Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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animalcrkrs
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby animalcrkrs » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:22 pm

jd-mba wrote:
rayiner wrote:
jd-mba wrote:Thanks for the thoughts Rayiner. That's good to know. Guess I'll be getting on those applications and that "Why NU" statement. So you just moved there in August, right? Are you part of the McClurg/420 E Ohio cohort or did you opt to live elsewhere? My boyfriend is in in McClurg and I usually see med/law students left and right. As far as social life and bar crawl, have you guys been primarily sticking to the area around the law school? Are people more of the bar type at NU as opposed to clubs? Those aren't really important questions, just curious :)


Yeah, I'm in McClurg. Living 2 blocks away from the law school (specifically the law library) = WIN. The area is crawling with med/law students, which a can be a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand, your LS friends are likely to be close by. On the other hand, since I'm new to Chicago, everyone I know is a law student at either NU and U of C, and living where I do doesn't really help with meeting a diverse group of people.

The bar crawls have been nicely spread out, though within convenient public transit distance from the LS obviously (1-2 mi). A lot of the good bars are in Lincoln Park, so we've had two of the bar nights up there so far (3 if you count the Chicago TLS meetup!).

As for bars versus clubs, I have no idea. The only club I want to do is the IP Law Society, and they've been too lazy to have any meetings yet. Maybe someone else can chime in on that.


:) I meant bars vs. dance clubs in the area. But yeah, info on Northwestern-related clubs would be interesting too. Any of you guys considering doing that international team project program? I saw it in the viewbook and made me really want to apply. Not sure if other schools have similar programs, but that seemed pretty unique to me.


Another 1L checking in, good thing starting this Ray.
I am a bar and a club person, I think it is a good mix with maybe more bar people but decent/classy bar as opposed to dive (Streeters being the exception, but they have beer pong and life-size Jenga, so that is a little different)
The ITP seems like one of the best experiences here, and I have the sponsor for a prof now and she is AWESOME.

Also, regarding the age/experience/NU 'Difference' as they call it...I have found that:

1. There are some married/serious relationship people but also plenty of singles (holla!)...and even the marrieds come out and their SO's so far have been really cool

2. I think the experience factor is GREAT. A friend of mine is starting at another t-14 and said she went to a "business casul" law firm mixer where a girl (straight out of ugrad) wore one of those tight silk geisha dresses and 4 inch heels. That crap would not happen here...people who have been in the real world know you have to wear sandals with that getup. :) But seriously I think it makes for so much better discussions both in an out of class when you're hearing from someone who was a nuclear engineer/i-banker/peace corps volunteer...they bring a nice nuance to the game.

2. I have a theory that the people at NU are, on the whole, hotter than the average law school. Why? Because of the interviews. Not that everyone is a 10, but after having been on the recruiting side of my last job, I can tell you that if you come in looking like s**t, not put together etc. I'll notice. Not trying to sound like a shallow ass, but inherently the interview will weed out the SUPER outliers on the cleanliness/professionalism/social coherence scales. Generally people look nice and can carry on an engaging conversation...and some are hot on top of it. :)

EDIT: despite my avatar, I am a chick...so my view of the hot population is opposite of Ray's lol

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby hmlee » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:28 pm

rayiner wrote:
jd-mba wrote:
rayiner wrote:
jd-mba wrote::) I meant bars vs. dance clubs in the area. But yeah, info on Northwestern-related clubs would be interesting too. Any of you guys considering doing that international team project program? I saw it in the viewbook and made me really want to apply. Not sure if other schools have similar programs, but that seemed pretty unique to me.


All of the official outings have been at bars, though two of them were at places that had music and some semblance of a dance floor. There are a number of good clubs in the area, though, and it's easy enough to gather up people to go, presuming you can get them out of the library. :lol:


hahah, i heard the library is simply beautiful and you guys hate the med students that creep over, is that true? are people already spending their afternoons/evenings in the library? how many weeks in has it been, 4? :(


The library is great, spacious, modern and functional. On a day like today the view of lake Michigan is absolutely gorgeous. I quite like it when I see med students creep over --- it's great for potential spouse hunting. :lol:

I was a bit surprised by how much time people spend studying, but then again maybe it's to be expected.


