For many students, the city of Evanston represents the best of both worlds. Evanston has a small-town, suburban feel, but it's big enough to offer plenty of restaurants, shopping, and other activities. Also, the great city of Chicago is just a short "L" ride away. With offerings like "The Bean," Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Wrigley Field in downtown Chicago, Northwestern students are never at a loss for ways to keep busy. As with most everything in college, you have to take advantage of the opportunities at your fingertips. Although Northwestern doesn't give its students U-Passes, take the time to go to Chicago—you won’t regret it.
As for Evanston, the relationship between the residents and the students can be testy at times. At football tailgates or on the weekends, students can get a bit rowdy. Residents have been known to call the police to shut down off-campus parties, but if you keep to yourself, you can definitely coexist with the Evanstonians. But walking around NU, students won’t really feel much animosity. Stores and restaurants are very cooperative with students, offering WildCARD discounts and allowing students to paint the storefront windows for Homecoming. Northwestern students bring a vibrant energy to Evanston during the school year, and many residents will say that the summers are just not the same without them.