When I was a senior in high school, I sat down one Sunday evening and began writing my Northwestern supplement essay. I thought about what it was that drew me to this school halfway across the country, and the answer came quite simply to me. I wanted to go to Northwestern because of the sense of community it fosters. Dance Marathon gathers thousands of students for 30 hours to dance for charity. Wildcat Welcome is a week full of events exclusive to first-years for first-years to get to know one another. Northwestern does a lot to foster a sense of community among all members of the community. However, what differentiated Northwestern to me was its inclusion of all communities, specifically multicultural communities.

Following my acceptance to Northwestern, I was contacted by a junior African-American student. She explained to me that she was a member of an organization on campus dedicated to African-American students and offered to be a mentor for me during my transition to Northwestern. Over the next few months, I would send countless emails to my mentor, asking questions about classes, dining halls, and Northwestern’s social scene. Through our emails, we developed a friendship, and when I got to campus, it was nice to finally meet in person over a meal at a dining hall. Feeling connected to the African-American community before I even got to campus made my transition much smoother.

Move-in day can feel somewhat stressful. Parents are sad to see their kids go, and first-years are anxious to start their college careers. It was around the time I was unpacking my clothes into my dresser that I heard a knock at the door. Two students opened the door and told me that they were with the Muslim Cultural Student Association and would love to help me unpack. They helped me unpack and offered me a bag of Kit-Kats. Kit-Kats are easily my favorite candy. There’s no way they could’ve known that was exactly what I wanted, but nonetheless, that’s what they happened to give me.

I’m not sure whether it was the Kit-Kats sparking a smile on my face or what, but Northwestern did not disappoint. I felt the sense of community I described in my application. These feelings have not evaporated. Diversity is valued at Northwestern, and Northwestern’s organizations dedicated to fostering a sense of inclusion and community among not only the diverse community at Northwestern, but the community at large, have had a positive impact on my Wildcat experience.

–Sam Elmi

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