Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Campus

23 Aug

Just remember: The lake is East

I’m going to be brutally honest: Your first week on campus is going to be awkward as tits. Think of that time you watched Superbad with your parents, combine it with that time Severus Snape’s doppelganger was lurking at The Keg, multiply that by twenty, and that’s roughly how awkward it’s going to be. However, one surefire way to minimize this apocalyptic awkwardness is by knowing your way around campus; the Awk Hawk loves nothing more than watching a lanyard-sporting freshman discreetly approach a group of upperclassmen and feebly ask for directions to Sheridan Road. Therefore, in my never-ending mission to better the world around me and help those in need, I have developed a descriptive blueprint of the nation’s 47th most attractive campus.



Also sporting the least coherent room numbering system known to man

Soon to be known as “that one building we drunkenly roamed three times a week during fall quarter,” the Technological Institute (Tech, for short) is one of the main buildings on campus. This North Campus structure – as any tour guide will obnoxiously boast – is the 2nd largest low-rise building in the United States, right behind the Pentagon (a building which, ruefully, is much harder to get into at 3:30am on a Saturday). Home to science majors, math majors, and a few other majors that appeal solely to Asians, Tech is a very mysterious entity to many South Campus students. I would certainly advise the intoxicated exploration of this building, but beware: Your idea to bathe in the emergency shower on the way back from the Frat Quad is not as brilliant as it may seem.


Turkey sandwiches for only $8.50!!!

The Norris Student Center is another very important part of campus. Whether it’s meeting a friend for coffee, studying with a group, or catching a quick meal amidst a throng of unthinkably loud theatre majors, there is a whole host of activities at Norris. The ground floor of Norris alone contains the campus bookstore (only $55 for a pair of Northwestern gym shorts!), NUIT (for when you spill Grey Goose on your new laptop), and a wide array of restaurants with only the most passive-aggressive employees. Additionally, on the first floor you’ll find Norbucks, where the only thing longer than the line is the uncomfortable conversation you’ll have with the cashier. Overall, Norris is an excellent on-campus resource, and it would certainly behoove you to go there at least once.

One hand-dryer probably costs more than your future starting salary

Ford is home to the McCormick School of Engineering. If you don’t use one of Ford’s state-of-the-art bathrooms before graduating, you will have wasted not only thousands of dollars of tuition, but four years of your life.

Swift Hall and Block Museum
After a mere week or two at Northwestern, you will completely cease to mention these two buildings without first stating “that time we were on the roof of…”

SPAC is the main athletic facility on campus. As a proud member of Northwestern’s School of Communication, I feel painstakingly unqualified to say anything more about it. I think there’s a pool?


A great location to photobomb tourist's pictures

The Arch
One of the most atrocious Welcome Week rituals is the “March to the Arch”, in which approximately 2,000 incoming freshmen are herded like awkward purple cattle through – you guessed it – a fucking arch. From that point on, The Arch will be only used as a rendezvous point. For example: “Let’s meet at The Arch at 11 and walk to the off-campus ragers together,” or “I’d love to go skinny-dipping on South Beach! Want to meet at The Arch in 5 minutes?”

Bonds forged in subzero temperatures while camping out next to a rock can last a lifetime

The Rock
A signature landmark of Northwestern, the rock is, as you may have guessed, a massive slab of rock. Located near The Arch, the rock is known across campus for its tradition of being painted by self-promoting student groups. But before you and your friends grab a few bottles of spray paint and plaster the geological feature with thousands of penises, know that you must spend 24 hours camping out in front of the rock before you can add to its graffiti glory.

And if you look hard enough, you can see the factories of Indiana!

The Lakefill
The Lakefill refers to the grassy area by Lake Michigan. Just past the grass, you will find hundreds of massive boulders, many of which have a cutesy romantic phrase on them – presumably the catalyst for an infamous lakeside ugly-bumping. Also to be noted is the smaller lake (because Lake Michigan isn’t enough for us pretentious cockblankets). Arguably the best aspect of this smaller lake is the simple joy found by dropping some measly bread crumbs into the lake and watching an interspecies holy war ensue between the mega-douche geese and the Korean-gymnast-sized koi.

Watch out for streakers

Deering Meadow
You know that beautiful, verdant field depicted in every Northwestern advertisement, where an impossibly diverse group of friends is playing Frisbee on a gorgeous day? Well, it’s real! And when it’s not completely covered by snow, ice, mud, or heinous couples snuggling, it is quite a pleasant place to be.

Shakespeare Garden
Perhaps one of the most aesthetically pleasing sights on all of campus, Shakespeare Garden is known best as a magnificent place to hook up.

3 Responses to “Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Campus”


  1. The Best Things About Northwestern « Sherman Ave - August 29, 2011

    […] your level of sleep deprivation remains the same. That’s because between making frands, exploring campus (don’t worry, you’ll figure out the roofs and tunnels soon enough), and mastering the […]

  2. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Evanston « Sherman Ave - August 30, 2011

    […] – there is a real city with real people. As easy as it is to be insulated in Northwestern’s spectacular campus, the city of Evanston is a great resource. The following comprehensive guide to key businesses in […]

  3. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Sobriety « Sherman Ave - August 15, 2012

    […] things in Tech. Literallyyy where the fuck is MP4031? Is it next to Einstein’s? In the upper balcony of Tech […]

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