"Every class you didn't know you needed."
The glorious time of year has returned when students flock to the back streets of Evanston for off-campus parties, when tailgating season makes a triumphant return and—oh yeah—when classes begin. While you're sure to benefit a lot from Northwestern classics like Introduction to Russian Literature and Earth Science 101, here are some classes Northwestern should also be offering to aid students' survival:
History: The North vs. South War
I've already seen a few melodramatic tweets from freshmen asserting which end of campus has the "cooler people." These new kids are onto something: there is definitely a strong North/South Campus divide on which the masses should be educated. North Campus tends to largely consist of STEM and business majors because the main hubs for said majors, Tech and Ford, are located up north. South Campus, on the other hand, tends to be home to journalism, liberal arts and communications majors.
However, the divide extends far beyond these initial stereotypes. For example, many STEM majors have infiltrated South Campus over the years and communications majors have done the same up North, mostly due to dorm placement, Greek Life, flocking back and forth between Fran's and SPAC amongst other reasons. Socializing and, further more, dating have also been made more difficult between majors. This class would analyze the history behind the war and the continuing implications.
Sociology/Field Studies: Northwestern Mythbusters
As with every college campus, Northwestern students have creatively invented myths and stereotypes about different places on campus. Their myths include, but are not limited to: how many crayons are used in SESP per year, the series of underground tunnels on campus and the ghost that lurks in Willard Residential College. Willard residents often crack jokes about the ghost of the founder Frances Willard causing ruckus in the hallways and the lounge downstairs. This class will observe and seek to expose popular myths currently going around on campus.
Anthropology: Greek Life 101
It's difficult not to include Greek Life on a list of crucial electives at Northwestern, especially when it's usually a freshman's first taste of our social scene (*cough, Wildcat Welcome, cough*). This course would offer in-depth coverage of the origins of Greek Life at Northwestern, the different governing councils, the processes of fraternity rush and sorority recruitment, the role of Greek Life in Northwestern's social scene, and your relation to all these. Let's be honest here: who wouldn't want to know more about why there's a giant slip and slide in the fraternity quad every May, and why lemon water is considered a "gift" in January?
Health Communications: Eating Healthy with Sodexo and Beyond
This course is crucial for all grade levels. The Dining staff at Northwestern works extremely hard to provide balanced meals but there are only so many ways to creatively provide healthy food if the menu is generally fixed each week and the meals are offered on a rigid schedule. With great patience and motivation, any student can make the Northwestern Dining Hall system at least as good as a three-star restaurant. Ways to accomplish this include befriending the chefs who work the grill, inventing your own creative salad toppings and arriving in time for newly served steaming hot meals. "Eating Healthy with Sodexo and Beyond" will teach you how to work around broken fro-yo machines and frozen carrots to build a sustainable diet. Also, as a bonus, you will receive an extensive guide to food options beyond Sodexo, including dorm cooking and an Evanston restaurant guide.
Personal Development: How to Fake Becoming a Gym Rat at SPAC
The "Freshman 15" is real, especially when you become hooked on Andy's and Fran's (a late-night cafe now in Hinman). Luckily, Northwestern's very own Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Norris Aquatics Center (SPAC) allow students to sweat in what looks like a beautiful glass spaceship on Lake Michigan's shores. Considering that SPAC is filled with muscular athletes in a gym building the size of an average suburban mall, it can be intimidating to blend in with the "experts." If you're anything like me, you'll probably at most run on the treadmill for 30 minutes and try a brief ab workout before giving up to nap at home. Yet for those gym rat wanna-bes, this class will teach you how to navigate SPAC'S different floors with live demos, and how to exercise self-discipline to stay on a fitness schedule. The important thing is to look confident no matter how perfect the bodies around you are.