The official blog for the Office of New Student and Family Programs @ Northwestern University. We bleed purple. Go 'Cats!
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 Dylan Pager, Peer Adviser (2nd Year) 

School:School of Communication 
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: West Harrison, NY

 

What made you most nervous before getting to campus? How did it turn out?

Coming from a small high school I was nervous about transitioning to a university that was so much bigger. That being said, the support of my PA and Wildcat Welcome initiatives showed me that the Northwestern community is so cohesive and strong, that I was never able to feel lost among the masses. I was able to feel unique and encouraged to sculpt my own Northwestern experience.


 

Any tips for meeting people/making friends during your first quarter at NU? 

Go to everything! Try everything! You will meet some of your closest friends in the most unexpected places!


 

If the color purple were an adjective, what would the definition be?

Pride.
 

Dylan Pager, Peer Adviser (2nd Year)

School:School of Communication

Year: Class of 2015

Hometown: West Harrison, NY

 

What made you most nervous before getting to campus? How did it turn out?

Coming from a small high school I was nervous about transitioning to a university that was so much bigger. That being said, the support of my PA and Wildcat Welcome initiatives showed me that the Northwestern community is so cohesive and strong, that I was never able to feel lost among the masses. I was able to feel unique and encouraged to sculpt my own Northwestern experience.
 

Any tips for meeting people/making friends during your first quarter at NU?

Go to everything! Try everything! You will meet some of your closest friends in the most unexpected places!
 

If the color purple were an adjective, what would the definition be?

Pride.
 
 Khari Shelton, Peer Adviser 

School: School of Communication
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: Homewood, IL

 

What is your favorite thing to do off-campus?

oIf you have the time to simply visit Chicago, do it. A bright, sunny day walking around Chicago eating delicious Chicago treats and visiting landmarks is awesome. Chicago has so much to offer. Food, stores, architecture, and parks. It’s great to just explore. See shows if you can. Go to special events at the parks. Ice skate. Bike. Walk along the lake. Shop. Chicago is such an awesome, rich city that you need to take advantage of if you aren’t from the area. It will open you up to great opportunities and experiences. 


 

What have you learned about NU since being here that you did not know when you were touring/researching it as a prospective student?

I have learned that some of the most groundbreaking work and ideas are here at NU. If you have an idea, go for it. NU is the place to support you because you are surrounded by people that meet you on the same intellectual level that you will come to appreciate in ways you cannot even imagine. An NU student is unique and that bond brings us all closer to achieving our goals together. NU is a collaborative environment if you embrace it as such. Here, you are free to be absolutely you and create what you want to see in the world. NU students are brave and daring. I am so proud of the work everyone is doing here in all academic fields.


 

How would you suggest balancing it all?

Be the smart student you already are. Everyone at NU is at NU for the same reasons. Smart, dedicated, adventurous, involved, excited, etc. in all the same ways. We are a unique kind of student and that’s why we are here. Every college has there “type” of student, so to speak. So does NU. An NU student is a special kind of student. You already have the skills to balance academics, extracurriculars, and a social life. It’s possible. It’s all about the choices you make. We are adults. There is no right or wrong when it comes to doing what you want. You can choose to go out all the time, or monitor yourself and take some time to stay in and read ahead. There is no proper formula except to do what you know is best. I have found that being truly honest with myself about what is most important at the time helps me manage what I need to do. Understand that you can’t do everything, and no one expects you to. We are skilled in different ways. We don’t need to invest all of our time into every club. Find what you are passionate about and pursue it. You will be happy. You will also be happy if you learn responsibility and don’t let work pile up. The time you take now to focus will give you more time later to have fun and enjoy college. It’s stressful, no doubt. But it’s definitely manageable. Always remember that everyone here is trying to balance it all and talking to peers, PAs, and even professors can help you get through the tough times because you can do it. That’s why you are here. If you are ever feeling lost or unsure, just reach out. There is always someone listening and willing to help. No one wants you to do it alone.
 

