As many returning West Chester University students start to unpack their bags, meet their new classmates and professors, and once again dive into the college life, many other students are beginning their journey at WCU as either a first year student or a transfer student. As a transfer student coming from a community college, I can definitely say that, when I first stepped onto the campus, it was a little overwhelming. It was the first time in my life that I was living away from my parents and left to create a journey of my own. There was the worry of getting along with roommates, what I was going to get involved in, who were going to become my best friends, and how difficult the classes were going to be. There was also the fear that I wasn’t going to find my place at WCU. Well fellow transfer and first year students, your journey begins now.

There are many reasons why WCU makes a brighter future. West Chester University is the fourth largest university/college in the Philadelphia area. Recently, WCU was announced as Kiplinger’s top 100 best value colleges, ranking with Penn State main campus and the University of Pittsburgh. WCU has over 80 majors to choose from in five separate colleges. The college has approximately 234 organizations in which students can get involved including 26 Greek organizations, six publications and media-based organizations, and different special interest, academic, religious, service, etc. groups. West Chester University also has 24 accredited women’s and men’s sports teams.

The University also provides students, faculty, and staff with different services. WCU provides LGBTQA services for all students, faculty, and staff and also provides a very strong and wonderful Ally program, where students can train to be LGBTQ allies. LGBTQA was created to help students with topics pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity and to provide a safe space for students who are having sexual orientation and gender identity questions. WCU also has a Career Development Center where students can receive help with creating their resumes, preparing for interviews, or to figure out what they are interested in majoring in. The Counseling Center is another resourceful tool for students to take advantage of. The Counseling Center provides personal counseling, group therapy, psychiatric services, as well as drug and alcohol abuse counseling.

The Learning Assistance and Resource Center provides students with free tutoring in different subjects. The Writing Center is a resourceful place to go when you just want someone to look over a paper and help you with your writing skills. WestChester University also is home to the Frederick Douglass Institute .The institute brings forth the intellectual ideas and values of Frederick Douglass as well as advances multicultural studies in curriculum. Frederick Douglass gave his last speech at WCU on Feb. 1, 1895.

Not only does West Chester provide many opportunities to reach out to the community, get involved, and succeed, WCU also has a beautiful campus. When students step out into the academic quad, look around. The buildings that are listed in the National Historic Register. And once the temperature gets warmer , the quad is packed with students enjoying the warm weather and taking breaks in-between classes.

As students begin your first week, hopefully you will come to see the magic that West Chester University holds. Get involved, do your best in your classes, make everlasting friends, and gain experiences that will stay with you forever.

Angela Thomas is a fourth year student majoring in English and with a minor in web technology. She can be reached at AT683005@wcupa.edu.

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