Cherubs trade in car keys for sneakers

A girl in a black dress carries a camera as she walks through campus.

Kirsten Huh makes the five-minute walk from the campus bookstore to East Fairchild. Photo by Brooke Deasy

Will Kubzansky of Washington, D.C., arrived at Evanston Township High School after walking a mile and a half from Northwestern University. He was sweaty, but he was also determined to find the perfect interview for an assignment. He found a teacher who agreed to talk and then set off to find others. He navigated through nearby parks and into a Walgreens parking lot before returning to campus.

Kubzansky walked a total of 10 miles that day. Cherubs are forbidden from traveling in moving vehicles, but Kubzansky said this restriction actually provided him with better interview subjects.

“I was just walking in parks and taking turns around bends I wouldn’t have thought about,” Kubzansky said. “When you’re walking, it’s sort of like, ‘What’s another 15 minutes?’”

Similarly, Maddie Aitken of Montclair, New Jersey, walked two miles in search of thrift stores for another assignment. She said the 25-minute journey gave her the opportunity to explore Evanston.

Girl walks next to a green space, the wind blowing in her hair.

Carly Neilson walks to Allison Dining Hall for dinner after spending the day writing. Photo by Abby Banks

Walking long distances teaches cherubs valuable lessons in effective planning. Sarah Meadow of Santa Monica, California, said she no longer relies on Waze, a popular driving app, and leaves early to ensure timeliness.

“I definitely have to manage my time a little bit differently,” Meadow said. “I have to think about how long it’s actually going to take me to get to where I’m going to be on time.”

Cherubs should bring comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and water bottles to the program. Jacob Strier of Scarsdale, New York, said “comfort is key” to survive long walks.

Prolonged journeys are not just beneficial for interview-seeking. They are also a great way for cherubs to stay physically active during their time at Northwestern.

“I think that the adjustment has been a healthy one,” Strier said. “Nothing is more healthy than getting everywhere by foot, and it’s basically like practical exercise.”