Khari Shelton, Peer Adviser

School: School of Communication

Year: Class of 2015

Hometown: Homewood, IL

 

What is your favorite thing to do off-campus?

oIf you have the time to simply visit Chicago, do it. A bright, sunny day walking around Chicago eating delicious Chicago treats and visiting landmarks is awesome. Chicago has so much to offer. Food, stores, architecture, and parks. It’s great to just explore. See shows if you can. Go to special events at the parks. Ice skate. Bike. Walk along the lake. Shop. Chicago is such an awesome, rich city that you need to take advantage of if you aren’t from the area. It will open you up to great opportunities and experiences.
 

What have you learned about NU since being here that you did not know when you were touring/researching it as a prospective student?

I have learned that some of the most groundbreaking work and ideas are here at NU. If you have an idea, go for it. NU is the place to support you because you are surrounded by people that meet you on the same intellectual level that you will come to appreciate in ways you cannot even imagine. An NU student is unique and that bond brings us all closer to achieving our goals together. NU is a collaborative environment if you embrace it as such. Here, you are free to be absolutely you and create what you want to see in the world. NU students are brave and daring. I am so proud of the work everyone is doing here in all academic fields.
 

How would you suggest balancing it all?

Be the smart student you already are. Everyone at NU is at NU for the same reasons. Smart, dedicated, adventurous, involved, excited, etc. in all the same ways. We are a unique kind of student and that’s why we are here. Every college has there “type” of student, so to speak. So does NU. An NU student is a special kind of student. You already have the skills to balance academics, extracurriculars, and a social life. It’s possible. It’s all about the choices you make. We are adults. There is no right or wrong when it comes to doing what you want. You can choose to go out all the time, or monitor yourself and take some time to stay in and read ahead. There is no proper formula except to do what you know is best. I have found that being truly honest with myself about what is most important at the time helps me manage what I need to do. Understand that you can’t do everything, and no one expects you to. We are skilled in different ways. We don’t need to invest all of our time into every club. Find what you are passionate about and pursue it. You will be happy. You will also be happy if you learn responsibility and don’t let work pile up. The time you take now to focus will give you more time later to have fun and enjoy college. It’s stressful, no doubt. But it’s definitely manageable. Always remember that everyone here is trying to balance it all and talking to peers, PAs, and even professors can help you get through the tough times because you can do it. That’s why you are here. If you are ever feeling lost or unsure, just reach out. There is always someone listening and willing to help. No one wants you to do it alone.
 
 Jaime Toplin, Peer Adviser (2nd Year) 

School: Medill
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: Bala Cynwyd, PA

 

Why did you decide to become a Peer Adviser?

As a freshman, I developed (and have still maintained) a close relationship with my PA! I really wanted to be a resource, confidante, friend, and guide to welcome new students into this community and guide them through their first year here (and beyond)! My first year as a PA lived up to everything I expected and more, and I cannot wait to do it again! GET EXCITED, NU2017 AND TRANSFERS! We love you!! 


 

What have you learned about NU since being here that you did not know when you were touring/researching it as a prospective student? 

You can literally do absolutely anything you want here. I knew the opportunities were huge when I was learning about Northwestern, but the scale and scope of things students accomplish, but academically and through extracurriculars, is nothing short of incredible. Whether you want to raise over $1,000,000 for an organization by dancing for 30-hours, write an interdisciplinary thesis, get involved in groundbreaking research, or dedicate yourself to bettering life for students or Evanston residents, you can find your place here. The things we accomplish as a (relatively small) student body are nothing short of incredible, and being immersed in that is something I couldn’t fathom before coming!


 

The hidden gem of Northwestern is…

This is a little cliche, but it’s definitely the people. I expected to make lifelong friends, but I never expected to find such a caring, passionate, dedicated, and accomplished community with people I could both learn from and have fun with (often at the same time)! Take advantage of the people you go to school with in your years here—you can learn and experience things you’d never expect and have the craziest, most laughter-filled times of your life!
 

Jaime Toplin, Peer Adviser (2nd Year)

School: Medill

Year: Class of 2015

Hometown: Bala Cynwyd, PA

 

Why did you decide to become a Peer Adviser?

As a freshman, I developed (and have still maintained) a close relationship with my PA! I really wanted to be a resource, confidante, friend, and guide to welcome new students into this community and guide them through their first year here (and beyond)! My first year as a PA lived up to everything I expected and more, and I cannot wait to do it again! GET EXCITED, NU2017 AND TRANSFERS! We love you!!
 

