In an alternate reality, I can imagine my Northwestern experience unfolding in a different way. To start, in an alternate reality I would be studying Environmental Science and be a member of the Brady Program in Ethics and Civic Life. With Environmental Science, I would get involved with research at the Chicago Botanic Garden, which is partnered with Northwestern to work on Plant Biology and Conservation. The Brady Program would allow me to develop my skills as an ethical leader through its curriculum, its required study abroad component, and its senior service project.

Speaking of study abroad, I have always wanted to travel to New Zealand, so I would pursue a program through the University of Otago that is partnered with the Study Abroad Office at Northwestern. While there I would use the SCUBA certification I earned right before the program to go explore the Great Barrier Reef as an extra excursion, another dream of mine.

While on campus, I would be a member of the Sailing Team so that I could take advantage of the proximity to Lake Michigan. Coming from Phoenix, sailing was something I have no experience with, but I’m sure I could learn quickly. I’d also get involved with Associated Student Government as a Senator and help improve the University for my fellow students. I might even run for a higher position if I felt bold.

During my sophomore year I’d take part in Chicago Field Studies, which is an internship program available to any student at Northwestern. I’d do my internship at the Field Museum downtown working on Conservation Education. The experience would be so enjoyable that the following summer I’d participate in the Engage Chicago program that exposes students to even more of what Chicago has to offer.

This “alternate Jason” would gain a lot from these experiences. The good news is the Jason from this reality (that’s me) has had a wonderful time at Northwestern too. The experience here is one that students can customize to best fit their goals and interests, and there really seems to be plenty for everyone.

–Jason Smith

photo source: Northwestern Sailing Center.

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