It is fantastic!
Oh man. Where do I begin?
Let me start off by saying this: A lot of schools say they are the best college in the world, but they all forget about Northwestern. There is no place I would rather be than in Evanston come this fall. And for details about why its the best, I'll go ahead and answer all of Unigo's questions.
Best thing about NU? The students. No joke. The academics are amazing, Chicago is great, I love the professors, we have our own beach, leaves actually change color, and we're rich enough to fill in Lake Michigan when we need more space, but it all comes down to the students.
Quick little story. When I was applying to schools, I got accepted to three amazing schools. Reed College in Portland, Oregon, the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After a rather interesting weekend, I quickly ruled that Portland was not the place for me. But after my trip to Austin, I was in love with UT to the point of telling my parents that we didn’t need to even visit NU; I knew where I wanted to go to school. But my mom put me in my place by reminding me that we had already gotten plane tickets and that I got to miss 2 days of school for a trip to Chicago. Why not give NU a chance?
Long story short, I barely thought about UT or Austin for the four days I was in Evanston and Chicago, unless it was to compare the two schools. And while there was a million different ways to compare the two schools, it really came down to the students.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the kids that go to UT. Some of my best friends go there and the girls are 10x hotter than at NU. I hang out there during breaks and everyone is so friendly. But when you put the typical NU student up against the typical UT student, Northwestern sweeps the longhorns.
NU students are some of the most intellectual people I’ve ever met, and not in a really nerdy sort of way. From day 1, I could talk to people about topics that would have anyone else red faced and furious and not feel weird about it. Everyone was super friendly and open in a way that I had never seen before. I left that college visit stunned by my peers.
Well, I ended up at NU because of that and my first impressions haven’t been far off. I love the people at Northwestern. Some of my closest friends I’ve met there and I can’t wait to get back and continue hanging with them. NU has smart kids that can socialize. We party, work hard, and have a great time with each other. We all have our quirks, but who doesn’t? And we all come from a thousand different backgrounds. The students are number one on a list of many amazing things about Northwestern University.
Whats one thing I would change? Well, if I could? The weather. Winter in Chicago can be pretty tough. But of things within my power, I would install air conditioning in some of the residential halls for those two weeks of summer that get pretty hot. Or change our school schedule so that we would start and end at normal times.
Is the school size to large, small, or just right? Its perfect. Its big enough that I am always meeting new people in a class of 2000 students, but its small enough that I know plenty of people when walking to classes or going to parties. The size is great for developing great friendships without getting sick of anyone.
How do people react when they find out I go to NU? It depends. Back home in Texas, they ask about the weather because it never gets below 30 degrees there. When I’m in Chicago, they tell me I’m smart. NU academics has a great reputation nation wide.
Where do I spend the most time on campus? Haha, the dining hall. Just kidding but I can honestly say it varies. Typically, I would spend loads of time in SPAC, which is the amazing gym on campus. But I am on the triathlon team, so other than swim practice, I try to workout outside unless I feel like a pickup game of basketball. After that, I love Norris Student Center, one of the cafes on campus, the library, or of course, my dorm room. Can’t get enough sleep.
“College town” or “what college town”? Seems like a simple question, right? Not quite. Chicago is surrounded by about a hundred independent neighborhoods and NU is actually located in the town of Evanston, just north of Chicago proper. So when your in Evanston, it has its own downtown that feels a lot like being in a college town. However, when you go into the city (30 min train ride), its big and wonderful, but its no college town. Best of both worlds, I guess.
How’s the schools administration? Look, every administration makes a boo-boo here or there and misses taking care of a student. But NU is a lot better about caring for their students then the University of California or University of Texas school systems (to name a couple). The advisor system is amazing. I can always get help or get questions answered. The administration is pretty on top of things. And don’t forget Morty. Our president is amazing.
Is there school pride? YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!! GO WILDCATS!
