Pearson Family Wesleyan Scholarship
Sadichchha '16, a College of East Asian Studies (CEAS) and government double major from Kathmandu, Nepal and Astoria, New York, says, "Attending Wesleyan means opportunity for me. Coming to a school like this has opened so many doors, both socially and professionally. The skills I have learned and the connections I have built are something that will stay with me through my life, and I'm really grateful for this experience."
Why did you choose Wesleyan?
Coming to Wesleyan was a very easy choice for me. My rigidly structured high school allowed for very little flexibility and I didn't have options to explore different electives. At Wesleyan, not only do I have the opportunity to take ANY class, but the skills I learn as a student here are applicable to many different fields. I came to Wesleyan because I didn't want my academic or future choices to be confined to choices that someone else made for me.
What is your major and why did you choose this area of study?
I am a College of East Asian Studies (CEAS) and government double major. I have always been interested in Japanese culture and politics, and wanted to take at least one class in either. I found myself so engaged and so interested, that I even enjoyed doing the homework for my government and CEAS classes. The interdisciplinary nature of both my majors also allowed me to easily take classes in both of these disciplines, which eventually developed into a major.
What classes are you taking this semester?
Introduction to Chinese Poetry; Applied Data Analysis; Politics in Japan; Senior Thesis Tutorial; and Teaching Apprentice Tutorial.
Which class is your favorite this semester and why?
My Introduction to Chinese Poetry class is definitely my favorite this semester. It's the most challenging because analyzing poetry is new for me and the professor is really open about molding the class according to student interest. We've had the opportunity to use our own knowledge and our own experiences to relate ourselves to some of the greatest poets in ancient Chinese history.
Who is your favorite professor this semester and why?
College of East Asian Studies Professor Mary Alice Haddad is my favorite professor for sure. I get to see and talk to her a lot because she is my thesis advisor, and she has been a very accessible mentor for me. Her classes are more dynamic than others (we did movement-based learning for one of the classes). She taught us how to excuse ourselves properly according to Japanese culture, so her class was very, VERY interdisciplinary and so much fun.
Are you doing a thesis?
Yes, I am writing a thesis this year. My thesis examines foreign aid coming from China, Japan and the United States going to Nepal, and argues that regime change had been the main contributing factor in fluctuating this aid. It also compels scholars to look more closely at the multilateral effects of bilateral aid.
To date, what is your biggest academic achievement at Wesleyan?
Improving my writing skills has been a huge achievement for me. I went to a science-specialized high school so writing was only emphasized in a few of my classes. As a result, my writing was really weak and I struggled in some of my humanities classes. Throughout the years, with the help of my professors and some writing-intensive classes, I have become comfortable enough with my skills to write a thesis.
To date, what has been your biggest academic challenge?
Being comfortable exploring classes was definitely a new challenge for me. I went to a high school with "tracks," or majors, and I didn't get to take classes outside of my track very often. Understanding my academic likes and dislikes by expanding my interests has been my biggest academic achievement.
What class, program or experience has had the most impact on your Wesleyan career to this point?
Working for the Office of Admission as a senior interviewer has had the biggest impact on my Wesleyan experience. I started working there the summer after my freshman year and have enjoyed building a relationship with the staff and the other interns and senior interviewers. The public speaking skills I have learned on this job have been an integral part of every professional experience I have had since.
What activities, jobs, sports, and/or clubs do you participate in outside of class?
I have spent my time outside of classes with Model UN and Vicious Circles, the women's ultimate Frisbee team. Right now, I work as a senior interviewer for the Office of Admission and the editor-in-chief of Wesleyan's food blog, Wesstuffed.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I’m going to work for a few years to get some professional experience, and then it's off to grad school!
After graduation, in a year, or five years, what do you think you will remember most about your time at Wesleyan?
I will definitely remember the student body, mainly my friends. The active student body has pushed me time and time again to step out of my comfort zone. Without surrounding myself with people who are passionate, intellectually curious and ambitious, I don't think my experience here would've been as fruitful as it has been.
What advice would you give to a new or first-year student?
Take advantage of your resources!!! There are so many resources available at this school—advisors, upperclassmen, the career center and the Writing Workshop. Seek them out early on and use them.
As you reflect on your time at Wesleyan, what does attending this university mean to you?
Attending Wesleyan means opportunity for me. Coming to a school like this has opened so many doors, both socially and professionally. The skills I have learned and the connections I have built are something that will stay with me through my life, and I'm really grateful for this experience.