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GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: AMALehigh is a rising sophomore at Lehigh University, majoring in Finance. He answers questions about academics, networking, finance, Greek life, or Lehigh in general. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
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Replies to: Ask Me Anything!

  • FourFiveFourFive 8 replies1 threads New Member

    Don't worry. You will have plenty of opportunity to bundle up when you go outside during the winter. Last winter was very mild but generally speaking, winter in Chicago/Evanston is very cold.
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  • Crimsonstained7Crimsonstained7 1282 replies18 threads Senior Member
    45, Oh, trust me, I'm already prepping, haha. I've been purposely leaving my jacket unzipped, and such to get used to the 45 with windchill, so 0 degrees doesn't seem TOO cold, :-D
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  • CentralFCCentralFC 395 replies17 threads Member

    I'll answer one of those questions as the others have been touched on fairly often in past and current threads.

    The most difficult part about NU is undoubtedly the quarter system structure. Having two major tests every 10 weeks, with a final exam at the end, really can become stressful. Whereas our counterparts at other institutions have major tests once every five to six weeks, we're studying for them almost weekly--and that is by no means an exaggeration. There are a lot of opportunities give to ensure success on these exams, as professors routinely link students to past exams and solutions, review problems, etc. Sure, the material may be challenging at times, depending on what you're taking, but the structure will always be a hindrance.

    With that being said, it forces the student to prioritize. Instead of potentially falling behind as some would in a semester system, students are forced to keep up on the material. So, in that way, I really do enjoy the quarter system. And, obviously, we're given 12 classes per year as opposed to eight. That really allows for some flexibility in one's pursuit of majors and minors.
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  • lukelev07lukelev07 203 replies28 threads Junior Member
    Have you spen a lot of time on the lake fill park... There is a spot by one if the bridges where hundreds of fish like to hang out... You should check it out..
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  • rapfan313rapfan313 199 replies10 threads Junior Member
    @crimsonstained, im ready to do the same, well as best as i can in cali, but i hope to be admitted first. no need to subject myself to that if im not going to get accepted. but should i be accepted, i'll be keeping myself as cold as possible ;)
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  • cowboycliche022cowboycliche022 203 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Sorry I'm a little late in responding, everyone. It's been a busy day!


    1. Without a doubt the classes in which I'm enrolled. I love all of my professors, and I truly am learning a lot of incredible information. NU simply has a fantastic academic atmosphere, which is what one would expect from a top-15 school; it's just nice to know that it's a reality.

    2/3. My answers for both #2 and #3 go hand-in-hand, so I'm going to give them to you together. The hardest aspect of life at NU is being able to balance everything. Like CentralFC mentioned, you NEED to prioritize. Don't be afraid to push unnecessary things off to the side in order to fulfill your responsibilities, both academic and extracurricular. No, you won't complete everything you're assigned, and yes, you'll probably skip a few classes here and there (just don't make it a habit). The bottom line is that you're going to be extremely busy (the only school I know of that has a crazier testing schedule than us is UChicago), and you need to decide what's important and what isn't. This leads me to my least favorite thing about NU: the inability to fit everything I'd like into my schedule. I used to love running and playing guitar in high school, and now it's rare if I put on my running shoes or break out the guitar, even once per week. I guess sacrifices are a part of life here, that is, until you become better at managing your time, which, I'll admit, I still have to work on.

    4. Yes; if you are accepted ED, literally don't go to school for second semester, senior year. In fact, even if you're accepted RD, don't do any homework or study for tests from that point on.

    In all reality, what I'm saying is try to truly enjoy yourself after acceptance to NU or any other fantastic school. I relaxed a little bit, but not as much as I realize I could have or should have. Take advantage of that time in your life, because it's probably one of the last times you'll be completely (or relatively, at least) stress free.


    Not much; there really isn't a lot of time. Also, that lake will freeze your skin and blow it off during the winter. At least those fish have the water to hide in; how are we supposed to cope?
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  • Crimsonstained7Crimsonstained7 1282 replies18 threads Senior Member
    So, you mean that if I never study in High School that will have to change? And, yes, that was a joke, I do know I'll have to study. But literally, I studied a little for AP US History because our teacher sucked, and I do study guides teachers give us, and we have to memorize some for Gov/Econ, but other than that I don't study. Other people cram for Biology II tests, I just walk in with the study guide done (Usually done from memory, when he asks us to do it from the book). And math... Did any of you NU people NOT take notes in math in HS, but now you have to? Because I've taken notes in other classes, but I don't think I've ever taken a note in math unless our teacher made us. Rant over.

    So about how much do you think you have time to fit with the crazy schedule? Like, do people have 2 clubs and still party (Not that I want to, but it helps give me an idea of how much time you have), etc.