Northwestern is large enough and diverse enough for most people to find a comfortable niche. It has a great reputation with employers and draws in a solid recruiting pool. While Evanston can sometimes feel a bit sketchy, overall, it's a pretty wealthy suburb with a good amount of college-friendly eateries, and a tiny bar scene. Exciting update: Trader Joe's is coming to Evanston, which means no more overpriced groceries from Whole Paycheck (things that really only matter when you live off-campus and don't have a car).
Overall, I'm happy with my experience at Northwestern. I will admit, however, that there have been times that I wouldn't have answered this question as positively. Since accepting my position here, my priorities regarding my education and the path that I wished to pursue have changed, and at times the fact that Northwestern didn't match perfectly with all of my goals and expectations frustrated me. For instance, as a senior in high school I assumed that the quarter system would allow for me to take a wider assortment of classes and thus provide me with a certain amount of flexibility. However, I found that this wasn't necessarily the case when combined with the pre-medical track that I was on. In addition, the location seemed ideal: close enough to chicago that it'd be accessible, without the stress of living in a big city. Yet, as most Northwestern students will tell you, you have to be incredibly determined in order to make this work. The 45 minute to an hour long commute into the center of town is more of an impediment that one might expect. All of that being said, after having adjusted to the quarter system and slogged through the first two years of entry levels classes required for my degree, I find myself enjoying life at Northwestern more and more. Because it is both a liberal arts college and a research school, I've been able to take a number of engrossing classes in a number of disciplins. With a few acceptions, my professors in these upper level classes have been engaging, approachable, and even entertaining at times. Though I'll admit that at times it seems as though the administration is almost providing you with too much attention, I would much prefer this to the experiences I've heard described by my peers in larger state schools.
Northwestern offers A LOT! There are tons of support for just about anything. There are three reasons I chose to attend NU, which I think are the best things about the university. First, if I changed my major, I knew all of the other schools and programs were great. Second, I wanted to attend a university that has equally strong social, athletic, religious, and cultural components in addition to academics. I knew if all students did was study, I would miss out on a very important part of growth during my college years. Finally, I wanted to be around like minded people who would be willing to challenge me and try new things. If I could change one thing, it would be how labels can pigeon-hole people into filling certain roles. I think sometimes people become known for certain activities and don't want to disappoint others or compete with people who have been working at them longer. Labels are limiting and that's one thing some students have taken from the world and applied to college. We are in a college town but have access to Chicago which is filled with other universities, so we have the best of both worlds.
Northwestern is known across the country as a prominent school with hard-working students and extremely qualified professors. While size truly varies based on a student's personality, I find Northwestern to be the perfect size for me. There are about 8,000 students on campus, and it is pretty average in population compared to other schools. Evanston is an incredible "college town." There is so much culture and so many restaurants and sites to see. I didn't explore it as much as I should have last year, but I have definitely embraced having such a beautiful and unique town nearby this year. The biggest recent controversy on campus was the public display of sexual activity put on for a Psychology of Sexuality class. Everyone off campus was upset with the professor who allowed this to occur, and the student body was divided over the issue. The most frequent student complaints have to do with the quarter system. Rather than normal semesters, we take more classes a year, with less time to cover the material and more exams. Many students struggle to keep up with the workload, and a semester system sounds so much easier.
As all homes, you gotta love them and hate them.
Things I love:
-The honors mathematics program called MENU. I got a great professor from this program who still helps me find jobs and teaches me cool mathematics topics.
-Kind faculty members. I haven't met a single faculty member who doesn't want me to succeed as a student here.
-My friends. You can make some really great friends here and really make this place your own.
-The opportunities. I have been able to do research, teach, and get advice on summer programs and independent studies. The opportunities are endless as long as your willing to go after them.
-The ability to grow. I'm big on personal growth and if there is one thing Northwestern provides is a way to catalyze your personal growth.
-The administration is a bunch of red tape and old thoughts. They don't want to listen to students about what they need and what they want. It is very hard to get stuff done through the administration.
-The Greek system really gets under my skin. They are "wanna-be-stereotypical" students. They try to be all fratty or sorority like, but they go to Northwestern. Come on, your smart get over it.
Overall, Northwestern has changed my life. Without this place, I don't know who I would be.