What have you learned about NU since being here that you did not know when you were touring/researching it as a prospective student?

You can literally do absolutely anything you want here. I knew the opportunities were huge when I was learning about Northwestern, but the scale and scope of things students accomplish, but academically and through extracurriculars, is nothing short of incredible. Whether you want to raise over $1,000,000 for an organization by dancing for 30-hours, write an interdisciplinary thesis, get involved in groundbreaking research, or dedicate yourself to bettering life for students or Evanston residents, you can find your place here. The things we accomplish as a (relatively small) student body are nothing short of incredible, and being immersed in that is something I couldn’t fathom before coming!
 

The hidden gem of Northwestern is…

This is a little cliche, but it’s definitely the people. I expected to make lifelong friends, but I never expected to find such a caring, passionate, dedicated, and accomplished community with people I could both learn from and have fun with (often at the same time)! Take advantage of the people you go to school with in your years here—you can learn and experience things you’d never expect and have the craziest, most laughter-filled times of your life!
 
 Caleb Young, Peer Adviser (2nd Year) 

School: McCormick
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: Menlo Park, CA

 

What is your favorite thing to do off-campus?

oMy favorite thing I’ve done off campus is attend a Cub’s game. In particular last year I attended NU Day at Wrigley, which was a ton of fun.


 

The hidden gem of Northwestern is… 

Einstein Bagel’s in Tech.


 

How would you suggest balancing it all?

I think there are two big things to keep in mind when coming to Northwestern. First, you need to adjust your thoughts about academics: you need to prepare yourself to work harder than you did in high school, but at the same time drop any perfectionist tendencies you have. As a student at Northwestern you will learn a lot and work very hard, but life will be so much easier if you drop the expectation of yourself to be perfect. Second, you need to be prepared to explore, in all areas of student life. Adjustment to college can be a long process, and one that continues even as you progress through your undergraduate career. Don’t expect to figure out your academic path, social circles, and extracurriculars all within the first quarter. Rather, commit yourself to trying new things and following your interests- eventually you’ll find your niche on campus.
 

Caleb Young, Peer Adviser (2nd Year)

School: McCormick

Year: Class of 2015

Hometown: Menlo Park, CA

 

What is your favorite thing to do off-campus?

oMy favorite thing I’ve done off campus is attend a Cub’s game. In particular last year I attended NU Day at Wrigley, which was a ton of fun.
 

The hidden gem of Northwestern is…

Einstein Bagel’s in Tech.
 

How would you suggest balancing it all?

I think there are two big things to keep in mind when coming to Northwestern. First, you need to adjust your thoughts about academics: you need to prepare yourself to work harder than you did in high school, but at the same time drop any perfectionist tendencies you have. As a student at Northwestern you will learn a lot and work very hard, but life will be so much easier if you drop the expectation of yourself to be perfect. Second, you need to be prepared to explore, in all areas of student life. Adjustment to college can be a long process, and one that continues even as you progress through your undergraduate career. Don’t expect to figure out your academic path, social circles, and extracurriculars all within the first quarter. Rather, commit yourself to trying new things and following your interests- eventually you’ll find your niche on campus.
 
 Sarah Nelson, Peer Adviser 

School: Medill
Year: Class of 2016
Hometown: Waterbury, CT

 

If the color purple were an adjective, what would the definition be?

Purple (adj.) - bright, welcoming, and always used to describe our awesome community.


 

What made you most nervous before getting to campus? How did it turn out? 

I was worried that everything would be too extreme - the academics, the social life, all of it.  I’m still getting used to it, but NU definitely makes it easy to find “your place” and feel like you belong!


 

Any tips for meeting people/making friends during your first quarter at NU?

Branch out. Do things you normally wouldn’t do.  Take risks. The more you’re involved in, the more people you’ll meet.
 

Sarah Nelson, Peer Adviser

School: Medill

Year: Class of 2016

Hometown: Waterbury, CT

 

If the color purple were an adjective, what would the definition be?

Purple (adj.) - bright, welcoming, and always used to describe our awesome community.
 

What made you most nervous before getting to campus? How did it turn out?

