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Prompt: What are the unique qualities of Northwestern - and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying - that make you want to attend the University? In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified?
My first impression about Northwestern University came from the Rock in the campus. In a book mentioning Northwestern, the Rock with pictures and messages all over it caught my attention at the first sight. Generally, painting on the public property means vandalism. In Northwestern, however, "painting the Rock" has continued for half a century as a tradition. This showed me how much freedom the school endows to its students. I had a hunch that Northwestern would be suitable for me, a student longing for freedom and independence. With curiosity and interest, I began exploring Northwestern University through the website. After the excitement of purple color and metropolis Chicago faded, I realize that NU is exactly my choice.
When I was young, I would always jog along a river near my house. Clear ripples and endless rippling wheat nearby created an ideal place for my thoughts to gallop. The beautiful river gave me ample memories and happiness. However, several years later, a chemical factory was set up near the river. Slowly, the pristine river became feculent and beautiful flowers and refreshing mist that I got so accustomed to eventually disappeared. Witnessing the bad environment condition of the river, my heart was broken. I really hoped to stop my beloved river from deterioration, but with little knowledge about environmental engineering, I could do nothing but felt sorry for it. After that painful experience, I realized the importance of environmental engineering, a useful subject that helps to preserve good environment and to create better living habitat for all the species. Later through the massive reading, I learned much knowledge about engineering, but the rudimentary information I received gave me more puzzles about it and triggered my burning desire to further explore the realm of engineering.
I hope to solve those puzzles and continue my exploration of engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. As an cutting-edge department placing a unique emphasis on design, with client-based projects starting in the first year, McCormick will not only give me rigorous courses and knowledge that will be applied in the future career but also let me strengthen the practical skills from the very beginning, a very important trait of qualified engineers. Engineer, as I perceive it, should contribute time and energy to the society and help build a better world (the ideas came from the very beginning when I hoped to cure that polluted river near my house). Thus, McCormick's special interest club Engineers for a Sustainable World is an irresistible attraction to me. I believe I can fully engage myself in educational programs and volunteer activities of ESW, a perfect match of my personal interest and future ambition.
During four years of university time, I want the opportunity to take more classes or even double-major. After all, challenge shapes university (As an international student, I disagree with the opinion that students who are not native speakers might find courses hard in the first one or two years and thus should not take more courses or double major. ) At this point, the quarter system in Northwestern and Combined BS/MS Program in McCormick are exactly what I need. Northwestern University will make me at home and I hope to fulfill my potential and make my own contributions there.