. My friend only had good things to say about the university and continuously encouraged me to consider it as one of the top on my list.
Overall the school was impressive, but the most memorable aspect of my brief, yet extensive visit, was the Olin Library which contains 1.1 million volumes. The Library appears modern, yet it preserves much of its antique interior. I would be hard-pressed to study intently in many of the gorgeous rooms. Another unique aspect of the school is the underground tunnels that connect many of the buildings, including parts of the dorms. This part of the design intrigued me and helps students who aren’t used to trudging through New England snows.
This is the type of college many are looking for. Wesleyan has an outstanding personality and gives a student a sense of belonging and warmth.
Reviewed in 1990