An Interpretation of a Northwestern Tour
SCENE: Northwestern University’s Campus. An unexpected blizzard is beginning to pick up force. Temperatures hover in the single digits. A Northwestern tour group leaves the tour guide building and heads north to take in the sights.
Tour Guide: The weather usually isn’t like this, I promise!
Interpretation: Yeah, usually it’s a lot worse. Notice how you’re able to expose parts of your flesh to the air? It’s almost NEVER nice enough to do that! You guys lucked out!
Tour Guide: We’ll have to go down this path right here, since university construction crews are working on improving and beautifying our campus on all the other paths, and they’re currently closed. But soon Northwestern will be even better! Exciting things in the works!
Interpretation: You’re not going to be around for any of these exciting improvements to actually reach completion. What a bummer! The only thing all this construction means to you is ugliness and inconvenience. But the class of 2022 is going to be able to enjoy a new student center, state-of-the-art athletic facilities on the lakefront, and an awesome music building! So do any of you have younger brothers and sisters?
Tour Guide: Here we have the arch, an important campus landmark! During Wildcat Welcome Week, all incoming students participate in a ceremony in which they walk through the arch as a class. Get it!? It’s symbolic!
Interpretation: Idk man, shit was built in like 1993 or something. Most students here are actually older than this thing, but I would encourage you to learn to like looking at it, because the light at Chicago and Sheridan never turns green. You’re gonna be standing at this corner staring at it a lot.
Tour Guide: Now we’re approaching Main Library, the central library on Northwestern’s campus. It has one of the largest collections of any research university in the world, and most students take advantage of the incredible wealth of materials the library has to offer! The structure is designed to look like books being pulled off of shelves. Isn’t that neat!?
Interpretation: This right here is the ugliest building in the entire world. It was designed to be ugly, built using ugly materials, and is ugly regardless of your ethnicity, religious beliefs or architectural preferences. It is here that you will be spending the majority of your time as a student. You will never check a book out of this library. There is a cafe inside. It sucks.
Tour Guide: And you’ve probably already noticed this part of campus, it’s very beautiful and striking, isn’t it? This is Deering Library, the oldest library on campus.
Interpretation: But surprise! There are no electrical outlets in Deering either! So what role will it play in your college life? It will be the background of dozens of snapchats you will receive, from the few friends you have that actually go to Deering, that have the caption ‘Studying in Hogwarts! LOL!”
Tour Guide: Currently, we’re walking through the quad that contains the Rock! The Rock is one of the hallmark Northwestern traditions. Students take turns guarding the rock for a full 24 hours, after which time they can paint it however they want! At this point, it’s been painted so many times that no one can even remember what the actual rock itself even looks like. There’s also a camera in the belltower of University Hall that provides a live feed on the internet 24/7.
Interpretation: Think how much fun it’s going to be when you join greek life or a student group and have to stand out in the cold in the middle of January for hours at a time for this awesome tradition! And then maybe you’ll get frostbite and have to have three of your fingers amputated at NorthShore hospital! Then you drop out of school and join a circus and spend the rest of your life being called “Seven-Finger Steve” in front of hundreds of people! Wouldn’t that be so great!? WOULDN’T IT?? ANSWER ME.
Tour Guide: This is Allison Hall, one of the residence halls on south campus. It has some of the larger, nicer rooms and campus, and the dining hall has an atrium.
Interpretation: Sometimes, if you wish with all your might, the food is even edible!
Tour Guide: Look at that view of Chicago! Students call this area the Lakefill, because everything you’re standing on was actually created by people! This all used to be part of the Lake. Speaking of which, doesn’t Lake Michigan look just like an ocean? Granted, oceans don’t usually freeze solid, but just use your imagination. Students often come to the Lakefill when it’s warm in order to relax in the sun. There’re rocks along the shore that are great for sitting and reading, lots of open grassy space, and a firepit!
Interpretation: WHY IS THERE A FIREPIT HERE?? NO ONE USES THE FUCKING FIREPIT.
Tour Guide: This right here is Norris, it’s the student center on campus. Some call it the times square of Northwestern! In it, you’ll find a Starbucks, a Dunkin Donuts and a restaurant founded by the one and only Rick Bayless!
Interpretation: Also overpriced guac, the smell of old people and a batshit crazy cat lady! But you know what you won’t find? Crepe Bistro! COME BACK CREPE HAPPY HOUR I MISS YOU SO MUCH.
Tour Guide: Now this huge building to your right is the Technological Institute, or Tech, as it’s known. Many of the science, technology, and engineering classes are held here. Despite its enormous size and confusing layout, fewer souls are trapped here forever than you’d think! Hahahaha!
Interpretation: And, well, would you look at that! It’s on fire! Everybody run! Hahahahahaha!
Tour Guide: Over here is Sargent Hall.
Interpretation: Let’s move on.
Tour Guide: And now we’re passing by Bobb-McCulloch, the largest residence hall on north campus and one of the more social dorms at Northwestern. The university recently renovated Bobb, as it’s known to students, and I hear these days it’s quite nice.
Interpretation: I actually have no idea how nice it is. The last time I was there, I was blackout wasted and hooking up with a freshman in his room. But fun fact: students who live in Bobb-McCulloch see, on average, 10 times more vomit than the average human being will see in their entire lifetime! You will never be able to wash the smell of Bobb out of your clothes for as long as you live, even if you only visit there once!