Independent Minds, Working Together
Usman Shabbir
 

Usman Shabbir '14

Pakistan
Political Science and Economics

I choose to come to Wooster because of the unique mix of liberal arts education aligned with academic and social engagement (key to intellectual development) and Wooster provided these traits in perfect harmony. The notable faculty coupled with diverse community attracted me to apply for admission and later, the generous financial aid made me capable to experience what I would call “Happening Wooster”. The political science department of Wooster is also considered one of the best in nation with award winning faculty and top ranked “off campus study” program. Aiming to be a diplomat one day, Wooster offered a curious and progressive experience that could prepare one for the competitive job market.

I think Wooster offers plethora of extra-curricular activities aimed to engage students and instill in them the core of Wooster values comprising of honesty, achievement, and social responsibility. My extra-curricular activities extend from sports to debating, catering all my aspirations and challenging all my abilities. Apart from being a key bowler for Wooster Cricket Team, I also represented Wooster’s MUN (Model United Nation) team in Chicago. I also took active part in C4E (Center for Entrepreneurship) activities that gave me the opportunity to visit Kentucky and New York and meet with successful entrepreneurs. I am also member of Film Club, Noor (Muslim Student Association), Peace by Peace and law club.

My favorite Wooster memory was a sunny day. I sat under a tree with a couple of friends and going through “Illiberal Democracy,” a reading for my International Relations class. I heard sounds of drums and beats in a distant and they soon became louder and more appealing. My friends and I were soon mesmerized by the Caribbean’s eclectic music which drove us to the Quad where an event was taking place. It was organized by Caribconnect, a multi ethnic organization at the college. Before I even grabbed my senses, a splash of painted water soaked me in green and yellow. From then began the crazy, ardent, and gleaming battle of paints and water. I was soon joined by other International and American students. We threw each other in big water tubs and took loads of pictures. There was music, dancing and a lot of “craziness”. The transformation from a study session to an entertaining, colorful battle made me realize how beautiful and changing life is at Wooster.

The Wooster experience has made me push my boundaries. I came as a very dependent child who was never exposed to huge responsibility and decision making. Wooster exposed me to a culture where self initiation was encouraged and it provided me with an environment that helped me take responsibility without having the fear of failing. I always had seniors and faculty guiding me. I also realized that I have to choose my path and decide what I want to do with this opportunity. The journey from realization to achievement always posses the irony of unknown turns and twists but Wooster helped me through them, making sure that I learned from each and every experience. These small building blocks of Wooster experience helped me to carve my personality into an intellectual, studious, and responsible individual who can take decisions and is not afraid of consequences.

The most inspiring thing about here is that commitment and work ethic is center to all Wooster students and they take life seriously at this college. All students have well established priorities and they pursue their goals with zeal and interest. This leads to engaged class sessions and well prepared debates that offer learning and intellectual development that is both creative and innovative. I was surprised to see how people value learning not as a part of their academic pursuit but with a broader intend of becoming more informed and engaged in life.

Wooster offered me an opportunity to visit Chicago and attend MUN. The opportunity was extremely valuable because it introduced me to students from all over United States and the world. The art of diplomacy and fun with writing position papers and draft resolutions not only proved to be a learning experience but it also helped me to explore one of my keenest interest that was unknown to me. I tapped my diplomatic skills and was so influenced by the experience that it helped me to determine my major (political science) and my possible career (diplomat).

The College of Wooster has not only helped me figure out my academic interest but also instilled in me very strong values and ideals. The “Wooster Ethic” initially is a piece of documented agreement that you undertake when you enter college. However, it soon became the guiding ideal in my life. The strong work ethic and social responsibility makes me more responsible and a sound individual. In just one year, I transformed from a careless guy to an engaging member of College’s community.
As a prospective student, I would have liked to know that Wooster is a small town with a very strong community. The weather is very pleasant in summers however one should be ready for winters as it can get below -20 degree Celsius. There are plenty of places to explore and if you love eating, Wooster is not a bad place at all. It offers Chipotle, Apple Bees, Wild Ginger and Panera in very close proximity to the college.

There is also a 3-D movie theater so you will have things to explore off campus. To define Wooster I can say it is: Intellectual, engaging, and fun.
To anyone that is concerned about financing an education here I would like to say that Wooster is very generous in giving financial aid however it is important to negotiate financial aid terms before accepting the offer. If you are unable to make up for the entire costs, there are plenty of opportunities for students to earn. They can work during semester and breaks and earn a decent amount of money. There are also many prize-winning competitions, research projects, and internships that can help to cover up the cost.