- Class: Junior
- Major: Economics
- Gender: M
- High School: St. John's Preparatory School
- Transfer Student: N
One of Northwestern's very best features, apart from its outstanding academics, is its campus and location. The campus is large, spacious, and perfectly groomed in the spring and summer (but watch out for the atrocious winters!), and the administration has even filled in a mile-long stretch of Lake Michigan and created "The Lakefill," an island park of sorts complete with soccer fields, walking trails, and incredible views of downtown Chicago across the lake. Additionally, the rest of Evanston is a boon for students. Filled with an astoundingly varied set of restaurants and bars, Evanston offers the perfect tool for college students, and the 30 minute El ride to downtown Chicago provides a great buffer against distraction. Unfortunately, Evanston is one of those college towns that pretends it is not; while it is not readily apparent in day-to-day life, the City of Evanston and Northwestern University's administration fight constantly over taxes, student jaywalking, and other typical college town transgressions that they would be better off merely accepting. An interesting thing about Northwestern is that the diversity and polarization of the student body, combined with a consistently terrible athletics program, leads to a large lack of school pride. Attendance at the football games is good, but not representative of that of other Big Ten schools, and why should it be? Defeat is generally promised even before the game has begun, so the atmosphere is often less than invigorating. The same goes for basketball, Northwestern's other Big Ten sport.
Academics are the main reason students choose to attend Northwestern. Lacking is the Ivy League "kill or be killed" mentality and the ensuing arrogance. However, despite the lack of Ivy League ostentatiousness, the students still challenge themselves and each other, and competition can be fierce. The professors are mixed, as they are with every school, but on average they tend to be very capable and there are certainly more impressive professors than there are terrible professors. The quarter system, as a foil to the semester system used at most universities, is incredibly fast-paced and rigorous, but any student accepted to Northwestern is capable of pumping out good grades; effort is the only real decisive factor.
Northwestern's student body has both positive and negative attributes. The Greek system is very present on campus, but unlike at other campuses its presence is very pervasive. Students over time have allowed their frats and sororities to define them, instead of having it the other way round. It is distressing for non-Greek students to approach a girl, hit it off with her, and then have her up and walk away when she finds out he is not in the Greek system. It seems that the dating scene at Northwestern is based on this sort of policy: sorority girls will only date sorority guys, with very little crossover, and vice versa. However, not every student is involved in the Greek system, and for them Northwestern provides a rich social experience, if only they seek it out. The only large parties and gatherings on campus tend to be those "members only" parties the frats and sororities throw, but smaller, more intimate gatherings are always discoverable and tend to be a very good time. Additionally, our theatre, music, and athletics programs bring a diverse and culturally rich presence to the campus. On any given day there are several shows, meetings, and fun activities to attend if you would prefer not to lounge inside someone's dormroom or apartment.
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