We’re officially in Chicago!!! We woke up at around 6:30 AM and left Holiday Inn at 7:05 AM to go to the Reagan International airport. At around 11, we finally, finally arrived in Chicago! I felt the same rush of excitement I felt when I first boarded the shuttle to SFO.
We went straight for our hotel, the Omni. It’s insanely nice. It’s definitely one of the best hotels I’ve been to.
|Two TVs in one hotel room!|
|A flat-screen TV is right across the couch|
After getting a quick lunch, we went to Northwestern University for our info session and campus tour. Tory, the speaker, told us about the six undergrad schools you can apply to: the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (which Tory basically said is which school you apply to if you’re undecided), the School of Communication (which includes majors and programs like speech, audiology, dance [auditions not needed to get into school], and theater [auditions not needed]), School of Education and Social Policy, School of Engineering and Applied Science (where seniors are required to invent something people can actually use in real life), School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications (which includes internships as part of its program), and the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music (which you do have to audition for).
Tory also explained that Northwestern works on a quarter system, is need-blind and need-based, and how pre-med, pre-law, and business are tracks only. She told us about the free intercampus shuttle, the Happiness club that gives people hugs, how sophomores can have a half work, half study program, and how easy it is for people to get around campus (which is a mile long and half a mile wide).
She told us about the application process (which is common app with a supplement). They accept either SAT/ACT scores, have Early Decision (which is binding) or Regular Decision options, and have a writing supplement in which you explain why you chose Northwestern.
Much like the other top universities, they have many, many courses (4,000, with Russian Literature being their top class due to the amazing professor) and majors/minors/concentrations (180+) to choose from, a great student to teacher ratio (7:1), and tons of study abroad programs (130+) and student organizations (480+). Now that I see the same pattern top schools have, I’ll know what to look for in the future.
What I loved the most is how they hold more than 80 student performances each year, and how most everyone in each school gets involved.
Afterwards, we took our campus tour with Marie. Again, we saw really beautiful buildings, both traditional and modern. We saw the Rock, which students can paint on whatever slogan or announcement as long as they guard it for 24 hours prior to painting it. We passed a library shaped like books being pulled out of shelves, passed the beautiful lake, passed multiple emergency blue light poles (though Marie has never once felt unsafe on campus), and entered the large Norris Student Center. I did hear something interesting about those emergency blue light poles, however—if you push the button without an actual reason, you’ll get a $200 fine (with good reason, you don’t play around with that). I like how she explained that graduate programs have said they like more well-rounded students, which is what caused pre-med, pre-law, and business to be tracks.
Marie said she picked Northwestern because she fell in love with it and its accessibility, there’s great school spirit, and there’s a great sense of community.
|Norris Student Center|
Viral told me how she started college as a Bio major, but switched to Environmental engineering. She told me how easy it is to change majors—it takes as little as three signatures. Chris and Jamie told me stories of friends who had changed majors multiple times (as frequently as twice in a day), which showed me how open and encouraging Northwestern is about letting students explore different subjects.
|The cheese platter with honey we all tried. We'll definitely be doing this at home.|
|Earl Grey tea and Italian doughnuts|
|Jamie on far left|
|Alie, Andrew, Oyin, Chris, Monte, Vernon, Alexa, Jimmy, Viral, me, and Vicky|
Northwestern wasn’t super duper amazing like I thought it would be, but it wasn’t disappointing, either. I’ll definitely make sure to apply when the time comes.