Evolution of a Wildcat

    Remember Mitt Romney, Gangnam Style and that time the world was supposed to end, according to the Mayan calendar? That was the world when many graduating seniors began their undergraduate careers at Northwestern. As they take their last exams, write their last papers and jaywalk across Sheridan Road for the last time, several Wildcats reflect on how much they've changed over the last four years.

    Austin and Abby

    Photos courtesy of Austin Dickey and by Virginia Nowakowski / North by Northwestern

    I feel like I am a lot more comfortable in where I am in terms of figuring out what my life is going to be. I still have no idea what's going to happen in the future but I'm a lot more comfortable with that than I was before. – Austin Dickey (McCormick '16)

    I feel kind of like I understand more now that life is a marathon. I don't get upset by the little things as much, which is something I've worked on in college. – Abby Turay (McCormick '16)

    Clayton and Pam

    Photos courtesy of Clayton Shuttleworth and by Mia Zanzucchi / North by Northwestern

    Our hair. – Clayton Shuttleworth (Communication '16) and Pam Kranyak (SESP '16)


    Photos courtesy of Michael Fagan and by David Chacon / North by Northwestern

    I think I'm a very different person. I feel like I'm a real person, whereas before I was like half a person. I know how to actually deal with hard struggles, how to bounce back, how to deal with stress, how to put myself out there and how to take successes and rejections. I know more about my strengths and my weaknesses. I just feel like I've been challenged here, and I've had lots of great moments and lots of not-so-great moments, and all those moments have helped create me into the person I am today who is ready to go take on the "real world," or "adult-ing," or whatever you want to call it. – Michael Fagan (Weinberg '16)


    Photos courtesy of Corey Grief and by Ethan Dlugie / North by Northwestern

    Well, I mean the beard for one thing obviously, but I also I learned a ton. I've gained a lot of new perspectives both from my classes and also from all the really smart people and friends that you are just surrounded with at Northwestern. – Corey Grief (McCormick '16)

    Amy, Matt and Preetisha

    Photos courtesy of Amy Addison and by Lucy Wang / North by Northwestern

    I feel like over the years I've gotten more confident. As a freshman, I was worried I was doing things wrong or being too weird, but now I'm just more comfortable. – Amy Addison (Weinberg '16)

    So I know that I've grown a lot with meeting new people, making friendships, etc ... I'm not sure how much of that came from living in a dorm and all of the people that you meet there. I know that studying abroad was really the big push forward that made me go outside my comfort zone in a lot of ways. I feel very capable of moving to a new place where I don't know anyone and starting fresh. I know that that process is always going to be a big challenge, but I also feel like I grew a lot personally and socially to be able to make it through those rough patches. – Matt Hooker (Communication '16)

    My hair looks way better. – Preetisha Sen (Medill '16)


    Photos courtesy of James Huber and by Alex Furuya / North by Northwestern

    I think that I've recognized that there's never really a set plan that you can have. I think we all come in thinking, "This is who I would be," or, "This is how I change," or "This is my career I'm going to have." So many things change that you can't necessarily plan for and I realize it's really important for me to be flexible and to be a little easier on myself. – James Huber (Weinberg '16)

    Kyla and Ariel

    Photos courtesy of Ariel Harper and by Alex Furuya / North by Northwestern

    One thing I learned is just make your own path. There's so many different ways to do even the same thing or something different and just figure out what works best for you and go with that, instead of worrying about what seems like the right path. – Kyla Price (Communication '16)

    From her, I learned not to take things too seriously, and to not hold grudges against other people. – Ariel Harper (Communication '16)


    Photos courtesy of Valeria Estefanía Rosero Baque and by Alex Furuya / North by Northwestern

    Something that hasn't changed that I'm proud of is that a lot of my friends from freshman year [have] stayed connected with me. We have stayed friends, especially my roommate from freshman year we now share an apartment. It's great because these are people that know me so well. – Valeria Estefanía Rosero Baque (Communication '16)


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