Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

How competitive is NU?

bigeboybigeboy Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
Hello! I was recently admitted to Northwestern (which I was incredibly excited about) and was wondering how competitive the school is? This is not a question of how competitive admissions are, but rather how competitive the undergrads are with each other. I will be attending Weinberg if In choose to go (still waiting on Duke and Penn, so if you can provide any insight about those schools too that would be great), so I would like feedback specifically about the competitiveness of the college. Thanks, all feedback is appreciated!

Replies to: How competitive is NU?

  • vegucated26vegucated26 Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    Hi, Im a current freshman at NU in Weinberg majoring in Economics and Global Health. As a whole, I would say that students really aren't competitive with each other and the way that professors curve classes don't really pit students against each other either--it's usually based off of how you do over time and the class average, not the highest grade or anything like that. I've only had one annoying experience with another competitive student basically telling me I was likely going to fail an exam because I didn't start studying until a few days before (ended up getting an A, so his comment was pretty irrelevant). Other than that, I have only had great, collaborative interactions with other students. Some people tend to stick to working by themselves, which is fine as that is probably how they work best. However, if you are like me, and like to study with others/help each other through essays, proofreading, making study guides, etc. there are a lot of people like that too. I would say a good 40-50% of the school is "work hard play hard" and are very open to going to the library together, studying together, etc, and the other portion is a little more reserved, but not at all in a mean or competitive way. Obviously, it is going to be somewhat of a shock to see how genuinely intelligent most of the students are, but in my experience, it really only motivated me to work harder and improve myself, but not really compete with them. My friends and I help each other stay on top of our work and have fun. There are definitely a lot of amazingly collaborative, accepting students here and I wouldn't be too worried. I had similar worries to you, as I was choosing between USC and Northwestern last year, initially leaning towards USC because I had thought it would be a much happier atmosphere. However, having chosen Northwestern, I can't say that I regret my decision at all and really love the people here in general. Good luck and feel free to PM me with any other questions!
  • bigeboybigeboy Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Thanks so much for the reply! Very helpful. Do you know much about the party scene?
  • vegucated26vegucated26 Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    @bigeboy Yes! I have visited my friends at state schools too, so I think I have a good grasp on how NU compares. I would say that almost every night Wednesday through Saturday there is something to do. However, most of the party scene is revolved around greek life--I wouldn't say it is absolutely necessary to rush but maybe almost necessary. That being said a lot of clubs and student organizations have parties for their members from time to time (some more than others, and I think that it would be easy to tell which ones just based off of what they do/the vibe). A lot of times frats will rent out bars either in Evanston or in Chicago which is usually pretty fun (but sometimes annoyingly expensive). Tailgates were super fun in the fall, as well. If I had to rate the party scene I'd say around a B+ which in my opinion, is a lot better than other top schools (other than maybe UPenn). Overall, there is a large amount of people that go out multiple days a week (myself included) and coming from a high school where most of my friends were not overly studious and did party a lot, I still am able to have a ton of fun at Northwestern and party a fair amount. During the spring (although I have not personally experienced it yet), apparently parties are super fun and the best of the year, so I would say if partying is one of your priorities (which I completely understand--it was one of my concerns too deciding bw USC and NU), you will be able to find the right people and the right community to do so.
  • bigeboybigeboy Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Great! I plan on pledging before the end of first semester, so this sounds very up my alley. Much appreciated
  • midwestCityParent8midwestCityParent8 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    @vegucated26 - it looks like you were choosing between USC and Northwestern. What made you go with NU?
  • vegucated26vegucated26 Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    @midwestCityParent8 So basically it was just a gut feeling on May 1st. Before today last year, I was going to USC and was pretty set, but then once it came time to actually decide, I couldn't turn down Northwestern-it's just better for what I want to study. That being said, I am almost positive I would have been happy at either place, despite their wildly different vibes. I have some friends that go to USC who love it. The main reason I was hesitant on Northwestern was because of the social life, but its a lot better than I expected (definitely not as good as USC though).
Sign In or Register to comment.