I’d only been at Northwestern a few days before I was starstruck. Not by some famous alumnus or the March through the Arch tradition, but by the comedy showcase. It was a stage of strangers, but each performance had me in tears. It wasn’t just that they were funny (and believe me, they were funny), but these students really, really knew what they were doing. I’d done improv in high school with my friends, but this was another level.
What stood out to me was that for as many groups as there were, each was doing something unique. One group really caught my eye: Out Da Box (ODB). ODB is a multicultural sketch and improv comedy group whose humor can be as pointed as it is absurd. And yeah, tacking the tagline “multicultural” onto “improv comedy group” may seem like a stuffy modifier, but that added representation makes each performance more enjoyable for everyone.
Fast forward a few days, and the opportunity to actually join one of these groups is all too real. While transitioning to life at college can seem like a daunting task, there’s nothing that can turn a big campus small like the Student Activities Fair. Just after the end of Wildcat Welcome, our orientation week, an army of club representatives take up shop in the Norris University Center because, at the end of the day, they want you as much as you want them. And, by the way, I call it an army because they really weren’t lying at the info session—more than 500 student organizations show up in full force.
For myself and many other eager first-years, it was a welcomed chaos. Each group was lined up like an elementary school science fair, but with each group there was an opportunity to turn Northwestern from a house to a home. And luckily for me, two members of Out Da Box were there with audition information at the ready.
In just a few weeks, I’d join my first student group at Northwestern as a writer for ODB, starting my time with some of the brightest and hardest working goofballs on campus. A few months later, as my luck would have it, a spot to be a player in the spring show would open up and I’d begin my time on stage just in time for our biggest show of the year.
And now, as of writing this blog, Out Da Box has become one of my most important families at Northwestern. I’ve gotten the chance to write sketches, plan shows, and make the stupidest—and I mean stupidest—jokes on stage, all because this group, and other like it, have been able to thrive at Northwestern.