Buzzing with excitement while walking through the Arch for the first time. Spending countless hours at the library studying (or maybe just chatting). Witnessing yet another snowy day just when you thought spring was finally here. The college experience is already a roller coaster — but now it has even more loops and turns thanks to the pandemic. How can something so complicated be condensed into just a few words?

We collected over 100 student and recent graduate responses to the question “How would you describe your Northwestern experience in three words?” Here’s what they said.

“I battled cancer from the ages of 13-17, and I would say attending school here was mentally and emotionally challenging in similar, and sometimes even more difficult, ways.”

“Although the workload given has been slightly overwhelming, I have loved all the people I have met.”

“Northwestern has instilled in me the desire to always keep learning and growing in my life long after I graduate.”

Editor’s Note: Students’ names have been omitted due to anonymous surveying.
Editor’s Note: Because of space constraints, not all 100 responses are included; similar responses were condensed.