Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

Am I Living the “Traditional” College Experience?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

TikTok has been the reason that I contemplate many things in my life these days. I’ve been watching vlogs and routines that glamorize different lifestyles and trends. Like many, I’ve been on “UMich” TikTok for a while now, and honestly, could not tell anybody why. I guess constantly clicking the like button doesn’t help my case, but I’m definitely not complaining as I have developed a big obsession with it. I find it interesting to watch how other people live their lives and note how mine is different. I lead a completely different life from the girl whose “day in my life” vlog I tend to watch. Sometimes these videos make me think and compare. I occasionally wish my life looked more like hers. But then, once I start to really think about all that I have, I love where I am in life (and wouldn’t trade it for anything).

To most people, Northeastern University is referred to as an “airport school” with many students coming and going for co-op, study abroad or other opportunities. Being from the West Coast, I always dreamed about coming to the East for school. The culture is so fast-paced and driven here; I knew I would thrive. I am such an independent person, so I thought I would fit in best in a city. But at the same time, I also knew that being on this coast (and in an urban area) would make it unlikely for my experience to be similar to others at bigger schools. Looking back now, I believe that I made the right choice all those years back. Although, sometimes I still wonder to myself: What if?

Being from Washington state, most of my friends and high school peers attend the University of Washington. Had I not found a school that was more my vibe, I probably would have ended up there too. It’s a great school. Don’t get me wrong; it has a beautiful campus, many organizations, a popular football team, and even ranks really well as a University. During my first semester of college, I felt some FOMO witnessing my friends and family until one day, it just stopped. If I think back to my younger self, I would have loved to go there. However, I knew that I would feel overwhelmed attending a big school like that. I also wanted to get out and explore, and I am so lucky that I had the support of my family to do so. Northeastern has so much to offer that many other schools do not have. For example, the famous co-op program which I could go on and on about.

I think that it is also important to mention that the definition of the “traditional college experience” is so subjective. When looking it up, you find that Google says the college experience is composed of a four year university with learning opportunities and extracurriculars. Most colleges I know of offer this. Depending on where one grows up, it could mean something different to them. For example, I think of a “traditional” school as the University of Washington, but for others, it might vary.

There are so many benefits to each school experience for every individual. I feel that I’ve made the most of my experience and that I chose the perfect school for me. During my time people-watching, I have overheard many debates about what the “traditional college experience” really is. I’ve decided that idea is simply what you make of it. 

I attend a school with different communities, a campus, sports and so much more. So, to answer my original question, no, I didn’t miss out on any other kind of experience. Even though Northeastern is not comparable to a big state school, I feel “traditional” vibes here. I am so grateful to live in a city while still having a campus, many sports teams, and the ability to be part of a Greek life organization. What more could I ask for?

Every once in a while, on my walks downtown, I stop and close my eyes while having a pinch me moment. I think about the fact that I am really here, how I moved across the country on my own and live this life I always dreamed of. I love my school, and I have absolutely no regrets about it.

Nishita Khosla


Nishita is a second year student at Northeastern studying marketing and communications. She has a passion for writing, movies/tv, music, fashion, lifestyle and more!