Managing Email

Wesleyan’s official form of communication is email, so it is important to pay attention to your wesleyan.edu inbox!

Organized by Haley Brumberger

Tips for managing your Wesleyan email

  • Check your email daily; important information may be missed if you let too many unread messages pile up!
  • If you have a smartphone, sync your Wes email, and allow notifications
    • You can control the settings on your phone to determine how often the email automatically syncs to your phone, and what type of notification(s) you receive
  • Feeling overwhelmed by too many red flags?
    • Unsubscribe to mailing lists you do not want to be a part of
    • Set aside 5-10 minutes each day to go through your email (maybe when you first wake up in the morning, right before lunch, or some other part of the day when you are guaranteed to have a few free minutes)
      • Delete emails you do not need right away
      • Reserve red flags for important AND time-sensitive emails ONLY
      • If you do it everyday, the burden won’t build up!

Email Etiquette

When corresponding online, or over the phone, remember that you are not there in person to represent yourself. Your facial expression and body language cannot help you (or hurt you!), so you must put it all into the email, text, or phone call.

The other person cannot see you, but this can be a good thing. You can have notes written down, or typed up, so that you make sure you get to every point you want to make, or question you want to ask. Just remember that when sending an email, especially to a professor, always be polite, formal, and respectful; professors get hundreds of emails every day and will not be eager to respond to a “yo, sup?” Address the recipient by the most formal title they have, whether it be professor, Dr., Mr., Mrs., or Ms., and sign it with a thank you, as well as your full name and class year.

And, when in doubt, use your self-advocacy and communication skills: ask someone more experienced than you for help! Teamwork makes the dream work, and crafting the perfect email can definitely be a team activity -- especially with a peer advisor!

When to Email

Trying to get into a class?

It is totally appropriate to send an email to a professor to express interest in a course you were unable to get into during pre-reg or adjustment. Depending on the professor, they may or may not respond to this type of email, but it never hurts to try! If you are going to send one, usually the further in advance of the class you can send it, the better -- even if it is a course for next semester! If you send an email very early, you may also want to follow up closer to when the course actually starts, if only to let the professor know that you will be coming to the class the first day in the semester. More on email etiquette for Drop/Add.

Going to office hours for something specific?

Some professors prefer if you email them to let them know you are coming to office hours, and some don’t have a preference! So, it might be a good idea to check your syllabus if you are not sure. Usually, though, if you have a specific question, it is totally appropriate to send an email to let a professor know you are coming for something specific!

Scheduling a meeting?

Need to set up a meeting with your class dean, peer advisor, academic advisor, professor, or classmate? Definitely a good idea to send an email and let the other person know when you are free. Try to list several dates/times so that you can plan efficiently!

Email went unanswered?

Wait a few days, and then send a follow-up email; sometimes things can get lost in a busy inbox, and sometimes people simply forget to answer!

Remember

Peer advisors are always happy to help you get your email organized, draft a difficult email, and more, so please email us at peeradvisors@wesleyan.edu anytime if you would like to schedule a meeting!