The First Steps to Northwestern

What are the unique qualities of Northwestern University, and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying, that make you want to attend Northwestern? In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified?


I have not always been a talkative person. Though the idea of a quiet John Cowgill is quite amusing to the teachers, friends, and family who know me best, I was indeed at one point in my life an introverted individual. In fact, I once went two whole years without talking. Although this period of sustained silence raised questions about my mental capabilities and overall demeanor, I know I was only searching for the right first words to say. After all, the first words one speaks will stick with him or her forever. One day shortly after my two year birthday, after meditating on all the possibilities, I realized the time was ripe to say those immortal first words. I turned to my Mom, shook her arm, and spoke. “Mommy, I have made my college decision. I want to attend Northwestern University!”

Okay, maybe that wasn’t exactly how it happened. However, I do believe my two-year-old self did hint at the possibility of a future at Northwestern, albeit in more subtle ways. My first words did actually come in sentence form; “Mike drive mail truck!” I exclaimed. Not bad for a two year old, eh? After seeing my mother’s face light up at those words, evidently relieved that her son wasn’t going to be mute, I knew I had discovered a passion....

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