Letter from the Editor: Make every minute of your time here count

Isabelle Sarraf, Editor in Chief

When I arrived at Northwestern, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I didn’t start off as a journalism major and, prior to the pandemic, I wasn’t even on The Daily’s editorial board. I walked out of our newsroom on March 5, 2020 for what I didn’t realize would be the last time in 18 months. As I enter my senior year, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the highs and lows of my college experience. I hope this special edition of The Daily — featuring first-hand tales, sagely advice, explainers on student life and more — eases your nerves as you transition to NU.

You’re arriving here with a clean slate. You’ll March through the Arch as the only class of current undergraduates whose college experience hasn’t been entirely upended by COVID-19. While there will still be some restrictions on our campus, you’ll (fingers crossed) spend your next four years here in-person. So, take some risks and jump headfirst into your four years.

See a musical in Shanley Pavilion on a late Friday night — the one with the rowdy audience. Stay up until 6 a.m. to watch the sunrise by the Lakefill. Scream the Fight Song on the off-chance that the Cats score a touchdown (you’ll learn it soon!). Bump into friends at Fran’s Cafe and gorge down their quesadillas (with waffle fries on the side, of course) in the wee hours of the morning. Travel to parts of Evanston that aren’t a walking distance from campus. Paint the Rock and camp outside in a tent all night to guard your creation.

Take a stance on an issue you’re passionate about. This campus has seen its fair share of protest within the past year, some of which has amounted to concrete institutional change. Hundreds of students marched through the streets of Evanston with NU Community Not Cops every single day for over a month, demanding the abolition of campus and local police. Following their demonstrations, NU released a decade’s worth of data on University Police, from annual budgets to traffic stop data, and committed to reconsider the duties of campus police. Student voices and actions have shown time and time again that they have the power to make real change on this campus.

You’re going to make mistakes, change your major (more than a few times), find new friends and chart your own path during your time here. Say yes to things, but know your limits and establish boundaries — save your future self from the burnout that’s all too common at this institution. Don’t be afraid to slow down and reel yourself in. Don’t run from change, embrace it. And if you walk onto this campus feeling like an imposter: you’re not alone.

NU has so many traditions entirely unique to the 231 acres we call home. I hope you revel in every single one of them.


Isabelle Sarraf
Editor in Chief

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @isabellesarraf