Spoken like an engineer...

I'll answer the posted questions as soon as my liver recovers from yesterday's tailgating festivities....

Ungh.....

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby hmlee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:02 am

Okay, taking a crack at some of the questions...

I chose NU because it was my first choice going through the process - I'm a lifelong Chicagoan and love this city, but also, I was just really attracted to the environment that they advertise here (not as cutthroat as some other schools) and a lot of the specialized stuff like the clinics and ITP (international team projects - semester at school working on an issue in foreign country, travel to country during your two week spring break). Pretty much everyone I've come into contact with at this school over the last month has been really nice and smart. I don't feel like it's a competition... and it just makes for a good environment to learn in.

As for the library, yes, we have an awesome view. I like the location a lot... I was never a library person in college, but having it right next to all my classes makes it easier to go to. I do spend my afternoons / evenings there, but that's a choice. I know a lot of people who do their nightly reading at home... I just can't work well in my apartment so I do it at school and then go home.

For your application, I would emphasize three things:

1. Interview and try to do well on it.
2. Write a good, well researched "Why NU?" essay
3. If you get put on hold, write a LOCI and send it in ASAP.

Also, if NU is your first choice, be sure to emphasize this throughout the application process and if you are prepared to go there pretty much no matter what, then you should convey this - in the form of a "I will attend if accepted" statement. Don't say this if you don't intend to follow through or aren't sure, though.

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:04 am

hmlee wrote:Okay, taking a crack at some of the questions...

I chose NU because it was my first choice going through the process - I'm a lifelong Chicagoan and love this city, but also, I was just really attracted to the environment that they advertise here (not as cutthroat as some other schools) and a lot of the specialized stuff like the clinics and ITP (international team projects - semester at school working on an issue in foreign country, travel to country during your two week spring break). Pretty much everyone I've come into contact with at this school over the last month has been really nice and smart. I don't feel like it's a competition... and it just makes for a good environment to learn in.

As for the library, yes, we have an awesome view. I like the location a lot... I was never a library person in college, but having it right next to all my classes makes it easier to go to. I do spend my afternoons / evenings there, but that's a choice. I know a lot of people who do their nightly reading at home... I just can't work well in my apartment so I do it at school and then go home.

For your application, I would emphasize three things:

1. Interview and try to do well on it.
2. Write a good, well researched "Why NU?" essay
3. If you get put on hold, write a LOCI and send it in ASAP.

Also, if NU is your first choice, be sure to emphasize this throughout the application process and if you are prepared to go there pretty much no matter what, then you should convey this - in the form of a "I will attend if accepted" statement. Don't say this if you don't intend to follow through or aren't sure, though.


Regarding (3), repeated fawning LOCIs are TCR.

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby hmlee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:42 pm

jayzon wrote:1. Are any of our TLS NU folks married? I've heard phenomenal things about the married law students' housing, but I'm curious to your opinions.

2. Is it true that NU counts your 1L and 2L income against your financial aid?


Don't know about 2, but there is a NU TLSer who is married... though I don't believe she lives in student housing.

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sidgey
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby sidgey » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:51 am

elliefont wrote:accepting that most people are decently removed from undergrad lifestyle, how are you meshing as a class? Is it social and fun?


I can't imagine a school where people had just come out of undergrad. Everyone here is so mature and brings so much to the table. We all know what work life is like, and we all seem to have a goal we're working towards, so most people aren't here just for the sake of going to law school, and we all work really hard. That being said, we help each other out a lot too. Once you get out of the competitive undergrad lifestyle and into the real world, you see just how rewarding collaboration can be, and that being supportive can help your understanding as much as it helps others'

Its also SUPER fun because after study groups, you go out for beers with your study buddies and other people come out. There's fun to be had every night if you so desire.

