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Trekking Mount Everest gave freshman perspective on failure

Nidhi Mehta, DMSB'21, has a unique perspective on failure. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

A freshman this year, Nidhi Mehta, DMSB’21, has already trekked to the Mount Everest Base Camp; achieved the gold level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award; volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Make-A-Wish Patana; traveled to five of the seven continents; and learned five languages.

One of the things she’s most looking forward to in Boston though? “Seeing snow fall for the first time,” she said.

On Everest she saw snow and ice everywhere except falling from the sky, Mehta said. And growing up in Bangkok means never having seen a snowstorm in earnest.

Still, Mehta said her experience trekking Everest was impactful in other ways.

Just because you couldn’t do it the first time, you may think you’re a failure in the moment, but don’t think like that because you can focus that energy elsewhere. Failure just makes you stronger.
Nidhi Mehta, DMSB’21

The trip—an opportunity offered through her school at the time—required students to map their own routes and take into consideration natural physical impediments as well as the fatigue they’d face in carrying it out. More immediately, too, Mehta had to learn how to live with 22 other people in close quarters for 16 days.

“It was intense and really interesting,” Mehta said.

One of the highlights was an unplanned trip to a working monastery, where Mehta and her group got to witness monks chanting.

“That was really, really beautiful,” she said. “It’s very rare that someone not native to Nepal would be able to experience it, so we were very lucky. It was enlightening—we were all standing there shivering and these monks were totally focused.”

Mehta and her group also got an opportunity to climb Kala Patthar, a landmark on the south ridge of Himalayas. They had to turn back halfway there in order to avoid an incoming blizzard, however.

Mehta took it as a learning experience.

“Just because you couldn’t do it the first time, you may think you’re a failure in the moment, but don’t think like that because you can focus that energy elsewhere,” she said. “Failure just makes you stronger.”

Mehta, who is in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, isn’t the first in her family to attend Northeastern. Her brother, Nishant Mehta, DMSB’15, is an alumnus.

She ultimately chose Northeastern because though she’s certain she wants to study finance, she’s curious about other disciplines as well.

“Northeastern offered that freedom to choose,” she said.

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