Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stephanie Ny

Good morning ILC students, Some of you may have read my previous e-mails, but for those who are new, my name is Stephanie Ny, and I'm a rising junior at Northwestern University. It pains me to say that my journey at Northwestern is already halfway complete. And with that, I have three pieces of advice that have helped me through my roughest times: Look up your professors before you decide to enroll in their classes. This is something I stressed in a previous e-mail, so I will just quote it here: "Professors absolutely make a difference in the classes you take. Northwestern has a system called CTECs in which students rate and give feedback on the classes they take along with the professors that taught those classes. You can see the reviews for various classes each professor taught. If your school provides such a system or you know of a similar system elsewhere, take full advantage of it. I failed to do this my first quarter at school and the consequences were onerous. While there are classes that may interest you, the professor teaching it may completely destroy that interest if he or she isn’t a good one." This is something I learned in high school, but I didn't take it to heart until I came to Northwestern. You may have a string of sensational teachers and professors on a subject, followed by one bad apple who makes you "hate" the very subject you once found so captivating. Appreciate all the subjects available to you, even if they're not your areas of study and/or interest. You don't have to be a genius at math to appreciate its impact on society. You don't have to be an artist to appreciate the beauty of art. You don't have to be a linguist to appreciate the complexities of the countless existing and dead languages of the world. Entering a class with a bitter attitude towards a subject will not make your experience any better. These classes exist because they have, at one point or another, made a difference to another individual, if not to society. This is something I learned only recently. I entered a summer calculus course with the intention of hating every day until the class ended, but after hearing some of the things my professor had to say about the significance of math -- even though I can't fully understand how some of its concepts are applied -- I began to enjoy the class more. Lastly, it's better to have a few best friends than to have a million acquaintances. Even today I have only four or five individuals in my social circle, and I'm fine with that because I know (or think, anyway) that these are people I'm going to be friends with for years to come. Oh, and another piece of [possibly unrelated] advice: make the best of your time out east, and do not take it for granted. Being a part of the ILC has been truly life-changing for me; I hope you can all say the same. As always, I'm available to answer any questions you all may have about Northwestern! Stephanie Ny

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