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Are NU academics extremely cutthroat or hard to keep up with?

Liesel AnneLiesel Anne 37 replies10 threads Junior Member
I'm excited to be committing, but I'm also apprehensive. I can't afford bad grades or messups (like literally. Northwestern will leave me in debt), and I'm nervous about burn out or just generally being chewed up and spit out by a cutthroat atmosphere. My large public high school was competitive, but not overly so.
I can't wait to challenge myself at NU, and I definitely did work my ass off to reach this point, but.. are teachers and students at least acceptably nice/helpful? I wasn't able to really talk to any current students or teachers while visiting.
I've been posting on this thread a lot, but I really do appreciate the advice people have been giving!
16 replies
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Replies to: Are NU academics extremely cutthroat or hard to keep up with?

  • nugraddadnugraddad 1325 replies13 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    My 2 NU Engineering alums both talked about how important their study groups at NU were for them, so look for making those contacts. They also both lived at a Res College, (8 years apart) and that also fosters relationship building. You didn't specify your college, but McCormick has "Engineering First", which is a collaboration of 3-4 first year students to help people with real-world problems.

    So, yes it will be different that your HS :) - but there are ways to cope and thrive. Good Luck!
    edited April 2017
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  • WCASParentWCASParent 2095 replies16 threads Senior Member
    My kid would probably say the NU academics are challenging and intellectually stimulating rather than cutthroat.
    One thing i would note, though, is that to do well in the quarter system upu have to hit the ground running each term.
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  • soontobecollegersoontobecolleger 539 replies49 threads Member
    @Liesel Anne What school did you get into/intended major?
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  • Liesel AnneLiesel Anne 37 replies10 threads Junior Member
    @soontobecolleger Medill, but I will be double-majoring across schools at the very least.
    @WCASParent Thanks! My high school runs on a quarter system as well, so I'm hoping it'll be manageable.
    I really appreciate all of the help!!
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  • soontobecollegersoontobecolleger 539 replies49 threads Member
    @Liesel Anne My high school runs on a similar system, but each course runs through the entire year, so the workload is just like at other schools, whereas NU will be more fast paced than many other colleges. Do you take different courses each quarter at your school? Like are you taking a different math course now than the one you took at the beginning of the school year?
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  • DominicBayerDominicBayer 350 replies25 threads Member
    Current student here. Academics are really easy if you choose to put time into it (except for McCormick & Science people). If you fool around, you're pretty sure to get a fair share of C's. Hope that helps
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  • soontobecollegersoontobecolleger 539 replies49 threads Member
    @DominicBayer What is your major?
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  • DominicBayerDominicBayer 350 replies25 threads Member
    @soontobecolleger I'm currently a Philosophy, PoliSci, and Econ triple major
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  • soontobecollegersoontobecolleger 539 replies49 threads Member
    @DominicBayer Oh so you probably don't know anything about the linguistics department then?
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  • DominicBayerDominicBayer 350 replies25 threads Member
    @soontobecolleger Tbh, I've never taken a class with them and don't think I know anyone who has. I was talking about NU academics in general, but Linguistics might very well be an exception
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  • jaechajaecha 123 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @DominicBayer how about econ?
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  • Liesel AnneLiesel Anne 37 replies10 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2017
    @soontobecolleger We have 4 classes daily, each around 90 minutes. Classes that would normally take a year take a semester and semester-long classes take a quarter. (So... 16 exams a year.) People double up a lot on math, science, etc. It's still pretty different than NU but I don't think it's too far off for being a high school lol.
    Also, again, thanks to everyone for the responses!
    edited May 2017
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  • DominicBayerDominicBayer 350 replies25 threads Member
    @jaecha I've only taken 200-level (introductory) econ courses and they've been ridiculously easy. I know people who've taken more advanced courses and they say there's more work to be done, but they're pretty much doable (except for the really quantitative stuff such as Game Theory and Econometrics)
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  • soontobecollegersoontobecolleger 539 replies49 threads Member
    edited May 2017
    @Liesel Anne oh so you are talking about 4 quarters from September to June? Cuz as u prolly know, NU counts summer as one of the quarters... how do AP exams work at your school tho?
    edited May 2017
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  • schoolis1225schoolis1225 15 replies0 threads Junior Member
    If you have a lot of APs you can take a bunch of quarters with 3 classes. Medill isn't cutthroat it's competitive and has plenty of overwhelming personalities. Intro classes tend to suck and are not focused on groups. Your distro classes are another story.
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  • voltthornvoltthorn 222 replies6 threads Junior Member
    How difficult is NU Computer Science?
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