- Class: Freshman
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: F
- High School: Amos Alonzo Stagg
- Transfer Student: N
The best and worst thing about Northwestern is probably its size. Classes are small enough that professors will remember your name if you introduce yourself. It's relatively easy to make a few good connections within your first few months. But in a school of 8,000, where Greeks dominate the party scene, chances are there's no avoiding the mistake you woke up in bed with last weekend. If you party a lot, you will keep running into the same people over and over, which can be either really fun or really awkward (depending on the cir***stances of previous encounters). Northwestern is located in Evanston, a cute little town often described as a mini-Chicago. There are lots of restaurants and great shopping boutiques. Northwestern students spend a lot of time and money in Evanston. Since living on-campus junior and senior years is so totally uncool, most upperclassmen live in Evanston apartments. Clashes between Evanston residents and Northwestern students are common. We annoy them, but we're the greatest thing this town has, so they can't honestly complain. The biggest recent controversy has been Dean John Lavine's alleged made-up quotes in an article he wrote for an alumni magazine. Upon becoming head of the Medill School of Journalism, Lavine changed the entire program and caused a huge uproar in the Medill community. The accusation of his made-up quotes hasn't exactly earned him popularity points. There's a lot of whining about the heavy workload and the (lack of a)dating scene. One may question whether the two problems are correlated...how can you establish a meaningful connection with another human being with if your life consists of eat-study-sleep-repeat? Needless to say, Northwestern students are more actively pursued by campus squirrels than they are by each other.
Distro classes are usually not bigger than 150 students, so professors will remember your name if you talk to them a couple times. If you get a good TA you've hit a gold mine. I had one TA who wrote outlines of everything we read in my poli sci class, and she gave us extra credit (which pretty much never happens). If you are pre-med or an engineer, I hope you do not value your friends, because you will not see them until next summer. Students are all overachievers, but they are not terribly competitive...unless, that is, if you're taking a class where grades are distributed on a bell curve. In that particular case, no one will lend you their notes if you miss class, even if you really were sick. Northwestern students love, love, LOVE to have intellectual conversations. Though they may care little about the subject at hand, students care deeply about impressing their peers with their vast stores of knowledge. In every class there's always that ONE KID who always asks 'insightful questions' every single lecture. Don't be this kid. No one likes you. There are definitely some outstanding and diverse professors here. I have had professors from South Africa, Nicaragua and Tel Aviv. Quite a few professors are highly entertaining...such as sociology great Dr. Charles Moskos (AKA "Charlie") who once started a lecture by saying, "Girls give sex to get love, but boys give love to get sex."
Unfortunately Northwestern students, though a diverse group, seem to stick to their own kind. Rarely will you see I don't think anyone would feel out-of-place at Northwestern. There is such a huge range of people here...you name it, Northwestern has it. There is even a kid who cruises to class on wheels he attaches to the bottoms of his sneakers. I saw him wipe out once. He took a drag on his cigarette, got back up and kept on skating. Let's say there were 4 tables of students in the dining hall. One table is going to be a bunch of sorority girls with their letters engraved or stitched onto at least twelve different garments. Each. Another table would be the athletes, who are all dressed in sweats and talking about how they're going to beat Purdue (but they won't). The third table will be a bunch of Asian kids, crowding over a math book or manga or whatever they read, and they are definitely not speaking English. Finally there's going to be that one girl with the glasses and acne, who is super-engrossed in her novel, and no one notices her until they are asked to look around and describe the students in the dining hall. The one group that is greatly underrepresented is the engineers. Do they even eat? Has anyone seen them recently? Someone should ask the police to to a well-being check and make sure they're still alive. Students at Northwestern are very politically aware...so politically aware, in fact, that many on campus got together with bowls of popcorn to watch the State of the Union Address this year. Such activities are not unusual. This is a very liberal campus. Deal with it. The Daily Northwestern is an extremely liberal paper, but they do have a 'rival': the ultra-conservative Northwestern Chronicle. The one problem? No one cares about the Chronicle. I only know it exists because sometimes it 'accidentally' gets mixed in with the Daily.
The Best Things
Being around people who care about their futures but also know how to have fun.
The Worst Things
It's cold. The weather has no sympathy for we who walk to class.