I was worried that everything would be too extreme - the academics, the social life, all of it. I’m still getting used to it, but NU definitely makes it easy to find “your place” and feel like you belong!
 

Any tips for meeting people/making friends during your first quarter at NU?

Branch out. Do things you normally wouldn’t do. Take risks. The more you’re involved in, the more people you’ll meet.
 
 Lily Goldstein, Peer Adviser 

School: Medill
Year: Class of 2016
Hometown: Mamaroneck, NY

 

What is your favorite part of campus?

Okay so this is pretty specific, but when you’re walking from the Norris Student Center to Tech alongside the lake, on one side of you is all this construction and a giant boiler room, but on the other side is the most INCREDIBLE view of the lake, it looks so blue and the trees frame it perfectly. Every time I walk by I have to take a picture and send it to my parents.


 

What did you do this summer? 

I was a camp counselor at an overnight camp in Maine!


 

What is your favorite way to show your Northwestern spirit?

Saying “Go ‘Cats” to fill any awkward silence. c
 

Lily Goldstein, Peer Adviser

School: Medill

Year: Class of 2016

Hometown: Mamaroneck, NY

 

What is your favorite part of campus?

Okay so this is pretty specific, but when you’re walking from the Norris Student Center to Tech alongside the lake, on one side of you is all this construction and a giant boiler room, but on the other side is the most INCREDIBLE view of the lake, it looks so blue and the trees frame it perfectly. Every time I walk by I have to take a picture and send it to my parents.
 

What did you do this summer?

I was a camp counselor at an overnight camp in Maine!
 

What is your favorite way to show your Northwestern spirit?

Saying “Go ‘Cats” to fill any awkward silence. c
 
 Ben Terdich, Peer Adviser 

School: Weinberg
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL

 

What is your favorite thing to do off-campus?

I love to go to concerts!!!!! As if Dillo Day and Fall Blowout weren’t enough, there are some great Chicago venues just a few El stops away. 


 

 The hidden gem of Northwestern is…

Student groups!!! Greek life, A Capella groups, dance teams, The Happiness Club, cultural interest groups, you name it. These groups are so cool because all of them are student run by some of the coolest students in the country (yes, that’s YOU!!!). There’s something really invigorating about getting together with a group of people and working towards a goal totally autonomously. Groups in high school were cool and all, but there’s something special about totally running yourself. Get ready class of 2017, you’re about to learn just how much the world is your oyster, and Northwestern wants nothing more than to propel you towards whatever amazing thing you decide to accomplish. 


 

How would you suggest balancing it all?

Appreciate your life. A little diligence goes a long way, and doing your work when you know you should means you can spend free time later. But even more important is fully enjoying the free time you do have. Take me for example; I have three majors and I run the exec board of my fraternity. But just today I got out of class at 2, chilled on the beach for a few hours, then got Chipotle with my girlfriend. Later this week when I’ll be in my lab, synthesizing for hours, I won’t feel stressed because I know I got some great free time this week. *Appreciate* the free time you get to spend with your friends, then appreciate the opportunity you have to study and work and research in one of the best universities in the world. You can do it class of 2017!!! I believe in you!!!!!!!!
 

Ben Terdich, Peer Adviser

School: Weinberg

Year: Class of 2015

Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL

 

What is your favorite thing to do off-campus?

I love to go to concerts!!!!! As if Dillo Day and Fall Blowout weren’t enough, there are some great Chicago venues just a few El stops away.
 

The hidden gem of Northwestern is…

Student groups!!! Greek life, A Capella groups, dance teams, The Happiness Club, cultural interest groups, you name it. These groups are so cool because all of them are student run by some of the coolest students in the country (yes, that’s YOU!!!). There’s something really invigorating about getting together with a group of people and working towards a goal totally autonomously. Groups in high school were cool and all, but there’s something special about totally running yourself. Get ready class of 2017, you’re about to learn just how much the world is your oyster, and Northwestern wants nothing more than to propel you towards whatever amazing thing you decide to accomplish.
 

How would you suggest balancing it all?

