college

Doing the Northeastern Shuffle

By Catherine Titcomb
Photography courtesy of Unsplash.com

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Every college campus experiences some degree of fluidity as students come and go, whether to transfer in or out, graduate, or study abroad. This is emphasized at Northeastern largely because of the co-op program, and the phenomenon has earned its own name, the “Northeastern Shuffle.”

N.U.i.n Fall and Spring, out-of-state and country co-ops, co-op cycles and studying abroad affects friendships, relationships and rooming situations. As soon as a student settles, half of their friends leave. However, many Northeastern students believe the fluid campus is what makes the university so unique, and should be seen as an asset.

Lucy Hoffman, a second year student, argued that Northeastern “helps to create an atmosphere where there is always someone new to talk to with an amazing experience and insight to share.” People leave to experience wildly different things, and come back to share their knowledge with their peers, contributing to an socially aware and worldly student body.

Rachel Sigel, another second year, said that the changes often “make it difficult to maintain close relationships with students and faculty.” Friends, research partners and network connections are some of the most valuable takeaways from college, and Northeastern’s constant state of change can make it difficult to establish and maintain relationships.

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At the risk of sounding like a commercial for experiential learning, most students cite the co-op program as a reason for their attendance at Northeastern. However, because of co-op students have at most two years and at least a year and a half of classes before being thrown into the workforce, forcing them to adopt a new routine. The shift from classes to work forces students to learn flexibility, be uncomfortable, learn quickly and build a new network of peers.

I applied to Northeastern because I wanted to have a typical college experience in Boston as well as gain career experience. My acceptance letter told me I would have to spend my first semester abroad, which was the last thing I wanted. I wanted the freshmen floor friends, dining halls and sports games that my friends would be experiencing. I decided to sacrifice this idealistic tableau of my first semester at college for the next four and a half years at my dream school. Now, I cannot imagine freshman year without the friends I made in Greece through the traveling and the memories. My perfect college plan was interrupted from the start because of Northeastern, but the way it worked out prepared me for future location changes on co-op and taught me that allowing change pays off. This flexible mental state is necessary to survive at Northeastern, and is also essential for success and happiness in life.

Accepting flux at Northeastern is a step towards accepting flux in the world. Nothing is more inevitable than change, yet people never expect it. Relying on stagnation and permanence for our happiness leads to hurt.

In his novel Looking for Alaska, John Green references the Buddhist teaching that desire causes suffering and interprets it as, “When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did.” Both small and drastic changes happen throughout life, and being open to this flux frees one to accept every aspect of life, even if it turns out to be different than what was dreamed or planned for. The Northeastern shuffle causes students to expect change and learn to be flexible, which proves valuable even out of the context of campus.

It is this flux that continues throughout our lives that make life interesting. Despite the pain and confusion it can sometimes cause, change adds variety and combats boredom. This makes it a vital aspect of fashion. For many, picking out a different outfit everyday is one of the best parts of the day. In the fashion industry, designers must embrace flux because the industry relies on newness in collections, techniques, and trends. Rapid change in the fashion industry makes it an example of the beauty of flux and an argument for embracing change. Flux makes fashion interesting, it makes Northeastern interesting and it makes life interesting.

When Your Niche Is Nowhere

By Kaela Anderson
Photographed by Jacqueline DeVore

This article has been adapted for the web from our Outsider Issue.

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When I applied to various colleges and universities across the United States my senior year of high school, I had three goals for my college experience. I wanted to be in a city, I wanted to travel, and I wanted to be in a diverse environment. Receiving my invitation to N.U.in and the eventual stay on Boston’s campus, my first two wishes were quickly granted.

Unfortunately, my final wish has not been granted. Since being here, the harsh realities of the lack of African American representation in higher education have set in. Instead of admiring the beauty Northeastern possesses, I constantly find myself scrutinizing the student body. In my classrooms, at the gym, around campus, I find myself searching for any kind of evidence that proves my third wish will eventually come true.

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Despite Northeastern’s size and prestige, its admissions website says only six percent of African American students enrolled in their undergraduate program. This means that, in my lecture of 150 students, I can count on two hands the number of African American students in the room each class. As for my smaller classes, I am usually the only African American student in the room.

I suppose I could be proud of this, and see these statistics as some sort of triumph, but I don’t. And I never will. Considering that the census lists 13.3% of the population as African-American, Northeastern’s measly 6% reveals the apparent systematic faults of higher education in the United States. The lack of diversity at even a world-renowned institution like Northeastern suggests that it is not an isolated case. I am grateful to attend such an esteemed university, and the modern job market makes it imperative for my success that I receive an education. But being a part of a successful academic community that doesn’t make up for the lack of diversity in the classroom.

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Northeastern prides itself on its “diverse” community, even highlighting its level of diversity for prospective students on its admissions website. The school alludes that it’s filled with a student body from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds - but housing students from across the globe does not make it an ethnically inclusive environment. During the winter club fair this past January, I scanned the event hall for clubs that I would be able to identify with. The only one I found was the Mixed Student Union, but even then, I have been reluctant to attend one of their meetings. Although I want to meet people who understand my experience as a woman of color in the Northeastern Community, I want it to be throughout the entire school, not just in one room. I don’t want to have just a place where I can go once a week to fill my void of diversity - it would just remind me of the one wish that hasn’t been ‘granted’ by this university.