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sidgey
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby sidgey » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:52 am

jayzon wrote:1. Are any of our TLS NU folks married? I've heard phenomenal things about the married law students' housing, but I'm curious to your opinions.

2. Is it true that NU counts your 1L and 2L income against your financial aid?



Not sure about 2 either, but my friends are married and live in McClurg, and its a really nice place to live.

02082010
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby 02082010 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:11 am

Can rayiner-like splitters get into NU w/o WE?

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:58 pm

hopefulundergrad wrote:Can rayiner-like splitters get into NU w/o WE?


All the heavy splitters I know here at NU had WE.

jd-mba
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby jd-mba » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:50 pm

I checked the website, but I'm confused by how we are to request a tour of the campus. It's not very big, I imagine, but it'd be nice to just see what the setting is like. Did any of you guys do a tour/sit in on classes? I figured I might as well do it while I'm there for my interview. Thanks!

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Lizface killah
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby Lizface killah » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:27 pm

jd-mba wrote:I checked the website, but I'm confused by how we are to request a tour of the campus. It's not very big, I imagine, but it'd be nice to just see what the setting is like. Did any of you guys do a tour/sit in on classes? I figured I might as well do it while I'm there for my interview. Thanks!


They offered a tour after interviews when I went. It was nice.


P.S. I'm laughing at Ray for starting this thread, and taking questions on that specifically.

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:18 pm

Lizface killah wrote:
jd-mba wrote:I checked the website, but I'm confused by how we are to request a tour of the campus. It's not very big, I imagine, but it'd be nice to just see what the setting is like. Did any of you guys do a tour/sit in on classes? I figured I might as well do it while I'm there for my interview. Thanks!


They offered a tour after interviews when I went. It was nice.


P.S. I'm laughing at Ray for starting this thread, and taking questions on that specifically.


Just trying to contribute positively to TLS. Unlike a certain Ms. Killah, whose main contribution this week has been:

Lizface killah wrote:Image

That is all.

jd-mba
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby jd-mba » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:52 pm

Thank you all for the responses. You've been such a great resource. I'll just plan on being able to ask them on site for getting a tour. Worst case, I'll just use someone else's wildcard and check out this fantastic library that way :)

animalcrkrs, Northwestern is definitely my first choice. Thanks for the advice, I'll be sure to make it a point that it's my first choice. Well, I think that may be clear from my ED, too. haha.

Joeshan520
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby Joeshan520 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:57 pm

What is the student body like? cut throat competitive or more laid back and personable?

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:59 am

Joeshan520 wrote:What is the student body like? cut throat competitive or more laid back and personable?


Neither, really. I get he impression that our 1L class is very hard working, but friendly and non-competitive.

janer
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby janer » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:21 pm

Do you guys have access to a gym? If so, what's it like?

How safe is the area? I know Streeterville is a big step up from Hyde Park, but still...is it safe for a girl to walk alone at night?

jd-mba
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby jd-mba » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:38 pm

janer wrote:Do you guys have access to a gym? If so, what's it like?

How safe is the area? I know Streeterville is a big step up from Hyde Park, but still...is it safe for a girl to walk alone at night?


Janer, I'm also an applicant but I'm from Chicago and I can assure you that the area is safer than most major cities. It's a more "posh" neighborhood of Chicago, and there are always students around at night. I guess it depends on what hours you're talking about. Obviously, you'd still want to walk with someone if you can, but that's going to be the case in any city or even college campus. If you're stupid and flashing money on the street, you're going to get mugged even if it's 11am. I think that happened a few weeks ago actually. But for the most part, Streeterville is a safe place to live. Of course, there are still those few apartment complexes that are a bit darker and not as crowded (e.g. DeWitt Place). McClurg or 420 E Ohio are kept busy; there's always people coming in and out.