    And also, I've heard mixed reviews on the food. How do you like the food (In general, but also specifically Hinman, since that's where I want to be)?
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  • InfernalwyrmInfernalwyrm 57 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Same here Crimsonstained I have never been one of those people that have studied like crazy for class.
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  • cowboycliche022cowboycliche022 203 replies21 threads Junior Member
    @Crimsonstained7 and Infernalwyrm

    Well, there are two probable causes of your ability to excel in high school without studying: (1) you are both intelligent students who find paying attention during class satisfactory in preparing for your exams, and (2) your high schools are not very intense. It's most likely the former, though I have to mention the latter because it's still a possibility. Regardless of how "easy" high school was for you, the biggest mistake you can make when arriving at NU (or any college, for that matter) is to be overconfident. For the first few weeks of the quarter, do MORE than you expect you should to succeed; you may find that, even then, you still need to invest more time into certain classes. On the other hand, you may realize that skimming the book the night before an exam is sufficient in another class. Just keep in mind that it's extremely difficult to play catch-up here, especially since there are usually only 3-5 major grades per class.

    I personally was a huge procrastinator in high school, and I would devote a lot of time to studying the night before an exam, if necessary. This was probably only the case in AP chem and bio, and maybe physics as well. I can't say that I breezed through high school without looking at a single note or cracking open any of my textbooks, but I did find it exceptionally easy. The transition to NU will depend on the two factors I listed in the paragraph above, as well as your ability to time manage.

    The amount of time you'll have to work with in your schedule depends heavily on your major/intended path of study. For example, if your'e a pre-med type, chem is going to suck up a LOT of your time, and you'll have three more classes on top of that. It also depends on how willing you are to compromise your grades; is an B+ good enough for you if you can relax on the weekends, or do you really want that A-? And, while a B+ and A- might have seemed close to equivalent in high school, here, a B+ contributes 3.3 points to your GPA, while an A- contributes 3.7 points. I'm personally able to fit about three extracurriculars into my schedule, and I'm doing very well in all of my classes, but I don't go out much at all.

    And the food here is AWESOME! Willard makes food to order, and everything I've had thus far has been exceptional. I ate at Hinman once during orientation week, and it wasn't made to order, but it was still good. Overall, most people I've talked to here are very pleased with the food quality. And, if you ever get tired of it, you can always hit up Chipotle, Panera, Five Guys, Noodles & Company, Taco Bell, Burger King, Cosi, and many, many other restaurants in downtown Evanston (those are only the fast-food places!).
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  • Crimsonstained7Crimsonstained7 1282 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I think it's a combination of both. My school isn't sending people to Ivies, for sure, but it does send a few to GA Tech, UChicago, and other top schools. I think on a scale of 1-10 of how difficult it is, it's probably a 7, so it's a combination of me getting it after hearing it once, and not being super difficult. (Our graduation is the second lowest out of 13, but that's because we have an almost divided school. We've got the rich, white honors and AP kids, and the poor, black CP kids. I'm not being racist, that's just how it works at our school. Plus we are essentially the "magnet" for Special ed).

    I think I'll manage to start studying, because I'm already studying a little, even when I don't need to. Plus, my brother got put on academic probation, and got kicked out for a semester, and he got 80 on Math PSAT, 5 on Calc AB, essentially a math genius, he was basically teaching his math classes. He was too lazy to study, and never had before, so I don't want to make his same mistake. I'm probably going to be Bio/Applied Math, like I said, but I'll do a lot of liberal arts too, as I love music/literature/etc, so I don't think I'll be having a super intense schedule.

    A few reviews I've read said food isn't that good, but I think the majority likes it. It's obviously not a deciding factor, but it's nice to know.

    Funny side note, my dad remembers when Evanston was a dry town, had almost no chains, and places couldn't provide carryout bags.
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  • CE527MCE527M 4937 replies52 threads Senior Member
    @cowboycliche...thanks for all the advice!
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  • wunderchopwunderchop 25 replies7 threads Junior Member
    1. What specific aspects of WCAS do you enjoy the most (I mean there must be something that's very significantly different from the other colleges at NU right?), especially the environment of the college itself.?
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  • cubeculcubecul 247 replies23 threads Junior Member
    As a sophomore Willardite that is also in a fraternity, I'd like to remind everyone that this is only one set of opinions. Just a few questions I'd like to answer myself in order to provide a range of answers in this thread:

    1. The quarter system is much better than having a semester system. Things fall into routine pretty quick, and it teaches you to balance a schedule. This quarter, I have had one exam every week since week 3, and it's been great knowing exactly how much time I need to spend every day to prepare for the next exam.

    2. Willard is a mixed experience. It really depends on who's in your end of the hall, as that determines quite a bit. Yes, many Willard freshmen are simply viewed as awkward by non-freshmen, but that's quite the case in every dorm. Some dorms, like Elder, are seen as 'cooler', but I have a feeling that's because of the easy access to the party scene that the awkwardness of the first year is quickly brushed aside.