Unfortunately, my wish for diversity within Northeastern is not unique. Students of color at colleges and universities across the nation are in the same shoes as me, with no one that understands their experiences to turn to in times of need. Six percent of African American undergraduate students is not enough. Students should never have to feel like an outcast in their community, and we desperately need this to change.

Sources:
northeastern.edu 
census.gov  

How To Avoid the Freshman 15 - A Guide For Northeastern Students

By: Marcella Kukulka

1. Establish a Workout Routine. Whether it’s lifting weights at Badger & Rosen or attending a group fitness class at Marino Center, establishing a daily workout routine is key to avoid packing on the extra pounds. Even if heading to the gym isn’t your thing, joining an intramural sport or an outdoors club can also keep you in good shape. One popular club is NUHOC, which offers to take students on weekend trips to hike, rock climb, bike, and ski. Find out how you like to stay active and don’t be shy to mix it up - the only way you’re going to stick to a schedule is if you actually enjoy what you’re doing!

 

Photo by: www.localfitness.com.au

 

2. Motivation is Key. Sometimes you may be too tired, have too much work, or are just plain lazy. But ditching your workout isn’t the answer. Surrounding yourself in constant motivation is a nice way to get yourself to the gym. But how, you may ask? Enlist a friend and set some common goals for the semester. You both will feel equally responsible for helping the other succeed and you will have a whole lot more fun! If that doesn’t work, follow a Fitstagram to get your booty to the gym on a day that you just want to spend scrolling on social media.

 

3. Take Control of What You Eat. While it may be easy to take the first thing you see, it is always a good idea to survey the dining hall area before choosing your meal. The key to a balanced diet is to get a few servings of that food pyramid - grab a little protein, starch, vegetables, fruit and dairy. It’s also best to avoid processed and fried foods because most of the time these contain more calories and fill you up at a slower rate. While I know that the desserts at IV are irresistible, take everything in moderation (which means limiting your cookie intake to less than ten per meal)!

 

4. Netflix and Lift. Everyone knows that the majority of television at fitness centers generally sucks. So why not take the Netflix app on your phone as an opportunity to binge-watch the brand new season of “Stranger Things” while you lift weights at the gym. Not only will this keep you entertained, but it will keep you distracted from how tired you’re getting during a rigorous workout. Take my advice and try it out - you may as well be killing two birds with one stone.

Image by Shardayyy on Flickr.

 

5. Lay off the Liquor. I know you don’t want me to say it, but it’s true! An influx in the consumption of liquor is normally the main reason of weight gain for college students in the United States. I’m not telling you not to drink, but Alcohol has a very high caloric intake, so setting a limit before going out for the evening is just one other method to make sure you don’t go home for winter break with a full-on beer belly!

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Spring Break 2016: Where are students going?

By Vanisha Dansinghani

In the midst of a stressful semester, students are struggling to juggle academics, co-op interviews and extracurricular activities and are looking forward to spring break as a way to refresh and recharge. Meanwhile, trying to find motivation to come back and complete the rest of the semester with a bang. While there remain some classic destinations for all students, let’s take a look  where we can expect Northeastern students to spend their Spring Break or should I say in some cases…“Spring Broke.”

Miami, Florida

Miami is collectively the most popular spring break destination for students in America, it is no doubt that a majority of Northeastern’s jetsetters would not miss an opportunity to travel to a city dominated by white sand beaches, elite parties and chic clubs.

Cancun, Mexico

Famous for its EDM festival, Inception fest and tequila tasting tours, Cancun is a classic choice for spring break.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

As Punta Cana is the spring break location of my choice, I am looking forward to relaxing with my friends on tropical beaches, sipping martinis (virgin of course), and dancing to tunes at beachside parties by night. Punta Cana is not only a popular spring break destination because of its near-perfect weather, but also because of its all-inclusive resort packages and diverse range of activities including banana boating, snorkeling and swimming with dolphins just to name a few.

Costa Rica

The active and adventure-seeking students opt to travel to Costa Rica to engage in exciting water sports such as surfing, white-water rafting, kayaking and scuba diving. These daring individuals also have the chance to live the life of the monkey by exploring Costa Rica’s lush jungles.

Los Angeles, California

Popular for its star-studded vibes, world-renowned beaches, and occasional celebrity sightings, Los Angeles is the perfect destination for students in search of a balance between an urban adventure and a relaxing time at the beach.

Bahamas

Students looking for a picture-perfect paradise vacation among white sand, crystal-clear water and palm trees find the Bahamas to be their suited spring break destination. Whether it be the lavish Atlantis resort or rowdy party cruise- this is one destination filled with young party-goers.

New York, New York

Someone once said, “there simply isn’t any place like it.” There is never a wrong time to visit New York City. Students on a tight budget may choose to stay close to Boston over spring break, but will spend time in a city where it is impossible to get bored. Being a city that highly demonstrates the freedom of expression, New York invites people of all cultures to engage in the city and enjoy its vast diversity.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Attracted by the El Yunque Rainforest, beautiful beaches and blue cobblestone streets, but mostly because of its cheap airfare, students chose San Juan as a popular spring break destination this year.