Appreciate your life. A little diligence goes a long way, and doing your work when you know you should means you can spend free time later. But even more important is fully enjoying the free time you do have. Take me for example; I have three majors and I run the exec board of my fraternity. But just today I got out of class at 2, chilled on the beach for a few hours, then got Chipotle with my girlfriend. Later this week when I’ll be in my lab, synthesizing for hours, I won’t feel stressed because I know I got some great free time this week. *Appreciate* the free time you get to spend with your friends, then appreciate the opportunity you have to study and work and research in one of the best universities in the world. You can do it class of 2017!!! I believe in you!!!!!!!!
 
 Sophia Krevans, Peer Adviser 

School: McCormick
Year: Class of 2016
Hometown: Bar Harbro, ME

 

Why do you love Wildcat Welcome?

I love that there is an entire week dedicated to new students bonding with each other and the campus. There is nothing better than celebrating new students and the amazing opportunities that Northwestern has to offer.


 

What did you do this summer? 

I worked at Acadia National Park in Maine as a technology intern. I also sailed, enjoyed the perfect weather, and caught up on Game of Thrones. 


 

What is your favorite part of campus?

Lake Michigan is by far my favorite part of Northwestern. It is such a gift to have a body of water right on campus. Whether it is sailing, studying on the lakefill or swimming at the beach I try to take advantage of it as much as possible.
 

Sophia Krevans, Peer Adviser

School: McCormick

Year: Class of 2016

Hometown: Bar Harbro, ME

 

Why do you love Wildcat Welcome?

I love that there is an entire week dedicated to new students bonding with each other and the campus. There is nothing better than celebrating new students and the amazing opportunities that Northwestern has to offer.
 

What did you do this summer?

I worked at Acadia National Park in Maine as a technology intern. I also sailed, enjoyed the perfect weather, and caught up on Game of Thrones.
 

What is your favorite part of campus?

Lake Michigan is by far my favorite part of Northwestern. It is such a gift to have a body of water right on campus. Whether it is sailing, studying on the lakefill or swimming at the beach I try to take advantage of it as much as possible.
 
 Grace Dodillet, Peer Adviser 

School: Weinberg
Year: Class of 2016
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL

 

In preparing for NU prior to September: What is a definite “DO” and a definite “DON’T”?

Do: get excited! College is going to be a blast! Don’t: forget rain boots 


 

What is the best meal to eat in Evanston? 

Chocolate chip banana pancakes from Golden Olympic


 

What is a must-see student group performance at Northwestern?

Fusion, Wa-Muu…so many talented groups!
 

Grace Dodillet, Peer Adviser

School: Weinberg

Year: Class of 2016

Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL

 

In preparing for NU prior to September: What is a definite “DO” and a definite “DON’T”?

Do: get excited! College is going to be a blast! Don’t: forget rain boots
 

What is the best meal to eat in Evanston?

Chocolate chip banana pancakes from Golden Olympic
 

What is a must-see student group performance at Northwestern?

Fusion, Wa-Muu…so many talented groups!
 
 LaTisha Curtiss, Peer Adviser (Transfer) 

School: Weinberg
Year: Class of 2014
Hometown: Crete, IL

 

What was the best thing about being a first year student at NU?

The best things about being a first year student at NU is the fact that I got to be a new student twice and the second time was/is the charm. 


 

What is the best meal to eat in Evanston? 

The best meal to eat in Evanston is the Lumberjack Breakfast at LE LEEP PANCAKE HOUSE! GAAAH


 

In preparing for NU prior to September: What is a definite “DO” and a definite “DON’T”?

A definite “do” is to relax and enjoy your summer because once NU starts, it starts. A definite “don’t” would be to freak about. You’re going to have a wonderful time here at NU and everyone will love you!
 

LaTisha Curtiss, Peer Adviser (Transfer)

School: Weinberg

Year: Class of 2014

Hometown: Crete, IL

 

What was the best thing about being a first year student at NU?

The best things about being a first year student at NU is the fact that I got to be a new student twice and the second time was/is the charm.
 

What is the best meal to eat in Evanston?

The best meal to eat in Evanston is the Lumberjack Breakfast at LE LEEP PANCAKE HOUSE! GAAAH
 

In preparing for NU prior to September: What is a definite “DO” and a definite “DON’T”?

A definite “do” is to relax and enjoy your summer because once NU starts, it starts. A definite “don’t” would be to freak about. You’re going to have a wonderful time here at NU and everyone will love you!