I really love Northwestern and the longer I've been on campus, the more I've grown to appreciate the community we have. From my residential college experience, to my classes, to the beautiful campus and writing for student publications, I've had so many opportunities. Professors have even been really supportive in encouraging my professional journalism endeavors. There's so much to do on campus that it's easy to never leave, but at the same time, Chicago is at our fingertips and a free Northwestern shuttle takes you right to the heart of the city.
Northwestern is big enough to have a wide variety of opportunities and a multifaceted social scene, but small enough to have good advising, small class sizes, etc. Students are proud and happy to go here (I swear--when I graduate, I'll never be able to look at purple again. It's EVERYWHERE). I was never much of a school pride person in high school, but that has been changing rapidly since I got here. As for the town--you never have to leave Evanston for any reason. It's a large town, and you can get everything you need here. On the other hand, Chicago is right there. I love going into the city, and I do it as often as my schedule allows. The only problem is that the El ride is long--it takes an hour to get into the heart of the city. If I could change one thing about Northwestern, it would be that. Still, though, as a dyed-in-the-wool city kid (born and raised in Philadelphia), I've felt surprisingly un-stifled in Evanston.
I adore Northwestern! My dad always told me to be suspicious of a university that won't tell you its faults, but I have encountered very little to be disappointed about. The very best thing about Northwestern is its balance. We're a Big Ten school, so we have a vibrant athletic program, but we're also consistently ranked in the top 15 academic universities in the nation. We're close to Chicago, but not so close that you feel buried in the city. I like Chicago, but I like nature, too, and Northwestern provides both of those things. Having grown up in Indiana, Northwestern is close enough to home that I can see my family, but just far enough away that I still have my independence, and Chicago's transit system makes it easy for students to catch trains, flights and buses home. Northwestern is a university of approximately 8,000 undergrads, but it is full of smaller communities that give it the intimacy of a smaller school. The town is beautiful, safe, and student-friendly, a relationship our president, Morton Schapiro (Morty!), works very hard to maintain.
Of course, there are a few things not to like about Northwestern. The town is a little expensive. The only grocery store within walking distance is Whole Foods, and sales tax is currently something like 9.5%. The dorms don't allow microwaves, hot plates, coffee makers, etc., in your room, but we have communal microwaves anyway, so it's not such a big deal. Lofts are also technically banned, but enforcement of that rule really depends on your dorm. Chicago is infamously cold and windy, but we've had abnormally beautiful weather so far this year. Everything is just completely subjective.
I wouldn't say that I am an especially brain-washed Northwestern student, either. I love my school, and so does just about everybody else on campus. We have a lot of unity here. We are a campus committed to happiness (complete with the Happiness Club) and success. We have a reputation and a heritage to be proud of. And we reeeaaaaally like purple.
I truly love the academics! However, being a minority here is definitely a bit tough since more than 50% of students are White and more than 20% are Asian. It's a very big shock if you're from a diverse area. Besides that, there's always something to do on campus, i.e. cultural events, guest speakers and musicians (people from Safak Pavey to Snoop Dogg to Matt & Kim). Since Northwestern is a private school, they can afford stuff like that and it's so easy to take advantage of all of it!
Without letting the Hannah Montana title deter you, Northwestern really feels like a small school and a big school, on a campus and in a city. I've been in a class with 6 students and a professor, I've been in lectures with 200 students. You get the benefits of getting to know your professors and the others pursuing your major (especially if you're in Medill or Theatre or Bienen) and the benefits of having tons of courses available, a really big library, and really kickass extra-curriculars because there are so many people. When I was deciding to come here, a current student told me that it's the perfect size because you can walk into a party and know at least a few but still get to meet a lot more people. The campus definitely feels like a university campus, but if you take the effort to really explore Chicago, you can definitely get away from school and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant neighbourhoods.
The school has a huge number of majors and courses available to students. The great thing about the quarter system is that you can complete your required classes and take other classes that interest you - in any discipline.
