This is valuable input from our very own students who have experience in the department. To contact WGSS majors and minors, ask the department coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.
When thinking in terms of Academics as a first-year student you should:
- Take a wide variety of classes in many different departments. Attend as many lectures and conferences as possible. Meet with your advisor often, even if it’s just to talk. Don’t get a job during the summer. Think about what you enjoyed reading and then follow your path.
- Take introductory level classes.
- Take a theory class, and occasionally talk to a professor that you like.
- Read the course catalog to know the requirements for particular majors so that you can set your academic goals.
- Try things out; don’t determine your focus too quickly. I came to Mac knowing that I was going to be a WGSS major and this helped me a lot, allowing me to get a jumpstart on my major, but it would have been nice to play around a bit.
- Take a WGSS intro class; (that gets your juices flowing for engaging in feminist issues and the critical thinking encouraged by WGSS’s mission.)
- Try to take at least one WGSS class in the areas you tend to avoid (science or social science) to meet distribution requirements early.
- You only need one intro WGSS core course. Towards the end, doubling up on requirements may make your life stressful.
- Stay calm and take classes that excite/inspire you.
- Take a variety of classes – start with requirements.
When thinking in terms of Extra-Curricular activities as a first-year you should:
- Find one thing that keeps you sane and do it well.
- For specific WGSS-related activities, join feminist/queer organizations on campus – QU, FIA, STARSA, campus-sponsored events.
- Be involved with groups and go to WGSS sponsored events.
- Talk to older students.
- Visit the Lealtad-Suzuki center and the Community Services office.
- Try a variety of activities and clubs; then find a niche you can be involved with on any level for four years.
- Join a cultural organization and explore parts of yourself or other people that are different.
When thinking in terms of Academics as a second-year student you should:
- Find an advisor who really suits you and take a class from them.
- Take a variety of WGSS classes in other departments.
- Pay attention to needed credit requirements.
- Take classes in other disciplines that connect.
- Take some classes that focus on theory; you’re ready for it! Start thinking about constructing a major/minor plan and make connections with faculty members.
- Talk to Sonita or Corie.
- Declare, although you don’t have to decide until the end of this year, the earlier the better, especially if you plan to have more than one major.
- Consider whether to start an honor project.
- Take an intermediate class. Make sure you’re taking two WGSS classes each semester to leave time and space your senior year.
- Start focusing on 2-3 topics you like. Find out about the opportunities related to your field.
- Plan out your time and find a good work place. Start to become more involved with WGSS, by taking more courses or by incorporating WGSS topics into classes in other departments.
- Think about studying abroad.
- Try to find a related summer job.
When thinking in terms of Extra-Curricular activities as a second-year student you should:
- Work a part-time job during the year and save money to travel in January or in the summer.
- Volunteer or intern for credit, to help with the major.
- Get some regular exercise.
- Go to WGSS events. Find an organization to work with.
- Try to talk to people who organize events. Consider joining committees or organizations. The WGSS steering committee is a great way to be involved in the department.
- Volunteer off-campus.
- Don’t try to do it all. Find a couple of things and stick to those. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Organize your time well.
- Study abroad.
- Take leadership roles in campus organizations. Participate actively in an activity that you enjoy.
- Continue to be involved. Go to different events on and off campus.
When thinking in terms of Academics as a third-year student you should:
- Have your major plan well designed.
- Get an internship
- Take an independent with a great professor about something you really love to study. (Use this research in your senior honor thesis.)
- Keep taking one or two really challenging classes per semester.
- Think/talk about the preliminary stages of your honors project.
- Go abroad!! It really helps define you and your focus.
- Take advanced WGSS classes. Finish your requirements. (You don’t want to miss an ideal senior class.)
- Work on being more efficient. Make a schedule and stick to it. Do not procrastinate.
- Start to think post-Macalester.
When thinking in terms of Extra-Curricular activities as a third-year student you should
- Keep your job if you can. Enjoy one hobby or passion that has little to do with school/academics.
- Work on the steering committee.
- Keep an eye open for folks who might be interested in taking over leadership positions you have.
- Get off campus.
When thinking in terms of Academics as a senior you should:
- Take classes that you really love. Enjoy speakers and seminars.
- “Make your mark” shape your department or the college.
- Get on the ball with your honors project.
- Think about a graduate school focus.
- Take a senior seminar. Finish your major, and maybe pull together another one or a minor.
- Do an internship: this department is all about linking theory and practice.
- Try an independent project. Research something that puzzles you.
When thinking in terms of Extra-Curricular activities as a senior you should:
- Spend quality time with the few people you really have. You don’t have time!
- Participate in conferences.
- Find a job.
- Involve yourself with people that work in the field that interests you. Talk to younger students doing WGSS stuff and encourage them.
- Work on the steering committee.
- Take an active role assisting younger students in the department. Help steer the future of the department.
- Do something that inspires you, and that you would consider continuing after graduation.
- Revive something you mean to do.
- Have fun!