When we arrived at Wesleyan, the first thing we did was meet up with Kevin Le, a 2014 Access alumni who had been trying to convince us to attend the University in the weeks leading up to the trip. Seeing him was equal parts joyous and emotional. Kevin and I were both on the Boy’s A Team and had worked hard to be successful. He was my mentor in many ways, and having to take his place for others has been an honor and a challenge.
Previously on this trip, we had visited Harvard and Trinity, each leaving us with distinct impressions. Wesleyan did the same for both Nghi and I. It gave us an incredible sense of community, support, and acceptance. We walked into the squash center and were met with kind smiles and invitations to play. We couldn’t, neither of us had brought any clothes, and they were genuinely disappointed. The whole team wanted to get to know us as people and athletes.
After settling in at the dorms, we met up with Kevin’s friends Ana and Ali, who Nghi would be sleeping with that night, and got dinner. There we met up with more of their friends, all of whom told us about Wesleyan’s environment and culture. There we found another plus, the food at Wesleyan is delicious.
From there Kevin took us on a night tour of the campus. He showed us the library, arts center, senior houses, The Wes Market, and other key facets of the campus. Not only was it beautiful, but it all seemed to be geared toward student success. There are so many systems of support put in place to make sure students succeed no matter what they do. This is even true for students who double major and play sports, where no classes intersect.
From the tour, we hung out with Kevin’s friends until we had to go to sleep. They answered our questions about the school and told us that they really hope we choose to apply. They didn’t have to say so, Nghi and I agreed that applying was well worth it.
The next morning we woke up early to meet up with Coach Shona to find out more about the school. We got a tour of their athletics facility, which was as impressive as the rest of the school, and were able to ask her more questions.
I went with the obvious, and asked about the LGBT community’s presence both on the team and in the school. Coach Shona informed us that one of her past number ones was openly gay and was widely accepted by the team. He performed in burlesque shows on campus and the team even went to cheer him on. No one on campus cares what your orientation, gender identity, race, religion, etc is, they simply want you to be a good person.
With that, we left to go explore Yale University. But our experience at Wesleyan is still with us. It became a contender for my top 3, and I know Nghi feels the same.