What I love about Northwestern is that it is such a mixed campus. It's a Big Ten school, so tailgates and purple pride and jeering fans are all typical aspects of game days. It's also an academic institution, so there are a surplus of high ranking speakers coming to campus, prominent professors coming out with cutting-edge research, and students pushing the limits of knowledge and study. There is also a huge mix of students. Our Journalism School is world-renowned, but so is the Theater Program, and the Engineering School. Students across campus have pride in their studies, and in any given friend group there will be an argument about Pre-Meds vs. Humanities majors. There is also a Greek/non-Greek mix. About 40% of campus goes Greek, and that is a major part of the social atmosphere here, but you can also go to some fun Music parties or Theater parties, or just hang out in non-affiliated friends' apartments. A large number of upperclassmen live off-campus in Evanston, and while this causes some town-gown strife, you do not spend all your time on campus. I frequently visit the library or student center, but I also go to friends' houses off-campus. Everyone in Evanston knows Northwestern and knows Purple Pride. It's a great school because it's not overwhelmingly large, but you still need to find a niche here. Evanston is quaint and relatively safe, though most of our campus controversies relate to the NU-Evanston arguments that ensue from college kids living next to suburban families.
Choosing to attend Northwestern University has been one of, if not THE best life decision I have made in my life thus far. It's everything you want and more: the people are amazing, the academics are challenging and the life style is open to what YOU make of it. Individualism has never been so praised.
Honestly, the academics were disappointing. They might be better than at most schools, but if had to do it over again I'd save my money and go to a public school.
Great Lake View, Great School Color, Great B-School, Great Location (except for Winter...)
Northwestern is a great school. There's no getting around this elemental truth. Before I transferred here (from a small East cost liberal arts college), my smallest class had been somewhere around 10 people. At NU, I have had at least one class every term with less students than that. The professors are available and more than willing to encourage and stoke intellectual curiosity, but will not come to the student. If you go to their office hours, do the readings and ask intelligent questions, their and excitement are obvious. Especially given the experiences I had during my freshman year, I have to say one of NU's biggest advantages is it's monster endowment: almost 8 billion dollars. Freshmen rarely think about this number when applying to colleges (I know I didn't when I was a freshmen), but the difference a healthy endowment makes to a student's life is immeasurable. NU can afford, and pays for, student theater, countless clubs, lectures, etc. There are things going on EVERY night here, so many that you literally cannot hope to attend all of them. The campus energy accompanying such activity is infectious as well. Whether it is going out to a bar with your friends, into Chicago to do one of a million things, or just hanging out in an apartment watching a movie, this school is alive in a way I could not say of my old school or any that I visited. The other major draw for me is Evanston, the 'dining capital of the North Shore', where you can get tons of (good) food for cheap and tons of (really good) food while still keeping a student's budget.
Another great advantage is having a large endowment is the opportunity for supported research. NU has given me more than $7,000 over two summers to study topics relating to my senior thesis. This is an rare honor for an undergraduate at most schools.
The academics, student activity level, and college town all make NU to be almost perfect. I could write more on all of these things, but this is a fitting introduction.
By far, the worst thing about this school is the cold. The winters here will wear you down to a nub, make your skin ghostly pale, sicken you with colds and the flu, and depress you. Some of my best memories, conversely, have been of long walks on the lake in the biting winter cold, where I'm the only pedestrian stupid enough to be walking. Keep warm with trips to the coffee shops in town (we have 8+: Kafein, Mudd, Unicorn, Mozart's, Starbucks, Ambrosia, Kim's Kitchen, Peet's, and a few more I can't think of. Actually, writing all those out makes me realize how crazy it is to have so many. Then again, when the -10 degree wind renders all your winter clothes utterly useless, you'll appreciate it). So, if you hate the winter, don't come here! Seriously! It will make you sad.
Evanston is very cute, but goes to sleep pretty early. Being close to Chicago is AWESOME.
I wish there were more places on campus to study late at night. Everything closes so early including the University Library (except during reading and finals weeks).
Administration runs NU like a business and cares nothing about the students.
I LOVE that NU has so many student organizations to offer. Whatever you are interested in, you can find a corresponding group on campus--if not, you can fairly easily create one!
