April not only marks the start of warm weather and Frisbees on campus, but it is also the exciting time when many of you will be narrowing down your college choices and will likely have hundreds of questions swimming in your mind – from how accessible are professors really? to what does housing look like?
As a first-generation college graduate, some of the questions that kept popping back up in my mind when I was making this decision were: Will college feel like my second home? Will I find people like myself on campus? Who can I talk to about my college choices? For those out there that are juggling similar concerns, here is my advice!
Will college feel like my second home?
Yes and no. That sounds confusing, but hear me out. No, college will not always feel like home (for starters, my mom’s home cooked arroz con pollo was not in the dining hall menu) but that is not a bad thing. Being outside of my comfort zone and away from my family was intimidating at first but it also allowed me to explore opportunities that I would not have otherwise, like studying abroad or living with students from backgrounds completely different than my own. Eventually college became a second “home”, a place where I felt supported by my peers and faculty but also a place where I could grow. It’s not hard to see how Tufts can also be that second home to students who all have distinct passions and goals but are tied together by their kind, down-to-earth nature.
Will I find people like myself on campus?
While college should expand your academic and social horizons, it can also be a place for you to connect with a particular community that is important to you. At Tufts, we are fortunate to have many communities that come together to celebrate the different “diversities” of Jumbos – from our long list of cultural and spiritual groups to the First Gen Student Council and the Group of Six, a collection of university centers that work to promote diversity goals on campus.
If you want to learn more about the many sides of diversity at Tufts from a student perspective, you can reach out to any of our Diversity Interns.
Who can I talk to?
There is no wrong question to ask and now is the time to get them all answered! Attend an admitted student open house if you can, talk to current students and faculty or read our blogs. Reach out to a teacher, guidance counselor, coach or mentor who can maybe share their own college selection experience. Talk to older students who graduated from your high school or alumni from a college prep program (if you are part of one).
Even though my parents could not give me specific advice on what kind of college or major to choose, they were my best sounding board and the ones reminding me to not lose the “I” in the equation. Ask yourself: is this the college that I see myself in and the one that makes me happy?
As you embark on this decision-making journey, give yourself time to research your choices well, let your thoughts marinate, and reach out for advice. Good luck and I hope many of you will join the Jumbo family!
Photo Cred to Tufts First Gen Council: https://www.facebook.com/FirstGenTufts/?fref=nf