Wesleyan supports first year students

Be patient with yourself and take advantage of all the opportunities that are here because this time is only going to come once in your life.”

— Dr. Gladys Childs

This is the first year of college for many eager students and the Wesleyan community is ready to accept them with open arms. The Freshman Success Experience entails 50-minute sessions, twice a week, for first year students. 

Dean of Freshman Success and University Chaplain Dr. Gladys Childs believes it is important for first-year students to attend their Academic Success Experience (ASE) classes in order to create a sense of community. 

“Whenever a new freshman class comes in there’s just a lot of excitement and people are ready to start their new adventure, and it is so much fun to be able to be a part of that adventure,” Childs said. 

The goal of the ASE classes is to educate students about the university and the resources at their disposal. Students are also encouraged to be involved in the Wesleyan community. 

“We want the students to do well here, to thrive, to love being here, and to graduate and then go get a job or go to grad school if that is what they desire,” Childs said. 

Freshman often struggle acclimating to their first year, and Childs’ message to those students is “When you’re a freshman, give yourself some grace. Know that everybody is going through a time of change and there are a lot of new things coming your way. Be patient with yourself and take advantage of all the opportunities that are here because this time is only going to come once in your life.” 

First-year student London Shannon (left), Dean of Freshman Success Dr. Gladys Childs (Center) and first-year student Yuneysy Enriquez (right) attends their ASE class. During this class, students learn how to transition from high school to college.
First-year student London Shannon (left), Dean of Freshman Success Dr. Gladys Childs (Center) and first-year student Yuneysy Enriquez (right) attends their ASE class. During this class, students learn how to transition from high school to college.

The atmosphere in Childs’ ASE class is filled with acceptance and an enthusiasm to explore and explain college life to curious first year students. Her lecture time is often spent doing team-building activities and icebreakers as well as exploring the intricacies of Blackboard and other systems important for navigating through college life. 

Yuneysy Enriquez, a first-year student in Childs’ ASE class, said since entering college life she is “meeting new people and becoming friends straight off” and college has been “amazing” as well as “an emotional roller coaster.” 

“It’s been a difficult change, but overall, it’s quite exciting. I have so much more liberty and freedom,” she said. “I can make my own choices now that I couldn’t before.” 

First year student London Shannon has been practicing her time management skills to better prepare herself as she is going from class to class.  

“I learned time management because my classes are different,” Shannon said. “I’m just trying to work my time efficiently, so I have more free time.”. 

Shannon felt that college was turning out to be what she expected and anticipates what her future will be at Wesleyan. “I’m looking forward to getting more involved and getting my name around campus,” she said.