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Scattered Thoughts on Northeastern University

[1] Northeastern’s greatest strength is co-op, which is simply a longer form internship that students take a spring or fall semester off to do. It also happens to be the school’s greatest weakness. The reason for this is that because of Northeastern’s focus on jobs, it pushes the pressure to get one to the forefront of each student’s mind. And it just so happens that those classmates you’re working on homeworks with are the same people who you’re competing against to get that position. Northeastern has a comparatively weak school spirit, which I attribute mostly to this circumstance.

[2] Northeastern has too many people at its Boston campus. The prime example of this problem can be seen at the Marino Gym, which is forever packed at all times of the day. To be fair, the school is now trying to remedy this by sending students to its branch locations, but I’m still skeptical as to whether it will actually solve the problem.

[3] The College of Computer Science is FAR superior to the College of Engineering. I took an even amount of classes in both colleges, and the difference is stark. Everything in the Engineering College just feels.. antiquated. The Computer Science professors are typically younger, more engaged, more energized, more focused on teaching the material in approachable ways. I strongly felt most of the Engineering Professors were just checked out and waiting to retire. They didn’t care at all.

[4] Computer Science here is top tier. In case I wasn’t clear enough in the previous point, I’ll try to hammer it in right now. You really get the impression that this discipline is the one Northeastern is focusing on the most. And it really shows. Some professors here are working on incredibly interesting material, and you get pushed hard to build a strong foundation in your first two years. Really, I cannot recommend it enough.

[5] The school likes to nickle and dime you. Every semester, I had to pay 100 dollars worth of credits into my account for printing. Even if I had no intentions of printing anything… Why?

[6] Because of co-ops, there is a very transient vibe to the school. Some of the friends you make freshman year will be working while you’re on classes and will be on classes while you’re working. Some friends will leave to work in another state or country. Things just feel like they’re constantly in flux.

[7] I’ve talked to many people who’ve gone to different universities, and I was always amazed at hearing how different of a culture their schools had to mine. Northeastern, because of the co-op program, tends to attract many job-oriented students. There are exceptions to every rule, but I thought the people here were for the most part very straight-laced and hard working.

[8] The quintessential Northeastern student is from New Jersey and wears Canada Goose jackets in the winter. I’m not sure why, but that’s just the way it is.

[9] In the summer of 2022, I was sitting in a cafe, and a couple came up to me asking if their daughter should attend were she to get in. My truthful answer was that she should go to the school that gives her the best deal. I strongly believe it’s up to you to make the most out of your experience and that the costs of attending most universities in the US are prohibitively expensive, which make them not worth attending. That being said, I had a really positive experience here, and I think it’s a great choice. I changed so much as a person living in Boston and taking classes here. There are so many opportunities, so many students, the esplanade, Cambridge, bike lanes, etc. Northeastern gives you one of the best ‘playgrounds’ you could ask for as a young adult, and for that I’m eternally grateful :)

[10] Northeastern promotes the well rounded engineer who can look people in the eyes and be, like, normal; so naturally, it made it a requirement for those students to take a certain number of classes from other colleges. During my time there, I had the absolute pleasure of taking Introduction to Acting, which was extremely eye-opening. It got to experience a completely new domain, and I became a lot more confident performing in front of people. I cannot recommend it enough to branch out and try something completely different if you ever have the chance! I don’t think you’d regret it.