Location
Evanston, IL
Undergrads
8,542
Tuition
$43,779
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1186 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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Niche User

Drug Safety: In my experience, there are some drugs floating around campus; it's mainly your decision whether or not to get involved. There definitely will not be any pressure to participate if you want to avoid the drug scene.

Niche User

Drug Safety: There are probably all manner of drugs being done at Northwestern, but to what extent, I'm not sure. Marijuana is the most popular by far, though, at least among people I know. If you want an environment where there are no drugs or where you won't feel pressured about doing drugs, that's not too hard to find.

Niche User

Drug Safety: Dude, where's my pot brownie? You can usually do drugs without getting caught. Not many people do much more than pot, and it's minimal at that-a toke with a friend at a huge party. I've ran into a couple people who do `shrooms or trip occasionally, but many bookish students would be shocked.

Niche User

Drug Safety: It fluctuates. Depends where you are. You'll always find that one guy that does every drug on the planet, but for the most part, people don't do anything.

Niche User

Drug Safety: Alcohol is much more prevalent than any illegal drugs, though. Except maybe for pot. It's hard to tell. There are a lot of sober people, however, and you're not going to find anyone forcing drugs on you.

Niche User

Drug Safety: My impression is that most people drink and a majority of students smoke pot, but harder drug users are in the minority. It really runs the spectrum, though.

Niche User

Drug Safety: By far, the most popular drug on campus (after alcohol) is marijuana. I think most people, even if they don't use, tolerate it, and don't look down on others who do. There are a lot of people who are `occasional' users at parties and such. Beyond that, most other drugs are available on campus, and they are used regularly. The important thing to remember is that drug use is not isolated to outsiders or a `drug culture.' Rather, it's just another part of life, along with sex, drinking, and partying.

Niche User

Drug Safety: There aren't many people that do a lot of hardcore drugs on campus. There is a bunch of pot smoking, but no one feels pressure to indulge unless they choose to based on free will. It's there if you want it, but it's not something that can't be avoided.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: I do my fair share of everything, and I have never had a problem with police. I'd say they're right in the middle of the strictness scale. You'll have no problem drinking in your room with some friends if you're smart about it.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: They watch pretty well. One person got busted for a meth lab on campus in his dorm. They really aren't too bad. However, it's not like we're a state school where anything goes. If a cop sees you drinking, they will most likely just tell you to throw it away. As far as parties go, cops come three times. The first time they warn you, the second time they start telling people to leave, and the third time they fine you. It's pretty lenient.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: Generally, parties in the dorms don't get broken up as long as people are quiet. I think with weed the RAs tend to be stricter; if they smell it, they will call the cops. Those kinds of violations are generally handled in-house and are not referred to Evanston police. Thus, they don't carry the kind of punishments that someone in the `real world' might receive.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: The police always look the other way when it comes to drinking and drugs. All they do is refer students to the student affairs office, and the University usually deals with the problem internally through counseling services.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: The campus police are cool about drinking. If they catch you drinking at an off-campus party, they just tell you to leave. The University is strict about drinking in the dorms, but if you're smart about it, you can get away with it.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: As far as drinking is concerned, the police are very tolerable. They are much stricter about drugs. But if a party is broken up and there is underage drinking, the cops generally do not have a problem except with the people who are hosting the party.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: Campus police aren't really the ones who would bust you, more likely an RA in a dorm or the Evanston Police at an apartment. I don't hear about a lot of people getting arrested or anything, and a cop was very nice to us once. In terms of RAs, it depends who you have.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: They're pretty lenient, unless there's a huge raging out-of-control party. But just hope that if you get caught, it's by your RA, cause otherwise, you have to pay a big fine and it goes on your record.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: They're pretty strict, but on their best day, I doubt they'd catch 5 percent of the people committing offenses.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: Most people do drugs and drink underage without ever getting caught. If you are stupid about it, then the police will take action.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: They are usually pretty understanding when dealing with parties. They don't go out of their way to bust students. They'll usually just ask everyone to leave. If you're smart and don't do anything blatant, you're fine.

Niche User

Overall Experience: I complain a lot, but in all honesty, things here are great. The people are interesting, professors intriguing, and there's never a dull moment. If Evanston sucks, Chicago is a stone's throw away. It's top-of-the-line, and people don't take enough pride in NU's strengths.

Niche User

Overall Experience: I have enjoyed Northwestern. I don't like all the people, and I think it is unfortunate the partying has decreased and has moved into more expensive bars. But in general, you will meet great people, learn a lot, and have a lot of fun.

Niche User

Overall Experience: I've enjoyed it thus far. It's a tough school, but it's a beautiful campus with great teachers and a great overall environment. I don't think you'd regret coming here, except for maybe the weather.

Niche User

Overall Experience: I love Northwestern, and I admit I will miss it when I graduate next month. I am a typical party boy, and I was scared that NU would be a bunch of dorks, but it's really not. I prefer the liberal, open-minded, intelligent atmosphere at NU.

Niche User

Overall Experience: It is pretty good. I'd enjoy it more if there were more things to do in the town.

Niche User

Overall Experience: It was personally hard for me to adjust to being so far from home. Now that I'm comfortable, I love it here. I think there are definitely negatives to NU, and the social scene here leaves much to be desired, but Chicago is awesome. I love what I have gotten involved in at NU.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Shayna Starr
Hometown
Houston, Texas
Major
Journalism
Grad Year
2014
View all previous student authors

At Northwestern, schoolwork can seem overwhelming at points, but students don’t let that stop them from having fun. After spending the school week doing long readings, writing papers, and taking ever-present midterms, students have a knack for finding ways to kick back and relax. This does not always include partying. For those who want to party, the option is always there. If partying is not your thing, there are movies, cool coffee shops to check out, and all of Chicago's cultural offerings just a short "L" ride away.

Northwestern students are generally happy with their choice of school—there is a retention rate nearing 100 percent year after year. There are the usual complaints (cold winters, hard classes, and lack of sleep, to name a few), but everyone has their reason for choosing NU, and the reasons usually do not disappoint. Most students like most aspects of their life at Northwestern. The mid-size student body (8,000 undergrads) allows you to meet new people in various activities or classes, but you are guaranteed to see familiar faces every time you walk outside or eat in a dining hall. Different aspects of the school can be hit or miss, depending on what you’re looking for, but the people you meet and the friends you make will greatly enhance your experience. Students come from many walks of life, but the differences in backgrounds are hardly noticeable on the surface. Everyone has similar goals for the future, and everyone will go places after they graduate. This is Northwestern, after all.

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