Coming Home: Nikhil Rajavasireddy


“The first time I stepped foot on Colgate’s campus was right after my [Wilderness Adventure program],” Senior Nikhil Rajavasireddy said. “It was a really amazing experience because orientation was going on and everyone just seemed so excited to welcome us to the Colgate community!”

An economics concentrator double minoring in English and religion from San Francisco, Rajavasireddy needed a little bit of time acclimating to the Hamilton winters.

“It was initially pretty rough in terms of both the cold and [that] I had a slight case of seasonal depression,” he said, continuing, “but after the first winter I have adjusted and learned to really love Colgate winters, especially because Christmas time in Hamilton is really, really pretty.”

Rajavasireddy, who knew he wanted to study economics before he stepped foot in Hamilton, plans to work in the banking division of Boston’s Jefferies after graduation. He didn’t go through his four years at Colgate without doubting his decision. Or, at least, his reasoning for it.

“I came into college wanting to be an economics major because I thought it would best set me up for a career after graduation. However, I soon realized that coming from a school like Colgate it doesn’t matter as much what you want to major in, but I found economics really interesting because it allowed me to understand so many different concepts that inform my world outlook in terms of politics and global affairs. English and religion were just random classes I took initially to get my areas of inquiry out of the way, and I fell in love with the departments,” he said.

Outside of his studies, Rajavasireddy has ingrained himself into the Colgate community as a member of Link staff, the Senior Class Giving Committee, the Konosioni Senior Honor Society and as a senior intern in the Office of Admissions.

“The activity that is most important to me is Link staff,” he said. “It has helped me find an amazing community, as well as help give back to Colgate by helping out first years. I joined Link staff because I really liked my link and he was an invaluable resource for me, so I wanted to be that for someone else.”  

A defining part of Rajavasireddy’s life at Colgate, he encourages underclassmen —and particularly first-year students — to immerse themselves in the Colgate community.

“Join as many clubs and organizations as possible [so that] you [can] find the things that really make you passionate and find your own little community at Colgate,” he said.

While Colgate is now home to Rajavasireddy, his experience hasn’t come without difficulty. Despite finding community on campus, he still finds himself sometimes feeling like he is alone.

“Colgate felt like home when I first visited, and I chose it because of the tight-knit community that I found when I visited and stayed overnight,” Rajavasireddy said.  “However, there have been times [when] I felt alone at Colgate even when I was surrounded by my close friends and felt that I had made the wrong choice. For parts of junior fall I couldn’t wait to go abroad and leave the stress of Colgate.”

Rajavasireddy, however, doesn’t regret his decision to come to Colgate, in no small part due to the people he has found and built a community with.

“I have always felt vindicated by my decision to be at Colgate because of the people here and the communities that I have found,” he said.

For Rajavasireddy, college has been more than just a place to take classes. It has also been about finding people that you feel most yourself with, these people, these homes he’s built, and the close proximity to them, will be what he misses most.

“The people as well as the ease of finding community here,” Rajavasireddy said. “You do not have to seek out people and make plans at times you just have those spontaneous run-ins.”