There isn't a terribly great amount of school pride :(
I always say Northwestern is worth every penny...which means A LOT because it is so damn expensive!
One thing I would change is put a little better food on North Campus...South Campus is blessed with better dining.
Northwestern has EVERYTHING: easy big city (Chicago) access, big ten sports, smart people, fun social life, beautiful campus, evanston has excellent food, great reputation.
Evanston is definitely one of the greatest assets about Northwestern. Though the suburb is a bit snooty, it has a large variety of fantastic ethnic restaurants and an excellent survey of stores that you don't have to travel to Chicago for. CVS and Whole Foods are the closest grocery stores because Jewel-Osco is a bit of a hike away, which can be a pain, but CVS has many of the typical student grocery items needed. The El is also a very convenient and close connection that can take you to Chicago in only about 30-45 minutes, depending on where you want to go. Most students tend not to take advantage of Chicago's proximity as often as they would like to because there are so many things to do on campus.
There are always plays, a capella showings, dance group performances, or skit comedy acts occurring during any weekend of the year, and they are great for a weekend night event with friends. In addition, there are tons of student groups to get involved with, especially socially-active ones. Dance Marathon (DM) is probably the hugest event on campus, with hundreds of students participating in a 30-hour dance to philanthropically benefit a different organization each year. Nearly everyone on campus gets caught up in the excitement of helping out DM each year. The atmosphere of involved people is another one of the great things about Northwestern, although it does present a problem for many students in that they want to be involved in more things than they can be involved in.
Though football games tend to be farely well-attended and well-tailgated, there seems to be a critical awareness of Northwestern's susceptibility to sports failures, which leads to a lack of school pride at athletic events. No one is ever exactly diehard about Northwestern sports, though there are a few very committed fans. When Northwestern plays well, the student body becomes much more fervent about its school's athletics. Additionally, no one attends as many basketball games as they do football games.
We are all slightly nerdy. live in kinda shitty weather, and then also go out together and get drunk, so I think it's a pretty interesting place to go to school. I'm only a sophomore but I know I'll look back on it and love it even though sometimes the homework and exams seem overwhelming.
northwestern's a cool place. students complain about lack of a good social life on campus and lack of school spirit. but i mean, who needs school spirit anyway? it'd be cool, but not necessary. we don't party like a state school, we just can't. but we can party like a medium sized private university, and that's still a decent party.
northwestern's best attribute is its size and location. evanston is a good place to be. the campus is beautiful, and it's pretty isolated from the world around it. and, the downtown evanston area is a pretty nice college town. plus you're far enough from the city so its not overwhelming, but close enough that you can get there when/if you want. only thing that sucks is the weather.
The best thing about Northwestern is being around such smart, interesting, well-rounded people and having strong academic support and career opportunities and connections.
There's not much I would change. Being on an athletic team for the first time in my life, I feel I have an in-between perspective of the relationship between athletes and non-athletes. I think non-athletes think athletes don't work hard and got in by virtue of their athletic talent. I've been guilty of such prejudices at times. I would strengthen non-athletes understandings of athletes.
Having the quarter system and taking fewer classes than kids at other schools makes it hard to maintain continuity in areas I'm interested in, especially languages and theater.
The school is a little larger than I'd like, but it feels much smaller when you discover the smaller communities within the larger community.
Half the people I talk to are clueless as to where or what Northwestern is - they confuse it with a religious school called Northwestern College in Minnesota, much to my dismay! - while the other half are impressed. I think Northwestern is easily on a par with the Ivies, but because it's in the Midwest and doesn't have the Ivy name it doesn't command the same respect with the layman.
I spend most of my time at the Patten Gymnasium.
College town - yes, though I haven't spent much time exploring it because of fencing obligations; Chicago's also very close and people like spending a day there.
The biggest recent controversy on campus was when the Medill dean used quotes from anonymous students in an article, and was accused of fabricating the quotes. This was mostly of concern to journalism majors, because we're taught to attribute quotes in an effort to be honest and transparent with our readers and audience.
