To all the lovely prospective students that have been sending me such great questions all year, thank you so much for your willingness to contact me and for your interest in WashU! I hope my answers have proven to be helpful.
Your questions have been so fantastic that I thought it might be useful to include them on the blog so that other students can get the benefit of seeing them, too. It might take me a while to re-post all of the questions that people have asked me so far, but I hope that doesn’t discourage you all from asking even more! Please feel free to use this contact page that you can access anytime on the side of my blog to get in touch with me for any reason. I’d love to be of help to you in any way that I can.
For now, here are four questions answered that you might have been wondering about as you consider WashU.
1) What are some required freshman courses?
The only required freshman course at WashU is Writing I (the introductory writing course), which makes for a super flexible first-year curriculum! You’ll have plenty of time to explore your options before you declare a major in the second semester of your sophomore year. You can even place out of this requirement if you’re in the Engineering School and have a high enough score on an AP or IB English exam.
2) What is housing like for freshman in your opinion, and do you know how roommates are determined?
The housing here is absolutely amazing. You have a choice between so-called traditional dorms and modern dorms. All residence houses are coed, with same-sex rooms. Most freshmen live in double rooms, but there are also a few singles and triples available. I lived in a modern dorm (that happened to be just me and my roommate in one room with no adjacent suite because we lived right next to the RA) and loved it. Every modern suite (four people maximum) includes a bathroom. Twice a week, we get our bathrooms cleaned, too! So basically my room was even nicer than my room at home…
I can’t speak much to the traditional dorms, but everyone I know who’s lived in them really likes them. Traditional dorms are just a little older and feature a common bathroom between the whole floor. What they lack in amenities, however, they more than make up for in the social experience and bonding that happens when you live so closely with other people. WashU generally does a fantastic job of bringing floors in all of the dorms together through activities organized by the RAs and the college council.
Ultimately, it’s all about what your preferences are, and people usually get what they mark as their top choice on the housing application.
Roommates are determined by a housing survey that you fill out at the beginning of the summer, and Residential Life does a great job matching students’ personalities and lifestyles. I’m still really good friends with my roommate from last year. It was uncanny how similar we were in our interests and living preferences. Most of my friends across campus had great roommate experiences as well and still keep in touch with the people they lived with their freshman year. Many roommate pairs that I know have even continued living together their sophomore year and beyond.
3) What surprised you the most about WashU?
What surprised me the most was how nice and laid-back the people are here. Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing, but it genuinely amazes me how relaxed everyone is. I came from a very competitive and cutthroat high school, so this was a big change for me. I love how people don’t brag about their accomplishments, and instead how their achievements are just naturally evident from how they get involved on campus. I manage to learn something new about my friends everyday. I’ve met some of the most incredibly talented and intelligent people I know here, but they never fail to impress me in how modest they are about all that they can do.
Also the weather. It’s crazy. On a totally different note, the weather’s probably the one downside of being a student here. It can be 80 degrees and sunny when you wake up and freezing rain by the time you’re eating dinner. You get used to it after a while though.
4) What you recommend for an upcoming student?
Just remember to take care of yourself, and make time for “me time” once you’re at school! There are a million things happening on campus every day, and life gets so crazy when you’re around thousands of other fun people your age, it’s easy to forget how nice it is to be alone sometimes (especially if you’re living with a roommate). It’s really important to schedule time to separate yourself from college life every once in a while, at least to breathe for a second and reflect on how you’re spending your time. But that goes for any student at any college.
And so, the first installment of questions comes to an end! Stay on the lookout for additional posts with other questions I’ve answered, but in the meantime, please feel free to continue asking me new ones!