A few months ago, my sisters came up from Oklahoma to visit me for the weekend. They arrived on a Thursday afternoon and were set to leave on Sunday. Unfortunately, I had a discussion section Friday morning and Spanish that afternoon, so I set them free to explore Evanston while I, studiously, attended my classes.
They got brunch at Le Peep (a family-visiting-Evanston staple) without me, and I lamented that I myself had never been to Le Peep. That got me thinking about all the other quintessential Evanston/Northwestern things I hadn’t (and still haven’t) done. I mused that maybe I’d see how things played out and write up a listicle of all the Northwestern things I never did at Northwestern by the end of my senior year.
Now, with quarantine in full force and plenty of time on my hands during remote junior spring, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve taken for granted. I always knew I could do these if I wanted to, and told myself perhaps I would make a point of doing so after writing up my list at the end of senior year to have some poetic, full-circle moment. But who knows how much time I’ll really have here after all of this is over? And will things ever be the same as they once were?
So, without further ado, I give you: 7 Northwestern/Evanston Things that I, a Junior and a Fairly Involved Member of the Northwestern Community, Have Somehow Still Not Done While At Northwestern.
Eat at Le Peep. Unfortunately, I’m not included in the 14% (!!!) of undergrads at this esteemed institution whose families are in the top 1%, so I don’t go to brunch every week. When I do, once in a blue moon, I usually splurge on Cupitol. Is it true Le Peep is as common as IHOP in the state of Indiana? Someone told me that once. I feel like that can’t be true, but what do I know?
Buy something, anything, from the Kresge Cafe. Thanks to my deep-rooted anxiety, I never patronized the Kresge Cafe during my first two years of college because I wasn’t sure if they took dining dollars and I didn’t want to get up to the register and have to spend real money. I still don’t know if it takes dining dollars, but now I’m a washed-up upperclassman who lives off-campus without a meal plan, and, again, I’m not paying real money for an overpriced breakfast item. I don’t care how scrumptious those muffins look.
Watch a sunrise on the Lakefill. I tried, once, after staying up all night at Relay for Life freshman year. But when I trekked out to the Lakefill with the rest of the CRC relay team at the literal buttcrack of dawn, we were devastated to find that it was so overcast that there was no buttcrack to see. The sky was fully gray. I haven’t tried since.
Go on the roof of Swift. Who decided Swift had the cool roof? Is there something about its fire escape that makes it optimal for illicit climbing activity? The number of “I had sex on the roof of Swift” stories I’ve heard suggests there’s something going on there.
Shop at — or even go inside — Campus Gear. What can I say, I’m a Beck’s girl through and through (when the sale rack is discounted steeply enough, of course). Plus, the energy that emanates from the Campus Gear storefront has always been too chaotic for me, and after it snows, melted slush always falls off the awning and right onto my head as I walk by.
Do Dance Marathon. Just kidding! I have no regrets about this one. I am not a sadist.
Go inside the Block Museum. Technically I went into the foyer of the Block once — SES was giving out welcome packages to low-income students on move-in day, and I picked up some towels, sheets and a Visa gift card ($cha-ching$, love u SES) there. But that was it. As a self-professed culture aficionado and former NBN entertainment section editor, I do recognize that I am a huge ass fake.
Honestly, once ~all of this~ is over, I probably still won’t go into Campus Gear or climb onto the roof of Swift Hall (and I am definitely never having sex there… though that is more likely than my participation in Dance Marathon).
But I do want to go to the Block to look at the world-renowned art I’ve taken for granted for so long. I want to rally a group of friends to trek to the Lakefill one early morning so we can watch the sky shift from gray to blue to orange. More than anything, I want to soak in the place and people that have changed me so fundamentally these past three years before I have to leave them next June.
And an iced dirty chai from Norbucks. I really want an iced dirty chai from Norbucks.