There is a lot of school pride. Most of the people who come here love it and are really happy they chose Northwestern. On the other hand, for Wildcat pride, the football team arrouses the most pride. Though we're a Big 10 school we're not known for our athletes, so other teams' accomplishments remain under the radar (such as fencing).
Unusual about NU - the location gives us a small town environment with the opportunities a city like Chicago offers; the people are smart yet friendly and not full of themselves or competitive
memorable experiences - traveling and competing with the fencing team; the residential college experience (ISRC!); braving the elements for Medill
complaints - food (not as bad as they say), inconsistent wireless internet (my dorm is the only building in our area that doesn't have it), tuition
Northwestern is beautiful and personally, close to home so I love it. Academics really are great, as are resources. There is not a lot of guidance at times though, so you're a bit on your own. But, you can always find help when you need it. Evanston is a great college town. Size is good. Not a lot of hangouts if you live on north campus.
It's perfectly sized--not so big that you're just a number, and not so small that administrators know exactly how you caressed your girlfriend last weekend, or which hallucinogenic you did.
When people hear that I went to Northwestern, they react in one of the following ways: many look very impressed, especially those from the Midwest or West Coast; others say something like "you must be smart;" however, when I return home back East, people often ask me how I liked going to school in Boston, (i.e. NorthEASTERN.) Northwestern's lack of name recognition back east, especially among the random run of society, is mildly depressing--that is, until you realize that the person who doesn't know about it is the garbageman. In other words, it ain't Harvard back here, but close enough.
Evanston is a fine college town with excellent options for food and entertainment--it's the Midwest's version of Cambridge, MA, i.e. a small, cool city right next to a big, exciting city, and just a short subway ride away.
There is a lot of school pride at Northwestern, but it's mostly academic because its sports teams suck, (except for like, girl's lacrosse, and I mean seriously, who cares about that?)
The biggest complaint that I heard about Northwestern (from other students) was that the North side of the campus did not mingle with the South side of campus, and that each side had a different personality. The north was fratty and more like a traditional Big Ten school, whereas the south was artsy and more like, for example, Yale. This is absolutely true.
Northwestern, wow what can I say? BORING. Everyone reacts well when I say I go to Northwestern, like "oh, you must be really smart and hardworking" which is great, but I'd still like to have a little fun once and awhile. There is not much of a college town here and only about 6 acceptable reasonably priced places to eat around here which gets old really fast. The dining halls suck and the dorms are dirty. No one is really into sports because all of our teams suck and when you come for a tour they will stress how close we are to Chicago, but unless you like visiting the northside where there's not much going on, be sure to allow an hour for travel each way, unless you have a car.
I absolutely love Northwestern's campus. It's right on Lake Michigan, and it's so gorgeous. If I could change one thing, it would be the weather! It gets really cold during the winter, and winter lasts for a long time. It does make you appreciate spring more, though. I love the size of the school. There are about 8,000 undergraduates, so it's almost certainly bigger than your high school, but a lot of your professors will still know your name.
Lots of opportunities, whether they be social, academic, or extracurricular. I like how everyone is really involved. People are impressed when I tell them I go to Northwestern, but not super impressed. Evanston has everything you need, and if you can't find everything there you have Chicago. Biggest problem is the fact that all bars are 21 and up. School pride is there, but not over the top.
It's really in a lovely location. Apart from the weather, being in Evanston, so close to Chicago really opens a lot of doors, particularly for journalism students because you have such great resources out there. The number of students is nice. You feel like there are a lot of people, but you can stand out here and make yourself heard.
Northwestern is a great school with perhaps the best pre-professional connections of any school in the country. Although it's reputation doesn't extend too far beyond the midwest, the "Purple Mafia" is extremely influential and has a huge presence in New York City and Los Angeles. Students at Northwestern are often said to be in the Northwestern bubble: completely indifferent to the politics (and fashion!) of the real world. However, the size of the school allows it to be a very tight-knit community, and its location just outside Chicago puts amazing resources at the students' fingertips. Besides the bone-chilling winters and grueling quarter system, it's a great place to spend your 4-years of college, and you'll most likely come out with stelar job opportunities as well.
