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An NU Adventure

By 2015 Most Valuable Student Scholarship Recipient and Elks Scholar Advisory Board Member Jessica Carter

Jessica Carter, 2015 Most Valuable Student scholar and freshmen representative on the Elks Scholar Advisory Board, is giving us a glimpse into life as a college freshman. Join her each month as she blogs about her exciting new challenges and experiences at Northwestern University. 

After five long months of waiting, I’m finally at Northwestern! From orientation and starting classes to hosting an Elks Scholar Meet-Up, it has been a crazy and exciting past few weeks and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Northwestern is very different from most schools. To start, our orientation is 10 days long. This year, the university rented out Six Flags Amusement Park, the Chicago Field Museum, and even a Target just for the freshman class. There was no shortage of excitement! It’s a week centered around building friendships and getting familiar with campus so by the time classes actually began, students are fully prepared for their NU adventure.

Another thing that’s unique is that Northwestern runs on a quarter system. So I’ll be taking four classes at a time for 10 weeks. It’s good in that there’s a lot of flexibility with scheduling and finding required classes for majors. Right now, I’m enrolled in Developmental Psychology, Law and the Civil Rights Movement, Introduction to Philosophy, and School and Society. I’m hoping to go to law school after my four years at Northwestern and the cool thing about being Pre-Law is that there is no set major—I can pursue whatever I choose. So it’s my goal this year to explore as many different subject areas as possible to find the major that’s best for me.

One of the biggest (and best) differences from high school is that there is never any shortage of excitement. It’s always easy to get involved, even in activities that are far out of my comfort zone. For example, this past week, one of my friends told me he was DJ-ing at the local radio station and asked if I wanted to come help. I was very bad, you will definitely not be hearing me on Kiss FM any time soon. It was just such a unique experience, one that makes me immensely excited for everything that’s to come in these next four years.

A final highlight was getting the chance to host an Elks Scholar Meet-Up. Three other Northwestern scholars joined me, Elks Scholar Fellow Maryann Slater, and the wonderful Debbie Doles for dinner at Smylie Brothers. The other scholars had already been through freshman year and hearing their advice about how to make the most of my college experience was really helpful. It was a great to see how, through the Elks family, we were able to make the large Northwestern community a little bit smaller.

From making great memories and even greater friends, my time at Northwestern has been nothing short of amazing. I can’t wait to see—and share—where the rest of my freshman year takes me.

Jessica Carter
Elks Scholar Advisory Board Freshman Representative
Northwestern University 

In 2015-16, the Elks National Foundation appropriated $4.16 million to fund the ENF scholarship program, which provides college scholarships, ensuring a bright future for our nation’s youth. As important parts of the Elks family, Elks scholars have many social and service opportunities to connect with the Elks and each other. For more information about our scholarship programs, and for ways Lodges can get involved with Elks scholars, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

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