IT’S WINTER QUARTER! If you’ve read my Winter Surthrival Guide, then you are already aware as to why I’m excited for the frosty months to come. If not, check it out. NU and Chicago do a great job at keeping spirits warm throughout the Winter season, and I’m excited to take advantage of those opportunities for my final Winter at Northwestern. I’m graduating at the end of the quarter and I’m so excited for my final three classes. I’m finishing up some of my distribution and major requirements by taking Introduction to Hinduism, History of American Wilderness, and Public Health and the Environment. Although we’ve only been in classes for a week, it’s clear that this is going to be one of my most engaging batch of classes yet. My Public Health and Environment class is actually a civil engineering course and instead of typical midterms or finals, our grades are based off of a series of case studies. Each study focuses on a different area of microbiology and links to a current crisis in global health. From Ebola to cholera, we will be exploring the different diagnoses, mechanisms, and treatment of the pathogens that plague the globe. We are split into small groups for these studies; meeting new students through my classes is one of my favorite parts of NU.

Aside from classes, I’m truly excited for spending time in my house this quarter. I live off campus with nine of the most involved Northwestern students I know. Two organize one of the most interesting conferences Northwestern hosts, The Global Engagement Summit. Others plan all of the special events for the 30-hour Dance Marathon, edit a new social justice publication on campus, star in various theatre productions, and serve on the national board for an organization called GlobeMed. We are all seniors, so this quarter is going to be a great opportunity for us to relax and reflect on the wonderful (and sometimes challenging) times we’ve had as Wildcats.

If great classes and a fantastic group of roommates wasn’t enough to be excited about, it’s also the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival throughout the last two weeks of January.

–Taylor Billings

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