The Essentials Issue




We live in a world of infinite choice and customization, giving us the freedom, autonomy and access to do whatever we want and be whoever we want to be. But with an ever-increasing amount of options and opportunities, how do we decide what we need, what we cannot survive without, what is essential to our being? These questions weigh on every freshman’s mind, as college is supposed to be the formative time in which you explore who you are, decide what you want to do and find what makes you, you.

As seniors looking back on our college days, we began to wonder how to pin down not only what is essential to us, but also to our college experiences. How do we summarize what is essential to being a student at Northwestern for all those freshmen questioning what they must try, do and experience over their next four years? Grappling at the essentials of NU, we realized that no industry exemplifies this conundrum more than fashion. There is an endless amount of retailers, brands and styles at our fingertips, and there are no rules or regulations when it comes to dressing. So, how do we decide which pieces of apparel are unnecessary and which are essential to our self-expression and personal style? The Essentials Issue attempts to resolve these questions.                                                                                                                                                                       This back-to-campus issue examines how to pin down what is essential to us, to a wardrobe and to an experience. Touching upon the heart, the core and the fundamentals of both the fashion industry and the Northwestern experience, this issue looks at both the tangible essentials—like the forever-classic wardrobe staples and the best Evanston restaurants —and the intangible, value-based essentials—such as having ethical and social considerations while shopping and finding a family-like community on campus.

We recognize that every person’s decisions and experiences are unique to them—based on their interests, their values, their goals and their passions. Ask a group of upperclassmen what has been essential to their NU experience, and they will each give you such varying answers it will make your head spin. Junior Lilly Pace says it best in her last word (p.35): “Don’t force yourself to adhere to the ideas of ‘Northwestern essentials’… As long as you stay true to yourself, I promise that at the end of the day you’re going to be alright.” We get that not everyone likes to rock a red lip and not everyone loves Cupitol as much as we do, but we hope this issue helps guide and inspire you towards finding what is essential to you.

Rachel Burns and Emily Ash // Co-Editors In Chief


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