Students staying in Evanston for summer juggle fun and productivity


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta

Some students are making room for fun this summer as they handle research, internships and classes while craving a break from rigorous academics.

Astry Rodriguez, Reporter

With school out and a long summer ahead, students staying in Evanston remain busy. Many are enthusiastic about enjoying the city and the season while balancing internships, summer jobs and research.

Northwestern offers more than 250 courses during the Summer Session. Students can take accelerated sequences in subjects like biology or Spanish to get ahead or try out new subjects they didn’t have time for during the school year.

More than 190 students staying in Evanston for the summer joined a “Summer Quarter Folks!” GroupMe chat where they’ve coordinated activities like kayaking, visiting museums and exploring botanic gardens.

While many students take classes over the summer, SESP freshman Lynn Ahn decided to occupy her time with non-academic activities.

Ahn’s many roles include conference assistant for Residential Services, where she books rooms for people in summer programming. She will also conduct research with a professor through the Emerging Scholars program. Lastly, Ahn works at Mudd Library and volunteers through Books & Breakfast, helping kids learn to read.

Ahn said although she may have a lot on her plate, she is confident she will still be able to enjoy her summer.

“Hopefully I will be able to find time where I can relax,” Ahn said. “(I would like to) explore the city — I feel like I don’t have time to do that during a normal academic year. Maybe paint, pick up a hobby.”

McCormick freshman Ritvik Karra will spend his summer gaining hands-on experience in the Bio-Inspired Sensors and Optoelectronics Lab.

For eight weeks, Karra will conduct immersive research with electrical engineering faculty. The lab uses lasers to get 3D images of biological samples, he said.

“Especially (in your) first year in McCormick, you’re not going to learn about this kind of stuff in your classes,” Karra said.

Karra said he hopes to use his free time to hang out with friends and visit Evanston spots, like Bob’s Pizza for Tuesday trivia nights.

Weinberg junior Catherina Lu said this summer is her first in Evanston and her first time staying in an apartment, which she is subletting. Lu said she has taken full advantage of the kitchen in her apartment, something she didn’t have access to in on-campus housing.

Lu said she is looking forward to spending time with her friends now that she will be in the same area as them this summer.

“We were watching a show at my friend’s place, and I have a couple friends coming over and we’re going to be cooking for fun,” Lu said.

Lu will work part time as a receptionist and lead summer camps remotely at First Presbyterian Church while studying for the Medical College Admission Test, she said.

Karra said he is glad he gets to do research this summer, even if he is feeling slightly burnt out, because it allows him to have more downtime.

“(Research) is better than school, where you’re always drowning in work,” Karra said. “When I’m done with labs, I have the whole evening (and weekends) to myself. I’m excited to have more free time — I feel like I need that.”

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Twitter: @Astry_tpwk

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