Northwestern never truly stops being an active and bustling campus; the summer, however, brings with it a new type of energy for the school. Whether it’s the students heading to one of Northwestern’s two beaches, or the pickup games of soccer, football, or basketball, it’s easy to notice that summer here on campus is filled with students who are ready to maximize their time in this beautiful location.

When I first toured Northwestern, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by all of the sights and views. Once I got here on campus, I could finally make the most of the environment with my friends, exploring new restaurants in Evanston, having picnics by the lake, or even just walking through the heart of campus on the way to class.
Yet, I was missing one key experience: an Evanston summer. Now, I can gladly say that my expectations have not been let down and the summers here really do live up to the hype. With no classes or papers to worry about, my friends and I are able to schedule impromptu visits to the beach, with frisbees and Game of Thrones in hand. On other days, we love gallivanting around Evanston as art festivals and concerts quite literally line the streets around our favorite custard restaurant, Andy’s. And, of course, Chicago – with Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Taste of Chicago, and other events – is definitely more than enough to satisfy our tourist kick.

What makes all of these experiences even better is that we are able to do all of this while also participating in some really amazing opportunities here on campus and beyond. To add to my research on international refugee policy, I was able to go to Geneva, Switzerland a few weeks ago to attend a UN Conference with my professor. Meanwhile, my friends are traveling to the city to work in genetics labs, start-up companies, or consulting firms. Summer is not only a time to relax, but also a time to develop oneself and one’s interests.

Now, it’s easy to see why Northwestern is so special during the summer: we able to not only truly delve deep into the beauty of this campus. Yet, students are still completing research grants, developing new products, and gaining work experience. After nine months of fulfilling, but tiring work, a summer here is just the re-energizer that is needed to tackle the next nine months of triumphs, challenges, and growing experiences.

–Kevin Nigarura

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