Since this is my senior year at Northwestern, my semester has been filled with lots of procrastination, denial and nostalgia. Lately, I’ve been thinking back to my freshman-year experience and reflecting on just how much things have changed since then.
When I was a freshman at Northwestern, I remember feeling totally out of place for the first few weeks. I just hadn’t found my niche on campus. But luckily, on sort of a whim and with encouragement from some other women on my wing, I tried out for and made it onto the campus improv team, the Black V.
I had never done improv before, but I pretended well enough to trick them into thinking I could do it. And now four years later, I’m co-managing the team with another senior member.
For the timid freshman version of me, the Black V was probably the best thing that could’ve happened. Learning how to do improv, developing a close relationship with my team members, and stepping out of my comfort zone to do some truly weird and unique theatre really help shaped me into the person I am today. The V is a big reason I feel the sense of belonging at Northwestern that I do now.
And for me, that’s one of the things that makes Northwestern a cool place. There are so many different micro-communities on campus—not just the Black V—that are filled with people worth getting to know, whether it’s your sports team, your wing mates, the cast of a play you’re in, whatever. Even if you’re like me, and wonder at first if you have a place at Northwestern, odds are that there is some group here that’s perfect for you. And not just one that is comfortable and shares common interests, but one that pushes you to ask yourself difficult questions and do things that truly challenge you.
Now that I’m a senior and have spent all four years of my college career on the V, I hope that it has the same effect on the freshmen on the team now. Right now it’s a weird place to be in, where I’m still invested in this community, but I have one foot out the door. Being a senior is bittersweet, because it marks the end of some of the most transformative groups and experiences in my life. But I’m also super pumped to know that the Black V will live on here at Northwestern without me, and that it’ll continue to have an impact on people’s lives, just like it did on mine.