The following is North alumna Aashka Pandya’s response to our questions about her college decision process, the student life and culture at Northeastern University, and more.

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Pandya graduated from North in 2019. 

I always thought that the cliché statement they say at all the college info sessions was absolutely false: “you’ll know if you belong there as soon as you step foot on campus.” I hadn’t felt that feeling at any campus until the fall of my senior year, in the midst of college application season. 

That September, I visited Northeastern, and everything they said about finding that instantaneous connection with a school became true. I definitely saw myself there being a part of the community and living in the city. 

Northeastern is unique in the way that it is a city school that doesn’t really feel like a city school. It is nestled in a central location, but the campus is enclosed with tons of green space, murals, and quads. 


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What also drew me to attending the school was it’s cooperative education (co-op) program where students get the chance to spend a semester working a real job in the field they are studying. I thought this experiential learning experience was so cool, as it gives people a chance to test different careers they are interested in and gain experience in a real position.  

The school’s nature of pushing their students out into the real world to gain hands-on experience lead me to choose Northeastern.

I could not be happier with my choice of going to Northeastern. For one, I absolutely love the city of Boston. It is the best mix of a historic and modern feel and there is so much to do. The city is full of students studying at different schools, which makes it lively. Northeastern itself is a great location and the energy of its students really drives me. I love being surrounded by peers that are pursuing their passions as it encourages me to do the same. 

I do not get homesick and I think the reason for that was that I really involved myself right from the start in campus activities. I found my group of friends and various clubs that kept me occupied. 

Although, I did miss the home-cooked meals, as dining hall food can get repetitive. I also really missed driving, even though Boston is so easy to navigate using the T. 


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I love Northeastern’s sense of drive. I think through the clubs I am in, I can witness people build their passion projects and consistently innovate. It is such an inclusive atmosphere that anyone on campus is willing to involve you in what they’re doing. 

The hardest and coolest part of attending Northeastern is that people often leave to go on co-op and then come back the next semester. It’s a double-edged sword since their presence is certainly missed, but they come back with such an incredible experience from which everyone else can learn. I love hearing about all the jobs some of my peers have worked and how those experiences drove them to further pursue their major or even change it! It’s a dynamic environment that is so exciting. 

Northeastern is certainly a dynamic and innovative place. Everyone is striving to gain experiences and is always happy to include you in them. The school prides itself in experiential learning, and that is certainly reflected in the students here.

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