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Alternative Health and Yoga Studies: that field isn’t offered at most schools. It also isn’t in the Beloit College Catalog. Nonetheless, it’s Emily Peterson’s minor. How? The junior literary studies major jumped at Beloit’s opportunities for self-designed study—and found extensive support.
“My professors, advisors, and the dean all helped sculpt my personalized education,” Emily says. She loves how the process validated her own creative plans. “It was great to see my passions unfold into something legitimate, challenging, and completely unique.”
“I want to be a child psychiatrist with an alternative health approach,” she says. “Yoga and alternative medicine can challenge psychiatry’s pill-pushing stigma. It’s imperative that mental health treatment become a right, not a privilege.”
Emily’s convictions are strong. One reason, she says, is Beloit. “Since coming here, I’ve strengthened my values. Beloit has taught me to question, to challenge, to think.”
Emily attributes her skills to more than Beloit’s academics. “I learn just as much outside the classroom as I do in it,” she says. The reason? Beloit’s diverse student body. “My friends have such various backgrounds,” she says. “They better my understanding of the world.” They also make Beloit’s smaller campus surprisingly rich. “I am continuously amazed at our concentration of interesting and beautiful people,” she says.
Emily connects with these students through many extracurriculars. She serves on the Beloit Student Congress executive board, organizes Eco-Lit, performs in the dance department’s Chelonia, has tutored at the Writing Center, and is president of Yoga Club. She also channels her passion for yoga into teaching twice-weekly classes. Emily loves the diverse turnout. “We have members from sports teams, campus clubs, fraternities, and even the faculty!” she says.
Emily will further build her yoga background when she studies abroad. In India, she will conduct independent research on the practice’s medical applications. All her experiences leave Emily thrilled she chose Beloit. “What other school,” she asks, “would allow you to self-design your minor, study abroad, be extremely involved, and pursue a medical career?”
While Emily’s particular path is unique, she thinks Beloit’s support for it is not. “Beloit is a safe haven for learning, creating, and experimenting,” she says. “We are cared for and encouraged in all we do.” It is unsurprising, then, that Emily finds her peers just as pleased with Beloit as she herself is. “People want to be here,” she says. “We are a strong community of dynamic people.”