Dylan Wen is a Communication Studies major and member of the School of Communication Student Advisory Board. The SAB advocates for the needs of students in the SoC by serving as the student voice to the administration and generating and implementing programs and initiatives designed to enhance the student experience within the School. Have questions, concerns, or ideas about the student experience in the School of Communication? Let him know!

There were a lot of perks to the camp counselor job – such as meeting this little guy (his name is Nugget).

Hello world (specifically, Chapman University)! My name is Dylan Wen, and I am a first-year Panther with a major in Communication Studies. I originate from the faraway land of San Jose, located in Silicon Valley (I live about an hour southeast of San Francisco). Before coming to Orange County, I was a student government officer, a student ambassador, and a summer camp counselor, all of which gave me the experience I needed to become a leader – something I hope to be able to utilize well at this university.

Though I miss my home dearly, I am excited to be here at Chapman, which is filled with some of the most amazing people such as the ones in the photo above! Besides being a part of such an accepting community, I have also had the chance to become involved in multiple opportunities and extracurricular activities on campus. I am currently a member of the School of Communication Student Advisory Board, the Marketing Committee of the University Program Board (UPB), InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and Chapman Radio.

After a tiring hike on Catalina Island retreat, some of us in InterVarsity thought it would be best to use the last of our energy to create this photo.

Joining UPB and the Advisory Board stemmed from reasons very similar to the decision of choosing my major; as an incoming college freshman, that can be very daunting. And it can be especially unsettling if you have no idea what major you want. As a desperate high school graduate of an increasingly competitive Silicon Valley, I searched for anything to solve my dilemma – or at least point me in the right direction. At the end of the day, however, no matter how much research or evidence was in my pocket, I just sat down and asked myself: “How do I want to help people in the future, tomorrow, or even today?” My question actually turned out to be my answer; I wanted to help people, and I wanted to learn how to help people.

As a response, I chose the Communication Studies major with many questions attached, mainly from family and friends. “Isn’t that just learning how to talk to people?” or “Oh, it’s public speaking – or like – something like that, right?” In all honesty, in my first weeks at Chapman, I walked into my classes asking similar questions. However, for the students (and their parents) who are interested in or curious about this major, I can tell you that it is not just about speaking.

To summarize some of my classes, communication is constantly taking place in our lives – through verbal and, especially, nonverbal means. It is not just “How to Speak to People 101,” but an entirely new, educational world about building relationships in every sense of the word – cultural, social, political, and more. In my first semester, I had already embedded many of the concepts I learned within my life. If you are a current or an incoming student who is unsure of what they want to do and simply wants to help others, I can confidently tell you that investing your time in at least one Communication Studies course can expand your view on interacting with others in positive ways.

Even though I am a Communication Studies major now, it does not mean that I have my life figured out. I am just a freshman in an awesome university, within a busy city, in a big state, and an even bigger world. I am not sure what my future will look like, and neither does anyone else at Chapman University. The only thing people can influence is the present: What do you want to do right now? Once you start piecing information together to answer that question, you can get a better idea of how you want to approach your future. After all, I answered the question with how much I want to help people, and I hope this blog post has helped you in some way on your journey in the present, and to the future.