Recent Alumnus 2010-02-10T20:48:58Z
Mostly Excellent – The gyms, especially SPAC, are in good shape and are well-maintained. The library, confusing architecture aside, is well-organized and useful. The student union, Norris, is pretty poor, though. It's not terribly useful or in a good location, and the building is decrepit, despite not being incredibly old.
Recent Alumnus 2010-02-10T20:28:23Z
I am not a commuter student so I don't really have to worry about parking; however, in Evanston, many of the parking spots are metered. Around campus, you usually need a permit. Otherwise, I am not really affected by the parking.
Recent Alumnus 2010-02-10T20:24:55Z
I Have Never Scene a Drug on Campus – I have never seen a drug or anyone using drugs on campus. I have seen people drunk, but never high. I feel police enforcement for underage drinking isn't very strong. It seems as if the University knows that students will drink anyway, so they focus more on educating students on being safe while drinking, rather than having harsh restrictions on stopping students from drinking.
Recent Alumnus 2010-02-10T20:18:51Z
Weinberg Will Really Help You After College – I'm in the Weinberg College of Arts and Science, and already I love it so much. I find my classes to be interesting, and the workload a fair amount. The teachers are helpful and truly want you to succeed. It is easy to build a personal relationship with them, which can lead to letters or recommendations, internships, and opportunities after the undergraduate career. I would like to major in English writing, so I've been taking quite a few English courses and love them a lot. Northwestern is the perfect school.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-11T20:46:24Z
It's ALL Greek..To Everyone but Me, It Seems – Greek life is too prevalent at Northwestern. You're pretty much expected to know what every Greek letter stands for and where each frat/ sorority is located. It can get annoying if you aren't the Greek type. However, there are a good number of people who have no interest in Greek life, and you can all hide together during rush week and enjoy the emptiness of the campus.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-11T20:40:01Z
Totally Depends on What Dorm You're in – Meal plans are required if you live on campus, and they're expensive and sometimes excessive. The food is good-each dining hall has at least some item on the menu that they do well. There is no real sense of community in residential halls, and the campus lacks traditional quads, which makes living areas isolated and kind of antisocial. Residential colleges are an alternative, and they specialize in things like international relations, communications, etc. They're known for being really close-knit, but sometimes to the detriment of branching out of one's comfort zone. It's pretty evident that your housing experience totally depends on what dorm you're in (and in some cases, which part of a dorm you're in, since first floors are always more secluded). I feel like I would have had a totally different, probably better, experience had I not been placed in the dorm I was placed in freshman year. Even the maintenance staff, amenities, and how the dorm is set up (coed by floor, suite, etc.) depends on your dorm. You have to really think about what kind of experience you want to have when choosing your dorm before freshman year-and sometimes you can be wrong. If you like to have people there for you all the time, a residential college is probably best for you. If you are a social butterfly and like to constantly meet new people (or meet the same people you never remember over and over again), then choose one of the larger dorms. Also, certain dorms are closer to certain disciplines, with more math, engineering, science buildings on North campus and more film, theatre, history, language majors/ buildings on South campus.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-08T06:22:58Z
Guys & Girls:
There is really a mix of highly attractive, okay, and not so attractive people on campus-it's just your average population. The mix of guys includes slightly effeminate (actually, I think this is just a generation thing), geeky, frat, with a few normal ones in between. Same for girls, I guess. It all depends on your social group. It's cliche, but it always seems like all the "good" ones are taken.
