Campus Celeb: Austin Williams

 

Name: Austin Williams

Year: Second Year

Hometown: Orange County, CA

Major: Dual Environmental Studies and Political Science Major with a Minor in Social Activism

What made you want to get involved in HEAT and Divest NU?

Environmentalism has always been interesting to me. Growing up, I realized that environmental issues weren't receiving enough attention. They weren’t receiving the attention they deserve. So second semester of freshman year, I joined HEAT.

What has been the most rewarding part about working with Heat and Divestment?

Seeing the campaign grow. It started out as a small campaign and I was surprised at how many people joined in. Being able to draw student organizations into this campaign and seeing others getting involved in solving environmental issues is really cool.

What do you think your greatest accomplishments at Northeastern has been so far?

I think it was realizing that you don't have to wait until you graduate to do something you love. You’re not only here in college to take classes. This is an opportunity to meet people and challenge yourself. Becoming involved in HEAT and Divestment, never having been involved with organizing things, was a great experience and I think that a lot of people who come to Northeastern can have that experience.

How do you balance school work and organizing things for HEAT and Divestment?

It's a constant struggle. I try to balance short term assignments with club needs. It's a difficult trade off. What I do first is driven by how soon things will come up. Sometimes I'm up until 3 am working on class work because I spent the day meeting with people. But it's rewarding to focus on something that matters.

What advice would you give to freshmen about making the most out of their NU experience?

Be ready for how big of a shift it is when you move from high school to college. Whatever you do, you have a lot of freedom to do that. It's fun to go out, but that shouldn't be all you do. Once I got to sophomore year, I saw that a lot of people mellowed out. You don't have to go out all the time, you can just chill with your friends.

What are you favorite things to do in Boston?

When the weather is nice, I like going to the Boston Commons and hanging out. Honestly, just going out and exploring other communities. It's easy to stay on campus and be in a bubble, but you haven't visited all of the communities. There are so many cool places to explore.

Where do you think you'll be in 5 years?

I plan to focus on environmental policy and traditional paths of legislation. I probably would have just graduated. I plan on working with an environmental non-profit. At some point, I want to get a law degree, but not immediately after graduation.

What are 3 things you think every Northeastern student should do before graduation?

  1. Join a student group. I was surprised at how cool it could be to connect with people who share the same interests.
  2. Use co-op as a way to discover other cities and other countries.
  3. Run into the reflection pool at least one. Preferably do it in your freshman year and move on.

To learn more about Divestment and find out how you can get involved, visit their website at divest.org and like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Divest-NU/438180532934007.

Photo credit: Santiago Nariño of SN Photography