If you noticed a recent influx of confused, wide-eyed youths around campus, worry not; this is no munchkin invasion, nor have new freshmen just spawned out of nowhere. What you have most likely observed are prospective students, a species not uncommon around this time of year, as college applications are in and the first round of acceptances through early action have already rolled out. In order to allow students to become more intimately acquainted with the campus, on February 21, Wheaton College welcomed admitted students for an overnight visit.
Overnight visits are specifically geared towards students who have been accepted to Wheaton and are now wheedling down their college list to the one to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, till graduation do they part. The overnight stay is important to the decision, as it gives a glimpse into what living on campus is actually like, from the dorm situation to campus events, beyond what the brochures and student representatives, hand-selected by admissions, have to say.
How the overnight works is as follows: current Wheaton students volunteer to host a prospective student. After an inevitable room-cleaning marathon, provided the prospie does not cancel at the last minute, the student hosts meet their prospie that evening after a dinner with students, faculty and staff as well as parents who are not yet ready to leave their darling children. The host, in addition to allowing the prospie to crash on their floor for the night, often takes them to a campus event or perhaps the Lyon’s Den for an inaugural super cookie. The next morning, prospies have breakfast with their student hosts and attend a class.
This particular overnight was oddly scheduled, as it took place on a Sunday night, which, as any college student knows, is a night for doing all of the homework and studying you meant to do over the weekend but procrastinated on until now. It’s not so much a night for events and wild parties. The Trybe Gala, for instance, had its last performance that afternoon, too early for hosts to take their prospies to, despite it usually being a popular choice. Still, the night was not completely eventless, as the returning ImprovBoston champions, the Dimple Divers, put on a show specifically for the prospective students, because nothing says “Welcome to Wheaton” quite like a night of improv comedy.
If you still have not gotten your yearly dose of prospective student-watching, fear not. On Monday April 14, after regular decision applicants have received their verdicts, another batch of potential future Wheaties will arrive for another overnight in conjunction with Welcome to Wheaton Day on April 15, a day packed full of admissions-planned goodness complete with tours and academic overviews.