I know I am so late to this party, but CONGRATULATIONS to all of you with regular decision acceptances!!! I’m so excited for you all and I know you will all make the right choice for yourselves!! That choice was WashU for me, and I haven’t regretted it since, and so wanted to share with you guys, as the May 1st acceptance deadline quickly approaches, why I chose WashU.
I hope a lot of you have gotten the opportunity to tour the campus, but if you haven’t, then here’s my perspective both as a senior in high school about to make a choice as well as a WashU tour guide.
WashU has one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever seen. I remember when I first came here and feeling lost around campus because it seemed massive compared to my high school with its graduating class of about 60 kids. I toured in the summer, and it was just beautiful with all the green spaces and the gothic architecture. The beauty of the campus alone wasn’t reason enough for me to come here, but it sure helped! The things that really drew me in were the atmosphere and the people. I could tell the girl who was my tour guide really loved her life here and cared enough to answer all our questions and show us why we would really thrive here on campus. The few students that were here over the summer seemed really happy, whether they were throwing around their frisbees on Brookings quad, eating at the DUC, or studying on Mudd field. It just seemed like a relatively carefree and very accepting environment, which was exactly what I was looking for.
WashU also has a super-flexible academic program. I came in pretty set on being premed and majoring in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (PNP), and other than thinking about also declaring a minor in Biology, I haven’t really deviated from that. However, I know that if I wanted to change that, even as a second-semester sophomore, it really wouldn’t be the end of the world. I know of students who double major in two fields that aren’t even in the same school (Business and Arts & Sciences double majors are pretty common, and I’ve definitely heard of Engineering majors also doubling up with Arts & Sciences, as well as Art majors doubling up). In short, it’s pretty straightforward to fit in everything you want to fit in academically, as long as you feel that you are capable of doing so. You will come into WashU with a four-year advisor, who helps you stay on track with all the requirements for graduating on time, as well as addition advisors depending on if you’re considering a pre-professional track, or once you declare majors and minors. If you’re undecided, you have until the end of sophomore year to declare a major, which gives you four semesters to “shop around” and see what interests you and what you feel like you’d enjoy doing for the rest of your life.
The social life is pretty great around campus too. You can decide to take part in whatever suits you. Some people like to join various clubs and meet people that way. WashU has the longest list of clubs I have ever seen (and some really random ones too!). Sports teams are a great way to meet people. Freshman floors have RAs (Residential Advisors) and WUSAs (Washington University Student Associates) who are basically in charge of making sure people are happy here at WashU their freshman year and have all their questions and more answered for them. I’ve found WashU to really provide so many avenues for support both academically and socially and really found my place here, and believe you all can too if you choose to do so!
We usually like to end our tours here telling the prospective students why we chose WashU, and I think that’s really appropriate here, so I’m going to do so. When I was a senior in high school, I knew I wanted to be premed and I was interested in neuroscience, but didn’t really know much else. When WashU came up on my radar, it seemed perfect in terms of both of those. But then again, lots of schools seem perfect for those. So I dug a little deeper, explored the various clubs they offer on the StudentLife section of the website, the course listings, the residential colleges, and in general, it just seemed like a great fit. Touring the campus solidified that for me, and helped me realize that I really liked the feel I had gotten for the people, the campus, and even the professors and academics. So I ended up choosing WashU for both the academic freedom and the atmosphere.
I definitely made the right choice for me. The academics are really flexible. I’ve really enjoyed my classes here. It is possible to come here either with a plan or completely undecided and really get a lot out of the experience. The extracurricular activities I have taken part in thus far have all shaped me into who I am as a person and really helped me get involved and meet people. I loved my dorm experience and am so excited for the next couple years I have left. The peers and professors I’ve met really are approachable and do not hesitate to help if you ask for it. I’ve really loved the freedom I have to make my choices, and how I’ve grown with the responsibility of being able to make those choices. It really has been an amazing college experience thus far for me on so many levels, and I really believe coming to WashU has been absolutely essential to who I have become. And I am so grateful for that.
I wish you all the best of luck in making your decisions, and I hope too see you guys here next year. And if you see me around campus, make sure to say hi because I cannot wait to meet you all!! Good luck!! Enjoy the rest of your senior (or gap) year, and once again, congratulations!!!