Letter to Admitted Students: Maria Cavallaro

Dear Prospective Student,

Hello, my name is Maria, and I am a second year bioengineering student here at Northeastern University. On campus, I’m heavily involved in many organizations including the University Honors Program, Society of Women Engineers, Alpine Ski Club, Biomedical Engineering Society, on-campus research, and NU American Medical Student Association. It was not too long ago that I was in your position, and I am so excited to hear that you’re interested in learning more about the many opportunities Northeastern has to offer.

When I first began thinking about colleges, Northeastern was definitely near the top of my list. To be honest, the only factors I was personally concerned about was its location and grand student population size. I attended a relatively small high school in the suburbs, so being a part of a student body with 10,000+ people and moving into the city terrified me. However, my nerves were immediately eased upon meeting the Honors Program team and learning about their efforts to make first year students as comfortable and prepared as possible.

The University Honors Program was the first community I established comfort and trust in on campus. The Honors first-year residence hall, East Village, fostered a welcoming environment for all of my Honors peers and I to grow and learn together. The Living Learning Communities, LLCs, provided a supportive network which allowed us to share and explore a specific interest outside of academics. I was part of the Outdoor Adventure LLC. With this small group of peers, we successfully planned and budgeted multiple trips from kayaking on the Charles River to skiing at Wachusett Mountain to indoor rock climbing at a local climbing gym. Being involved in the LLC relieved my concerns about staying connected with my personal interest in the outdoors while also providing me with a group of new friends that I am still very close with today. The Honors Program also allowed me to connect to others throughout my first and second year by serving as an Honors Ambassador, taking an interdisciplinary seminar course, and being matched with an alumni mentor through the Honors Alumni Mentoring Network.

It’s not just Honors that provides exceptional support. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships helped me to find a research position at Harvard Medical School. And, the Center of Community Service provided resources to get involved and give back to the surrounding community, something that was very important to me. With their help, I was accepted into a volunteer program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital that has been an amazing asset to my personal and emotional growth.

My advice to you is to prioritize your interests, then be proactive in pursuing those interests. Northeastern has an incredible amount of resources ranging from spiritual to cultural life support and staff who are available to help you when it matters most. It is important to know what you want to get out of this amazing community and to build upon that by reaching out and getting involved. By doing this, I was successful in making Northeastern feel a bit smaller and more personalized so I could successfully grow as a Husky. I am so excited to see where your Northeastern journey will take you.

The University Honors Program is happy to answer any of your questions. In addition to checking out the website, feel free to request a personal virtual meeting using this form.

I wish you the best and hope to connect with you this fall as a fellow Northeastern student!

Maria Cavallaro
College of Engineering & University Honors Student
Class of 2022