The past couple Mondays I’ve helped out with Wildcat Days on campus. These are days when recently admitted students come to campus and learn more about what being at Northwestern is like. I’ve spoken with a lot of excited Class of 2019 students and it’s made me reflect on attending Wildcat Days just a few years ago as a prospective student trying to decide which university to ultimately attend.

I happen to be a pretty indecisive person, so the college search/decision process was not an easy one for me. I wanted to be confident that my choice was going to be a good fit for me and challenge me in new ways. I began my decision process by looking at academics—it seemed like a pretty good place to start. However, this only got me so far. Northwestern has fabulous academics with challenging courses and engaging professors, and other universities do as well. I knew that there was something more on which I needed to make my decision.

With that in mind I arrived at Wildcat Days ready to get a better understanding of everything Northwestern has to offer. Wildcat Days involve school specific sessions that are run by the six undergraduate schools, lunch with current students, information panels, and an Activities Fair. I also attended a Sociology class. I was really impressed with everything that I learned; but the key event that led to my ultimate decision to attend Northwestern was that lunch with current students.

I remember sitting down with a couple other prospective students and two current students, and being initially a little nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the students were all very welcoming and genuinely interested in answering my questions and telling me more about their experiences. I began to realize that Northwestern students were involved in all sorts of clubs and activities and supportive of people who had a wide range of interests. I perhaps did not realize it at that moment, but leaving that lunch, I had already made the decision that I’d be attending Northwestern.  I could envision myself spending four years having a supportive campus culture with interesting people. I have never regretted that decision.

–Jason Smith

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