North Central College - Naperville, IL

In the “nick” of time

In the “nick” of time

In high school, I had only a vague idea about what I wanted to accomplish in my life. I knew what I liked—cars, girls and sports—but those interests didn’t exactly translate into a college major. For the first time, I felt the pressure of making a decision with lifelong repercussions and was totally convinced I was the only one who felt that way. Since I had excelled in science, I decided to study chemistry—for the time being. My overall plan was to teach high school chemistry and coach football at the same time.

At North Central, I quickly learned two things. First, I wasn’t alone in being unsure about my decision. Other students just like me realized the weight of their decisions, too. Second, my first chemistry class proved to me that I had made the right choice in my major and in my college. My professors were amazing; their office doors were always open, and they genuinely cared about me and how I did in class.

Then there was football. The balance between playing, practicing and juggling my class time wasn’t easy, but the coaches and faculty proved to be as committed to my success as I was. Everyone I encountered at North Central helped me in some way toward my goals.

Now that I have graduated, I am working in my chosen field—research chemistry—and proud of the things I have done and the person that people around me have helped me become.

- Nick Swanson