Northland College is a wonderfully unique place filled with a collection of some of the most amazing people I have ever met. If you are considering attending Northland College as a student, here are some of the top things you should be sure to know about in advance!
Take Advantage Of The Ravine
This is definitely the number one best thing about Northland College in my opinion. The ravine, (as its name implies), features a small body of water running from one side of campus to the other, surrounded by a thick enough covering of trees and other plants to keep the campus concealed when you are hiking through. It’s perfect for anyone looking to escape into nature, but who doesn’t have a car to drive to the nearby national and state parks. You can enter the ravine from several different parts of the campus. You can often find people hanging out in the area near Fenenga where trails are more prominent or make your way to the stadium to find a much bigger area to explore, full of fields and cool trees.
When It Comes To Professors
If you were expecting a big lecture hall where the teacher doesn’t even know your name, dresses in three-piece suits every day, and refuses to be called anything other than ‘professor’, you are in for a big surprise. Unlike some colleges, the faculty here is all very relaxed and truly looking to help you succeed. You will find that many of them actually prefer to be called by their first name as opposed to a title. They are also often much more likely to offer help and support than one might think. Simply reaching out after class or via email can go a long way towards helping you solve problems you thought were unfixable at this point.
The Laundry Is Now Free
This is a new feature since I started at Northland College! Now, washing and drying is completely free and available in every dorm building, so take advantage! Having clean clothes and sheets will do a lot to keep your room looking and smelling nice.
Be Prepared To See A Lot Of Barefoot Students
As you might know, Northland College is sometimes known as a ‘hippie college’ due to its strong focus on sustainability and its particularly wonderful specified programs such as the Outdoor Education, Forestry, and Sustainable Community Development degrees. While that certainly is not a true fact of all Northland students, be warned that you will see a lot of hammocks and barefoot students walking around campus. If you are interested in being one of them, fantastic! There are only two parts of campus you are required to wear shoes in: the cafeteria and the science building. All other classrooms, dorm halls, and other parts of the property are free reign!
Check The Board In The Ponzio For Events
If you are looking to stay in the loop on Northland College events, you absolutely should make a habit of checking the whiteboard in the Ponzio for upcoming events. The Ponzio is the main building on campus and where you will need to go to work out most logistical things, but it is also the home of both the cafeteria and to-go store, where you can find the mailroom, and a social hub! The board can be found in the main seating area you first walk into, across from the fireplace and above the school store. Once you have officially registered to attend Northland College, you will have weekly campus newsletters sent to your student email informing you of upcoming events and flyers will be put up around the dorms advertising more specified occasions, but for the best collection of upcoming events, there is nowhere better to go than the Ponzio!
Don’t Skip Out On Brunch Over The Weekends
In order to get the most out of your meal plan, do not sleep in past brunch on the weekends as it is by far the best mealtime selection in the cafeteria. Only available Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 1 pm, you will find an amazing mixture of breakfast sausage, hashbrowns, a taco bar, fresh fruit, build-your-own-waffles, and much more! It is a bit of a Northland College tradition to design your own waffle and load it up with as many goodies before and after the cooking process as possible for the ultimate brunch mix. You can make it sweet by adding chocolate chips, honey, strawberries, and bananas; make it savory with bacon bits inside and hashbrowns on top, covered in syrup; or find any combination that works for you!
Monthly Hootenanny’s And First Friday Dances
If you are worried about missing your high school dances, fear not! There are plenty of fun music options to release some energy. One of my favorite activities at Northland College is definitely attending the Hootenanny’s (which is out fun, mid-western way of saying concert), which are usually held once a month and can feature local bands or hired acts playing a wide variety of music. For anyone who misses the city experience, make your way to the front of the crowd to experience a mini mosh pit or hang out in the back for a roomy and comfortable view of the band. First Friday dances offer a different style with square dancing and other led classics. Both of these events are held right on campus and are always free, so they are extremely easy to attend! If you are looking for a night on the town, keep your eyes out for when the NCSA (Northland College Student Association) hands out free tickets to the Big Top concert venue nearby, there are often even free shuttles offered!
Queeb And Snofest: The Annual Events You Need To Know About
There are two major events held on the Northland College campus each year that you will want to know about in advance, one each semester. Queeb is held in late October to celebrate the fictional Floyd E. Queeb, a Northland College legend who is honored on 10/28 of each year. There are a few stories surrounding this tradition: some say it is his birthday, others the day his existence was finally disproven. Either way, students, teachers, and alumni new and decades-old alike join together at a secret off-campus location which changes every year and is slowly released through clues for a night of partying, listening to good music, and having a bonfire. Be on the lookout early in the semester to find some of the initial clues and get started on tracking the position! Snofest is held shortly after the winter term starts and is an officially sponsored week-long Northland College event where groups of teams compete in ridiculous challenges to try and win. Graduating seniors get to act as judges as the teams participate in challenges such as spaghetti eating competitions, snow thong angels, broomball, Snofest trivia, and much more!
There Is Free Bike Shop
Next to the art building and compost, you can find an amazing little bike shop where you can have any issues on your bike fixed for free. Additionally, you can choose to volunteer for ten or more hours, and you will be able to build a bike from scratch that you get to keep!
You Can Now Recieve Free Leftover Food
Another new feature to the Northland College campus, rather than simply composting the leftovers from lunch and dinner in the caf, they are now carefully packaged and stored for students to take for free if they are low on food or money for food. There are distribution days twice a week on campus, so definitely take advantage if you don’t mind reheating food and are looking to save a few bucks!
The Reuse Room Is Unbelievable
If you have ever been to Goodwill or any other thrift store, this is the same concept, only a million times better for you, the student! The reuse room donation bin is located just outside Mead, the dorm hall closest to the Ponzio, while the actual reuse room is just inside the dorm. Anyone can bring donations to the bin, whether you are a student, faculty, or just someone who lives in town. From there, only students have the ability to access the reuse room, but everything in there is one hundred percent free! Not only can you find amazing clothes, but there are also tons of practical things there, such as a constant stock of pots, pans, and dishes. If there is anything at all that you need, try browsing through the reuse room before hitting up Walmart and be sure to send any still usable items to the donation bin once you don’t want them anymore!
Make Use Of The BART Bus
The Bay Area Rural Transit system is a wonderful tool if you do not have a car and for when it gets too snowy to bike long distances. There is a stop conveniently located at Fenenga residence hall, which you can then take to the businesses on Main street, down to the beach of Lake Superior, or over to Walmart for a grocery run! The bus makes many rotations in a day, so if you miss one-stop, it will be sure to come back around. You can even call and ask to be picked up if your location isn’t too far away and if the bus isn’t too full, they will come right to you! The best part of all of this is that the bus is completely free for students!
Check The Lumberjack Lounge For Textbooks
In the basement of the Ponzio is a large room known as the Lumberjack Longue with bookshelves built into the walls. One side is carefully organized and labeled by subject, while the other simply has miscellaneous books. Students bring their old textbooks here to donate so that other students do not have to go through the hassle of buying them. Before ordering your textbooks each semester, be sure to check the collection to make sure you aren’t spending unnecessary money, and consider bringing your used books back to donate at the end of the semester when you no longer need them. The lumberjack lounge is also home to the Outpost, where you can rent various outdoor equipment such as sleeping bags, sleds, skis, tents, and more!