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby hmlee » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:46 pm

Ugh. Don't get me started on the myth of how Hyde Park is not safe to walk around in at night. Streeterville is downtown, so it is I suppose, marginally safer. The problem is that unlike Hyde Park or most neighborhoods in the city, it isn't really residential (beyond the high rises). So, it gets kinda empty later at night. The same vigilance that you would use while walking at night in Hyde Park or any other neighborhood considered to be less safe should be used in ANY neighborhood in the city at night. No matter where you are it's still a city and there is still crime. Just because you're in the gold coast doesn't mean you can't get mugged.

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby hmlee » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:48 pm

sidgey wrote:
elliefont wrote:accepting that most people are decently removed from undergrad lifestyle, how are you meshing as a class? Is it social and fun?


I can't imagine a school where people had just come out of undergrad. Everyone here is so mature and brings so much to the table. We all know what work life is like, and we all seem to have a goal we're working towards, so most people aren't here just for the sake of going to law school, and we all work really hard. That being said, we help each other out a lot too. Once you get out of the competitive undergrad lifestyle and into the real world, you see just how rewarding collaboration can be, and that being supportive can help your understanding as much as it helps others'

Its also SUPER fun because after study groups, you go out for beers with your study buddies and other people come out. There's fun to be had every night if you so desire.


Man, what study groups are you in SJ? I don't think I've yet been out to a bar post-studying. Only post-class with the other TLSers. :)

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Merrill
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby Merrill » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:10 am

hmlee wrote:Ugh. Don't get me started on the myth of how Hyde Park is not safe to walk around in at night. Streeterville is downtown, so it is I suppose, marginally safer. The problem is that unlike Hyde Park or most neighborhoods in the city, it isn't really residential (beyond the high rises). So, it gets kinda empty later at night. The same vigilance that you would use while walking at night in Hyde Park or any other neighborhood considered to be less safe should be used in ANY neighborhood in the city at night. No matter where you are it's still a city and there is still crime. Just because you're in the gold coast doesn't mean you can't get mugged.


I strongly disagree. I've lived in both Hyde Park and Streeterville. Streeterville is levels of magnitude more safe than HP. Of course you can get mugged around NU's campus--it's a big city. But your chances of getting mugged in HP are far, far higher. That doesn't mean that HP is unlivable, you just have to be smart and careful--and never, ever walk around alone at night. But don't pretend the difference in danger is "marginal."

Agreed, though, that Streeterville is kind of dead at night. It's a good place to live during 1L--convenience during your first year of law school cannot be overrated. But go live somewhere with more of a neighborhood and a nightlife in your 2L and 3L years. North-south public transportation in Chicago is pretty great (lots of express buses and the red and brown El lines) and there are a lot of really great neighborhoods in Chicago.

I don't think anyone answered the gym question. We have access to Holmes Place, a mid-upscale gym about four blocks from campus. The rate for students (and maybe for spouses) is something ridiculously low, like 12 bucks a month.

I don't know about the 1Ls (they all seem freaked out, but that's normal), but my class (current 2Ls) is full of laid-back, non-competitive, non-douchbag students who are all very smart, personable, and ambitious. The number of insufferable egos (epidemic at most law schools imo) is very low here.

1L and 2L income is not counted against your financial aid as far as I know.

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taw856
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby taw856 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:38 am

rayiner wrote:
hopefulundergrad wrote:Can rayiner-like splitters get into NU w/o WE?


All the heavy splitters I know here at NU had WE.


Newbie question here, but what is "WE" short for?

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missvik218
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby missvik218 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:36 am

taw856 wrote:
rayiner wrote:
hopefulundergrad wrote:Can rayiner-like splitters get into NU w/o WE?


All the heavy splitters I know here at NU had WE.


Newbie question here, but what is "WE" short for?

