I haven’t talked about this much, but one of the main reasons Lee and I were able to become fulltime RVers at such an early age was because we didn’t have college debt for ourselves or our daughters hanging over our heads. Lee never went to college but instead joined the military right out of high school like his mother and father before him. My two oldest daughters did go to local colleges for some credits, but both primarily worked in the restaurant industry and school wasn’t a huge priority for them. My youngest looked at her options and since she wanted to become a linguist joined the Air Force and spent 6 years as a Korean linguist in the Air Force. These choices allowed Lee and I to stay out of debt (my college was paid for primarily by my employer) which was great, but we never got the traditional university experience that many people have with their children.
Fast forward to last year and our youngest left the military and entered Wesleyan College on a full scholarship through the Posse Foundation, which takes military leaders and supplement the GI bill so they can go to more expensive schools. Wesleyan is considered a “junior ivy” and we were both thrilled when she was accepted into the program and that college. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions we couldn’t visit her at all last year, but this year we finally made it to see her school. I was lucky enough to attend a university when I was younger and live on campus so I understood the college experience, but this was a first for Lee and the environment was as foreign for him as our visit to the Air Force base was for me.
We started with a tour of the campus to get acclimated and I have to say it is huge despite only having around 3,500 students. It is also interesting that the buildings are so diverse, because the school has added on over the years (or bought up surrounding property) and the buildings are all very different. It was also a beautiful, crisp autumn day when we walked around and there was a live football game happening which added to the fun. It was everything a university should be in my opinion, but let me just show you with my pictures.
One of my favorite buildings was the big library on campus which was absolutely gorgeous. They had extended the original building but left the façade inside which gave it a cool building in building look. Lee was suitably impressed by the stacks!
Kay did an excellent tour and it turns out that many famous people have gone to Wesleyan college. I was the most excited about Bill Belichick the coach of the New England Patriots, but Kay talked the most about Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton. He actually wrote the play In The Heights while he was a sophomore at the college and held dress rehearsals in one of the buildings there. Because the college has a well renowned film department there are also many other alumni including Joss Whedon and Michael Bay. It was cool to see the areas of the school that were dedicated to its alumnus in particular the dormitory where the writers of How I Met Your Mother lived as students. They included Wesleyan references in the TV show but I never really put two and two together until I walked the campus.
I would love to say I saw the entire campus but after around 12,000 steps I had to call it quits. We did see the major stuff though and the next day we came back to attend the monthly meeting of Kay’s campus Vets group. This group of young people from all branches of the service were really interesting to meet and I loved hearing about their experiences adjusting to campus life. Going from the strict military to an ultra liberal college campus is not easy for everyone and the group is about helping make that transition easier for people. I even made a big pot of chicken and noodles for the potluck and was glad I got to meet these people who were such a huge part of Kay’s life. We also got to visit Kay’s apartment and I finally met my grand dog Tonka. He is a rescue and a real cutie and her place is a nice apartment in college owned housing. Her roommate Elle is also a vet and a grownup and they seem to have a good thing going. Where to put vets is part of the problem as they don’t do well with the younger college students. They try to provide single housing or pair them up to help with the transition.
Lee and I are are excited about exploring the rest of the area and we have made a list. Kay has a pretty busy schedule but she will come with us when she can.
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What a beautiful campus! Love the pics and the commentary! The vet program sounds great- so glad your daughter found it! Enjoy!!