If you were to walk around the office today, you would see each of us with a big stack of applications under our noses. While the vast majority of the office is reading Early Decision applications, you’ll see me with ED files as well as an additional stack of tour guide applications. This year, we received 192 application requests for a grand total of 25 spots, making tour guiding one of the most competitive volunteer gigs on campus.
The thing that stood out to me most as these students nervously walked backwards is just how well they all understood Tufts. Sure, anyone can recite facts but these soon-to-be guides have already internalized the Tufts experience.
When asked about school spirit, they would of course include our two NCAA Division III national championship winning teams (just last year), but they would also talk about how Eurydice was being put on that night and how excited they were to go support their friends. They would talk about seeing elephants everywhere and how brown and blue immediately became their favorite colors.
When asked their favorite memories, one first year girl described a computer science major coming up to her in the library after seeing her google C++ concepts. You know, just to see if she needed help. Another shared a 2am discussion over Blue Zones about the morality of wearing camo clothing. Does it glorify war? Degrade a soldier’s service? Is it freedom of expression?
The applications were filled with stories from the Tufts experience, all different, but all connected. So as an Admissions Officer, Tufts graduate, and a former college applicant looking for her future home, here is my advice:
Ask your tour guides questions. Ask them their favorite class and their favorite memory, something cool they did last weekend and something they’re looking forward to next weekend. Ask them about things you’re passionate about, both in the classroom and out of it. But don’t stop there, ask the students you see on the quad or in the dining hall. If you don’t, you might miss out on the depth of character representing our campus.
Really though, come visit, our tour guides are incredible and I can’t wait for you to meet them!