On Monday I had my last first day of school. I woke up, worked out and went to class just like any regular day that I have had here at Case Western Reserve University. But this time, I felt different. I felt a rush of emotion that I didn’t expect. CWRU has become a big part of me and knowing that in 15 weeks I’m leaving this place for good put me in a reflective state of mind.
I jumped back to my freshman year. Hitchcock was the place to be and the whole first semester was a whirlwind of crazy events. I knew as soon as I came into this school that I wanted to be a political science major and soon picked up sociology as a double. I’m from a small town, blonde and love sports. I don’t fit the immediate CWRU stigma and it’s taken me until now, the start of my senior year, to know that none of us do.
CWRU has a strong stereotype: the nerdy kid who loves math and science and loves to study more than anything in the world. All throughout my college career I have received similar responses to my academic pursuits, “Oh, so why did you come here?” and “Do you even like math?” Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hard worker. I use my time efficiently, study hard and contribute to the greater whole of the community. They also know that no, I don’t like math at all and that I came here for the same reason they did—to learn. CWRU students aren’t one-dimensional. The kid sitting next to you in circuits is the same kid who planned the Juicy J concert and the girl in that sorority is the same one who helped a professor with groundbreaking research this summer.
This is an outstanding academic institution with opportunities at every corner and just because someone doesn’t fit the stereotype of a CWRU student doesn’t mean they are any less of one.
You might think that this school is a big mash of math and science stitched together with some cool-looking business building and a hospital, but it’s more than that. Whatever your major, this is your school. As someone who has completed not one but two majors in the Arts and Sciences college, I have learned that for me, this campus is just a liberal arts school surrounded by a research university, just to confuse the outsiders, of course. Because there are only a few of us, every professor knows who you are and can be the person that helps you reach your goals. I have a class with two people in it right now. That’s just me and one other person! Where else do you have the opportunity to sit down with a professional in your field and have a real conversation about your course material every single day of class?
Not in a filled Strosacker engineering class, that’s for sure.
Case Western Reserve University students put a lot of pressure on themselves to be something they don’t have to be. Just because you’re an engineer doesn’t mean that you have to talk about coding all the time. Just because you’re a nursing student doesn’t mean you can’t have fun past 9 p.m. because you have clinicals. College is about the whole package. When you spend too much time trying to fit into one box, it’s impossible to do it all.
Start the year off right. Quit thinking you have to be that typical CWRU kid we all imagine in our heads. This place is changing and with it, so are the people.
Kassie Stewart is a senior political science major. Self-described as Amy Poehler and Joe Walsh’s love child, her mantra is “no day but today.” She enjoys napping, sarcasm and peanut butter.