The best thing about Northwestern is its location: between city and lake and a $2 40-min El ride gets you into the center of Chicago. Although a bit expensive, Evanston is full of shops, independent coffee houses and hangouts. Between the Shakespeare garden, lakefill and the beach, the campus is quite romantic. By the end of your first year you'll know your way around almost everywhere. Food in the dining halls is acceptable, very occasionally outstanding with some variety from hall to hall and a lot of day-to-day variety. Make sure to try the famous stir-fry! Most people say Hinman has the best cafeteria. There is a lot of variety as far as dorms are concerned, but they all have their pluses and minuses. For some reason, we talk about "north campus" and "south campus" as if there were a wall between them. Northies hang with northies, southies with southies, etc., with the north side being math, science, engineering (and frats) and the south being music, languages, art (and sororities) and so on. South campus is much closer to downtown Evanston, which is a definite plus, although the rooms tend to be smaller and you miss the benefits of the (good) gym SPAC and Lisa's cafe.
I love Northwestern's location. I also like that almost every class is taught by teachers.
Northwestern's best qualities are the beautiful campus and it's academics. When the weather is nice, the campus is gorgeous. the buildings, especially on south campus, are just stunning. the sorority quad (including some dorms) is breathtaking. Not only are the professors superior and the class sizes good (they range from really small to fairly large), but it's just so EASY to do whatever you want. It's easy to double major, or to take classes in other schools.
There are a few controversies that have recently become problems. One is that the university doesn't always give student groups sufficient funding. Particularly with performance related activities, there is a lack of rehearsal and performance space. However, this is definitely getting better and the administration has been taking steps to improve this.
Perhaps a bigger problem is security. the administration does things to help, but they never seem to be the right things. for instance, there are occasionally instances of muggings that happen off campus (particularly south-west of campus, in an area where a lot of NU students live). the details of these instances get publicized on the NU webpage that most people set as their default page. however, when the daily tried to do a story about one of the instances, the university removed it from the website. they don't like people knowing about things that happen like that, I guess because they are trying to keep a good reputation. A much more effective system would be to make people aware that the danger is there (like everywhere) and to take steps to avoid problems.
The university police patrol the campus area at night, but there are significantly more muggings that happen south of campus than on north campus (which is where the police tend to stay). it would be better if there was a bigger police pressence patrolling the streets for muggings - and not under-age drinking. A bunch of drunk 19 year olds aren't any sort of a threat the way crazy homeless people asking for girls' purses are.
Northwestern has prestige but is not well known outside of the Midwest. It is the perfect size and has a gorgeous campus. It is unfortunate that we don't get to enjoy the lake and beaches as often as we would like because of the unpredictable weather. Even though we are only a 40 min El ride away from the city, many people do not go into Chicago. Our school will not provide us for U Passes, so instead we just hit up the local bars.
Evanston has a lot of little boutiques and restaurants, but the town does not like us because we don't pay property taxes.
Although we may be the worst team in the Big 10, at least we are D1 and get to see some great colleges play in comparison to some of the other prestigious universities.
Northwestern has a great location, on the water near downtown Evanston just an hour or so from Chicago. The work is hard, but we certainly know how to party. It's not a huge campus, but it's large enough that there's always something to do. The people are friendly for the most part. The size is perfect, at least for me, you run into people you know everywhere, but you don't know everyone you see.
It's a nice size, with a beautiful campus, good teachers and alright policies. It's not a party school, and Evanston isn't very interesting. Students don't take advantage of Chicago very much. In general, Northwestern places a lot of value in the Greek system.
Northwestern is a medium-sized university, which gives you world-class research and small class sizes while combining the feel of a Division I Big Ten school.
The greatest thing about Northwestern is that it is a smart school, but it doesn't lose the social life like the Harvards and Princetons do. Its prettybig, but not huge. I love to go out at night bar hopping and just hook up with random girls and have amazing stories the following day. Another great thing is the quarter system: you only take four classes at a time which obviously has a million benefits.
