I remember coming into college with the idea of never studying off campus. Sure, I had heard that everyone had loved their experiences of studying off campus, but I didn’t want to miss out on the small amount of time that I had on a college campus. So when a representative from “Chicago Semester” came into my Principles of Marketing class freshman year, my world was thrown for a loop. All of a sudden, a semester in my favorite city getting to intern with a great company and take classes all about the city turned into a distinct possibility and even almost a dream.
But, I still debated. Every year I would go back and forth on whether I should go to Chicago. I knew I would have to complete an internship in order to graduate with my major, but I could always do that during the summer. And if I did go to Chicago, I would miss out on a semester at Northwestern, a place that has felt like home to me. I loved my time at NWC, and had made great friends, why would I leave that behind?
It was finally my spring semester junior year that I decided I would go to Chicago. Despite all of the cons I felt were a part of my decision, I felt like I was making the right one. I would be getting a once in a lifetime experience in a place that is one of my favorites, and I knew I would always wonder what it would have been like if I had gone.
Fast forward to now, my spring semester of senior year, and I am in Chicago! With two months under my belt, I can honestly say that it was the best decision I have made. I am interning with a company that has given me incredible work experience, and have gotten to explore one of the coolest cities in the world. Not only that, but it has been a great transition into post-graduation life.
I can honestly say that taking a semester off campus was a great decision. While I am missing my final semester on campus, I know that I am growing as a person and taking full advantage of a great opportunity. I have gone to world class art performances, tried new foods and met amazing friends.
If you are anything like me entering college, wondering if studying off campus is a good decision or not, I can tell you whole heartedly that it is one of the best decisions you will make during your college career. No matter where you want to go, Chicago or otherwise, go somewhere. You never know when you will get the chance to learn and grow in a unique place again, so give it a chance! You won’t regret it.