By Yuruo Lei (Wheelock’22)
“We have to talk about Harold before class ends,” says Professor Martinelle at the end of every Intro to Education class. Mr. Harold, the class favorite, is a puppy. My first class at BU Wheelock, Intro to Education, started with Professor Martinelle introducing himself with Bitmojis.
As a freshman, I still remember how excited and daunted I was before college officially started. My family and I had signed piles of formally-worded paperwork. I was thrilled to open this new chapter of my life. I am an international student from China. Since I first came to California four years ago, alone, I knew my path to getting an education in this country wouldn’t be easy. Besides the language gap and culture shock in the first few months, what I struggled with the most was loneliness. One of the reasons that I choose BU was its massive and diverse population, which would give me more opportunities to make friends. However, it was also the large scale of the university that made me so afraid of being ignored.
BU Wheelock has completely tempered my fears since the day I moved in. During move-in week, the Wheelock student government hosted multiple welcome events: the Amazing Race, Mini Ed-related Club Splash, and the Student-Mixer. Along with the warmth from the student body, I had a couple of one-on-one talks with Wheelock staff and faculty members in the first two weeks of class. Many of them invite students to call them by their first name. I learned about Ms. Irina Nanaguolian’s favorite French restaurant and Professor Chris Leider’s study-abroad experience. Many staff and faculty have an open-door policy at BU Wheelock. Behind those doors, there are candies, cozy chairs, smiling faces, and open hearts to hear my stories.
I know, despite the adjustments and first-year difficulties, there is countless care and love available from the Wheelock family. Plus the cuteness of Harold the dog.