    3. Food is not bad, but the hours suck. For example, dinner starts at 4:45pm. Also, most food is very, very unhealthy for you. I haven't eaten in Willard since the second week of my freshman year, and I don't plan on eating there ever again.

    4. Having been on both sides of the brother/non-brother divide, I can tell you for sure that there is no pressure to drink. Most fraternities will take care of you. In any case, if you do feel pressured, chances are there is someone in the room who can teach you how to merely act like you're drinking.

    In general, I like the word 'fraternity' more than I do 'frat'. Interestingly enough, the only people I've seen use the word 'frat' are people not in a fraternity. 'Frat' has the negative stereotypes that everyone sees, and that couldn't be farther from the truth at Northwestern. The Greek scene is different here.

    5. Last tip: If you don't know what you're going to study, you're in good company. If you're going to major in econ, at least give it some thought before you decide to do it. There are way too many econ majors/double majors that jump into it because they feel it's the right move to make, and that's not true. If you're worried about employment, the link between major and career isn't as strong as you think. If you want to become a 'business' person, there are plenty of better ways to do that than to suffer through 6 classes of more theoretical classes, then 6 more classes that get a bit better.


    6. Please please please do NOT feel any pressure to do anything you do not want to do. There are plenty of types of people on this campus. I'm referring specifically to fraternity events. While many people go to them and while they do seem to be a rite of passage, you will be absolutely fine without going to them. However, before you have an opinion (on anything really), I highly suggest you go and try it out, even if it's only for 5 minutes, before you decide.
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  • MagykmancerMagykmancer 27 replies1 threads New Member
    Hello helpful NU students and alums, I have a question.
    How does the placement on North vs South Campus work? Correct me if I'm wrong, but North is in Evanston and South is more in Chicago itself. Do freshman get to pick when they're accepted, or is it random, or are certain colleges in a specific area?
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  • nugraddadnugraddad 1325 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Magykmancer - No you are wrong. Look at a map - The Evanston campus is artificially divided into North and South campus, but they are both totally in Evanston. Only the Med School is in Chicago.

    You can walk from the most South of South campus to the North of North campus in 15 minutes. It's annoying to be in a South campus dorm if you are a techie, but not impossible.

    You do not get to pick your dorm anymore, although you can apply to a Res College.
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  • Crimsonstained7Crimsonstained7 1282 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Like NUGraddad said, you're getting the Chicago campus confused with North vs South. North vs South just refers to the campus being kind of separated down the middle, having only a seminary building, some dorms, etc. in the middle. The Chicago campus has the Med School, and maybe the Law School, but no undergrad stuff. From what I've read (I just got accepted), when you're looking at South vs North the main difference is the people who end up there, due to what is close by. Engineering and science stuff is heavily focused in North, along with the fraternities and sororities, so North is a lot of engineers and fraternity and sorority members. South has more liberal arts buildings, so it has more of the art students, musical theater, non-science type stuff.

    NUGraddad, do you not even get to put your list of top dorms, and they try to place you in the top ones? Is it random, unless you want to be in a res college, res communities, special housing, etc. I'll probably be applying for asking for substance-free since I like Hinman, and I don't plan on using any of the substances anyway.
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  • doodlee33doodlee33 3 replies0 threads New Member
    I just have a quick question. I applied for financial aid (I was recently accepted ED) and I want to accept my financial aid award which I received in the mail a little over a week ago. However, it says my award is not ready yet when I go to Accept/Decline on my NU account. Is this happening to anyone else? Thanks for any help!
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  • nugraddadnugraddad 1325 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Crimson7 - My son was ED last year - so congrats to you. When my D went there back in the mid 2000's, you got to list your top 5 choices. Last year my son said that you just get asssigned to a dorm, you don't get to choose. However, he applied to a Res College, and was accepted, and he was able to wind up on North Campus, even though his first Res College assignment was South. He wrote an appeal letter, becasue all his classes were at Tech, or by Tech. I think they matched up all the immediate - "I want North or I want South letters", and he was fortunate that he got "balanced out".

    BTW - I have an idea that Morty is totaly trying to downplay the North vs. South campus thing - the March To the Arch, for all incoming freshman is a case in point. My son also says that a lot of his Engineer buddies are South, not North, so that looks like a further attempt to balance the distribution of "student types".

    In the Big Picture? i don't think it really matters. I think my son, and most sudents are going to be happy where they get located at NU. I know my son is liking it all - classes profs and extra curriculars.

    Good Luck!
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  • Crimsonstained7Crimsonstained7 1282 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Hmm, well I'm interested in Substance Free, and Interfaith which are both in Hinman, so hopefully I'll get it either way. I just love the idea of having the dining hall and convenience store, plus I think I'd like South better. Plus I like the open suite layout
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  • LawMom6LawMom6 53 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Just a quick correction to Crimsonstained7's post. The fraternities are up North, but the sororities are South. This is a remnant of Evanston's more puritanical days, when local regulations required separating the sexes.
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