Campus and lake are beautiful. Number of classes and interesting topics is good. Evanston caters to university students, but there is tension between "town and gown. I spend most of my time at the Catholic center in their study lounge because it's quiet and there is hot water for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
Frequent student complaints include the quarter system and the pace. It gets frantic, especially in winter quarter
Honestly, Northwestern seems to be right in the middle in all aspects. Size? In the middle. Big enough where you don't know everyone but small enough where you see the same people all the time. Campus? In the middle. Walkable but I'd rather take a shuttle. Town? In the middle once again. Certainly not rural but we aren't in the middle of Chicago either.
I think the school is too small. It needs to be expanded in size. People really keep to themselves and their small social circles that they form freshman year.
Northwestern is a great mix of many types of school. It's a great size that's it's not huge and will never share classes with people I know, but it's big enough that I get to meet new people throughout my college experience. It's also in the Big Ten so we get to great athletics, but it's a very good school academically as well. Lastly, it's near a huge city, but you don't have to deal with living in a city. It's what I like to think of as "the perfect compromise school."
Northwestern is perfect! I love the small atmosphere and the campus is beautiful. Along with all of this, you are still close to Chicago and downtown Evanston is great. I live on south campus, near downtown, and i love it. It is the perfect location to live because you are near all of the major buildings except Tech and there are a number of great dining and shopping options close by. School pride is not very high, especially when it comes to sports, but i feel like this is changing for the better as our sports teams get better and, since enrollment is increasing, there are more students on campus.
A great thing about Northwestern is its size. I feel like I am always seeing people I know, but it never feels confining. Another thing about Northwestern is that while it is a good academic school, its name doesn't have the same cache as the Ivies or Stanford, Duke etc.
When I tell someone I go to Northwestern, there is a strong chance they haven't heard of it, and many of my classmates report similar experiences, especially those from the East Coast or the South. I don't see this as a positive or a negative quality. In a typical day, I'm liable to bounce all over campus, hitting classes, the library, the gym, the student union, my dorm and my fraternity house all in one day. Evanston is an interesting college town. Its got tons of great restraunts like Buffalo Joes, Flattop Grill, and staples like Chipotle and Chilis, but it only has a handful of bars frequented by students. Its not all about the college in the way places like Lawrence, KS, Athens, GA, or Ann Arbor, MI are. Many normal residents call Evanston home and some of it is quite upscale. Also, Northwestern makes a concerted effort to reach out into the community and provide services to its youth and other citizens. Its proximity to Chicago is convienent. While Evanston is relatively safe, its not completely isolated either. There have been some instances of crime, but its nothing to worry about as long you are aware. Northwestern's administration is fairly aloof. I never have contact with them, but the academic advisors and some other services offered by the university are fantastic. Unfortunately, school pride is not too prevalent at Northwestern. I think that while most people are happy here, a lot of minor griping goes on and our lack of success in the revenue sports hurts our ability to create school spirit. While we have been tremendously sucessful in some of the other sports, it doesn't generate much student interest.
I like that the school is not too big. I feel i know a lot of the nice, normal, social kids on campus.
The thing I dislike the most is that the frats are dry. This does not stop drinking, but just encourages students to get fakes for the bars
Northwestern is, in many respects, almost all that an academically inclined, normal, social student could ever want. "Almost," though, is key. Lacking a handful of what many consider to be defining characteristics of a positive collegiate experience, while simultaneously offering many others, Northwestern students often find themselves inexplicably frustrated.
Although Northwestern is a prestigious name in the Midwest, it does not translate as well to the northeast. When I tell people I am at NU, they are often more impressed by the kids I know at NYU or Brandeis because those are well known and respected in the east. I wish NU got its due credit in NY.
The best thing about Northwestern is the balance between academics and school spirit. The "work hard, party hard" mentality applies pretty well. I like the size, it allows for intimacy. People are impressed when I tell them I go to Northwestern. I think Evanston is a great college town but is often underutilized.
Northwestern is the perfect school for anyone seeking a balance between education and enjoyment. You can get a phenomenal education while not having to take life too serious, after all, it is college.
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