Work Experience. This could also be helpful in the near future viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18478

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hmlee
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby hmlee » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:57 pm

Merrill wrote:
hmlee wrote:Ugh. Don't get me started on the myth of how Hyde Park is not safe to walk around in at night. Streeterville is downtown, so it is I suppose, marginally safer. The problem is that unlike Hyde Park or most neighborhoods in the city, it isn't really residential (beyond the high rises). So, it gets kinda empty later at night. The same vigilance that you would use while walking at night in Hyde Park or any other neighborhood considered to be less safe should be used in ANY neighborhood in the city at night. No matter where you are it's still a city and there is still crime. Just because you're in the gold coast doesn't mean you can't get mugged.


I strongly disagree. I've lived in both Hyde Park and Streeterville. Streeterville is levels of magnitude more safe than HP. Of course you can get mugged around NU's campus--it's a big city. But your chances of getting mugged in HP are far, far higher. That doesn't mean that HP is unlivable, you just have to be smart and careful--and never, ever walk around alone at night. But don't pretend the difference in danger is "marginal."

Agreed, though, that Streeterville is kind of dead at night. It's a good place to live during 1L--convenience during your first year of law school cannot be overrated. But go live somewhere with more of a neighborhood and a nightlife in your 2L and 3L years. North-south public transportation in Chicago is pretty great (lots of express buses and the red and brown El lines) and there are a lot of really great neighborhoods in Chicago.

I don't think anyone answered the gym question. We have access to Holmes Place, a mid-upscale gym about four blocks from campus. The rate for students (and maybe for spouses) is something ridiculously low, like 12 bucks a month.

I don't know about the 1Ls (they all seem freaked out, but that's normal), but my class (current 2Ls) is full of laid-back, non-competitive, non-douchbag students who are all very smart, personable, and ambitious. The number of insufferable egos (epidemic at most law schools imo) is very low here.

1L and 2L income is not counted against your financial aid as far as I know.


I lived in Hyde Park too for 4 years. By the numbers, it is not that much more dangerous than Streeterville.

(See my explanation here: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=84243)

Even if you don't agree with that statement, though, you should still agree with my point about being vigilant of your surroundings regardless of whether you are walking in a "safe" neighborhood or not.

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sidgey
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby sidgey » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:00 am

hmlee wrote:
sidgey wrote:
elliefont wrote:accepting that most people are decently removed from undergrad lifestyle, how are you meshing as a class? Is it social and fun?


I can't imagine a school where people had just come out of undergrad. Everyone here is so mature and brings so much to the table. We all know what work life is like, and we all seem to have a goal we're working towards, so most people aren't here just for the sake of going to law school, and we all work really hard. That being said, we help each other out a lot too. Once you get out of the competitive undergrad lifestyle and into the real world, you see just how rewarding collaboration can be, and that being supportive can help your understanding as much as it helps others'

Its also SUPER fun because after study groups, you go out for beers with your study buddies and other people come out. There's fun to be had every night if you so desire.


Man, what study groups are you in SJ? I don't think I've yet been out to a bar post-studying. Only post-class with the other TLSers. :)


The best study group EVER. :)

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sidgey
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Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Postby sidgey » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:04 am

rayiner wrote:
Joeshan520 wrote:What is the student body like? cut throat competitive or more laid back and personable?


Neither, really. I get he impression that our 1L class is very hard working, but friendly and non-competitive.


I think because people are older here, everyone is very "into" law school. We are here to learn and become lawyers, not get better grades than our classmates. Just today I got cold called and had NO CLUE what the answer was, and 3 people gchatted it to me. They want to see me succeed as much as I want to see them succeed. The more we understand the coursework, the greater benefit we get out of our classes. So we help each other out a LOT. If someone doesn't understand something, we all want them to get it, because you're only as fast as your slowest team mate, so to speak.

My section, at least, is a very cooperative, supportive, congenial bunch. I came in terrified it would be competitive and cut throat despite what people said (that it IS congenial and laid back), and I've found it to be satisfyingly challenging.




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