Fashion is mostly laid back but there is a fair share of trendy girls. There's a small population of hipster. As it gets colder, it gets harder to be fashionable-everyone defaults to North Face and the like.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-08T06:06:01Z
If you're coming from a highly diverse neighborhood like Los Angeles (well parts of Los Angeles), diversity here is not amazing on the whole. The Hispanic and Latino population is rather small. Also, a lot of ethnic groups tend to stick together. It could be worse. Your perspective might differ depending on your dorm and program.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-07T22:43:44Z
Fan Support – Students who go to the games are really supportive and enthusiastic. The problem is that not enough students go to the games, even though they're free for students. The teams are very good or decent, so it's not a matter of having a poor sports program.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-07T22:41:22Z
Drinking in the Dorms – If the Community Assistants catch you drinking, they will write you up, but only if they smell alcohol or hear loud music. If you're discreet about drinking in the dorms and don't have large parties, then you probably won't get caught. If you get in trouble enough times, you'll probably be kicked out of the dorm.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-07T22:41:11Z
Don't Really Know – Personally I don't do many things that fall outside Northwestern's policies. I don't know anybody who's been caught for anything. I have heard of some apartment parties being busted though, mostly during welcome week.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-07T22:38:55Z
Spirit Is ... Lacking – Football season is fun, but beyond that, people don't really care about the other sports that happen, and I know maybe two or three people who go to games. People really get excited about football, though.
Recent Alumnus 2010-01-07T22:37:06Z
Because the campus is divided into north and south, it's possible to go your whole career at Northwestern without setting foot in a frat house, and you'll still have a great college experience. If you want to be a part of it, there's a lot of it and it's accessible, but if you don't, there are plenty of other things to do and your social life doesn't suffer for it.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-15T08:28:40Z
Most people are white, rich, and Jewish. But diversity is present.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-15T08:27:18Z
Bad hours, mediocre food – The dining halls have bad hours and the food is mediocre at best.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-14T17:30:09Z
Just Bring Your Own – It would definitely be in your best interest to bring a computer. The computer labs are usually pretty full, though there are many hidden around campus that few people know about. You could absolutely make it work for school, but when you're in the dorm with your friends it's so inconvenient as a social thing. I wouldn't bring a printer-you don't print that much, and everyone will mooch off you.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-14T17:25:45Z
Amazing with plenty to offer – Evanston is adorable and has plenty to offer. It's kind of pricey, but you deal with it. Plus, it's gorgeous (even though it's usually raining). Chicago is so close, but you actually don't get there very often, just because it's hard to find time.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-14T17:23:03Z
Teachers Great, Everything Else Varies – Professors tend to be great, though classes run the gamut. Workload is doable, as long as you get started early (and even if you don't), though some professors seem oblivious to the fact that you have other homework. Grading scales can be REALLY arbitrary though-know the grading scale BEFORE you pick a class.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-14T17:16:25Z
Health & Safety:
Caught Me Off-Guard – I was surprised at how much crime there was. I thought Evanston was pretty sleepy, but I know several people who have had bikes stolen, and there have been a small handful (like four) of assaults or altercations reported. Still, they were all pretty minor-I still go running at night or walk home alone.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-14T17:13:07Z
Get a Bike – The whole campus, for all practical purposes, is about a mile, so walking isn't a big deal. However, having a bike is definitely nice, and takes a 10-minute commute down to 3. There are buses, if you can get good enough at the schedule, and they're free. There's SafeRide, which is basically a free campus taxi at night, but you have to call like 30 minutes early.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-14T17:07:58Z
Guys & Girls:
Quit Complaining – The girls are definitely cuter than the guys, but I would definitely say there are a fair share of cute guys here (personality helps). For some reason, the more attractive guys seem to live mostly on north campus. "Hot" isn't really common but it's okay.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-14T17:03:36Z
It's Really Luck of the Draw – If you want parties, live on North campus; if you want Evanston, live on South campus. Either way, the walk is only a mile at most, so you have the best of both worlds no matter what. The part that matters is the people, and that's just luck, so don't stress about it. Oh, and if you to wake up to find someone you've never met has thrown up on your floor and is now spooning you, live in Bobb.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-05T03:07:35Z
It's okay and very convenient.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-04T01:22:22Z
Drinking and Pot but Not Much Access to Hard Drugs. A sizable majority of students drink pretty heavily. There are a lot of smokers, especially concentrated in a couple of frats. Prescription drugs are abused sometimes, but there usually aren't too many people doing hard drugs.
Recent Alumnus 2009-12-04T01:18:23Z
Facilities at Northwestern are pretty nice. Most of the classrooms are in gorgeous old buildings, although the campus also has some less-than-appealing architecture from the middle of the last century. SPAC is a really nice gym, but the one on the other side of campus is not as well-equipped. The student union is out of the way but sufficient.
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