I'm a Facebook lurker. I probably don't belong on the Tufts 2017 group, but I'm there anyway, watching our newest baby class get super excited for Tufts (and believe me, it's even better than you guys think!).
Tonight, I saw a post on the Facebook group titled "20 Ways to be Popular at an Expensive Private Liberal Arts School" (it's a list from Thought Catalog) with the comment, "I hope this isn't true for Tufts." (Note to OP: the url of the article says "sarah-lawrence-hampshire-bard-bates-amherst" so I'm pretty sure I know who their audience is....)
Right now it's generating a lot of funny comments on 2017's wall (my favorite so far: "Well, your entire point hinges on the false assumption that a physical reality actually exists.") and a lot of current students are chiming in to say, "yes, this is true, no this isn't true," and unanimously accept that #7 is kind of a thing. Since I'm a blogger with super, um, bloggy powers, I thought it would make a great post for all of the Tufts 2017ers (and 2018ers, and 2019ers, and wow that's just too high a number) if I responded to each of the points truthfully and from a student's perspective. But it's me, so you know I'm not going to be completely straight-faced, either.
1. Despite your Jewish upbringing, support Palestine at all cost. Disregard any and all other atrocities happening across the globe. Palestine is fresh and hip. Not only do you seem engaged and political, you get to rock a Keffiyeh.
Tufts has a high percentage of Jewish students, but the debate on Palestine is as hot on campus as it is in Washington. Many students (Jew or gentile) support Palestine, and some are members of the student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). However, many others are also fervent supporters of the State of Israel. Problem: this can occasionally lead to fisticuffs and Bias Incidents (see no. 7, below).
2. Smoke Parliaments.
I don't think I know more than a handful of smokers at Tufts, and for a school where almost everyone seems to say, “I'm and premed,” smoking seems like a pretty bad habit to pick up, n'est-ce pas?
3. Under no circumstances support the school your parents are paying exorbitant amounts of money for you to attend. School spirit and pride is for squares and bros. Square bros.
School spirit != sports. As a (club sport) athlete, I'm allowed to admit that sports are pretty far down the list of priorities for Tufts students (when your football team hasn't won a game since my freshman year, that isn't exactly surprising). However, that doesn't mean we don't love our school! Every Tufts student knows (or will know) the unofficial Tufts fight song after a week on campus, brown and blue are, despite off-campus opinions, the most badass school colors, and who wouldn't want Jumbo the life-saving elephant as a mascot?
Jumbo love from the first years (mostly) of the women's fencing team!
If you can't beat 'em on the strip, beat 'em in the parking lot.
4. Complain frequently. The vaguer the criticism the better. Say that the problem with your school is “systemic” or “institutional.” Offer no suggestions or constructive criticism.
I take issue with the suggestions or constructive criticism piece of this point. It should be deleted.
5. Take over a building. Why not the library? All you need to do is show up and then refuse to leave. It is the most effective way of getting your point (perhaps justice in a far away land) across and in no way inconveniences other students. Make sure to bring your nalgene full of greentea and your macbook, because you may be there for hours!
As far as I know, no one at Tufts has occupied a building in recent times. Occasionally, students or student groups will get a little overzealous and disrupt an admissions meeting or a tour, but then the rest of the campus kind of disowns them (c.f. Tufts Divest).
EDIT: I take it back. Tufts students occupied Ballou Hall (the main administration building) in 1981 in protest of Tufts... er, lack of condemnation, I suppose, of apartheid South Africa and again in 1994 to protest the University investing endowment assets in Hydro Quebec, a Canadian utility company that, in the early 1990s, was attempting to build dams that would have been destructive to wildlife and encroached on First Nations' sovereignties. Both occupations were peaceful and the administration worked with the students. More info!
6. Smoke weed and avoid homework.
If anyone at Tufts smoked weed and avoided homework, we wouldn't be one of the most competitive schools in the country, the top producer of Fortune 500 CEOs, or one of the largest contributors of students to the Peace Corps.
7. The more things you take offense to the better. Throw terms like sexist, racist, and homophobe at everyone/everything that has the audacity to disagree with you. The more you use these terms the more valid they become, so try to squeeze them in every other sentence.
Yeah… that's true.
8. Attend class as little as possible. Don't worry you probably don't have grades and none of your classes actually count as credit.
If any of you were here for our “Lockdown Jumbo Days” last week, you probably heard the story of the professor who, in a 140-person Intro to Some-Engineering-Topic class recognized a student who hadn't been there because of his Jumbo Days commitment and asked him where he was. But it isn't just the professors who want you to come to class: my first economics class at Tufts was 500 people (the registrar double booked the section, so it wasn't meant to be so large), but the professor, George Norman, was so engaging that every single person showed up every day because they A) wanted to learn and B) wanted to hear him crack jokes in a ridiculous Scottish accent.
9. Frequently talk about transferring to NYU. The louder the better. Of course, this will never be a reality because your noncredits don't transfer.
Why would I transfer to NYU when I can study abroad in New Zealand?
10. It doesn't matter if you're from Long Island, New Jersey, or the Hamptons. At school you're from “the city.”
I'm allowed to make this kind of generalization, but only because my state has 2 million people in the entire thing. However, two of my best friends always introduce themselves as “from Long Island.” Is that better or worse?
11. Take Adderall, Ritalin, Vivance, Dexedrine, etc for every task requiring the slightest bit of effort. Cleaning your room? Take some speed. One page response paper? SPEED.
I have some very strong feelings on this topic (hint: it's akin to performance-enhancing drugs for athletes and a serious problem) but I really don't know if people use it at Tufts. I know that my friends don't, and several of them already have multiple degrees or are on their way to having Ph.D.s by the time I'm done writing this post.
12. Smoke weed and take downers to relax from all the speed.
Really, I'm not the guy to ask about drugs. I don't even drink coffee.
13. Never do assigned reading. In the rare event you actually attend class, spend the whole time talking about completely irrelevant books/causes/ the dream you had last night. Anything that has nothing to do with the curriculum. The people in the class aren't there to learn, they are there to listen to you.
I confess. I may do this…occasionally…when I want to substitute the reading for a different class that I find more interesting/pressing or when I want to sleep. But never? Nah.
14. Take Philosophy courses. Nowadays, a philosophy degree is worth its weight in gold. When someone calls you out on the fact you never did the reading, respond cryptically with phrases like: “Well, your entire point hinges on the false assumption that a physical reality actually exists.”
I sat in on a philosophy course my first semester at Tufts. One class. My conclusion: I. Hate. Philosophy.
UPDATE: Wondering if reality actually does exist? Take three minutes to learn why it most certainly doesn't. Thank you, Noah Schwartz, A'17, for this gem.
15. Wear a bandana.
…and look silly?
16. Remember those designer jeans you bought? Cut those bitches off.
Will do. Whenever I buy designer jeans.
17. Remember those shirts you wore in 4th grade? They're definitely cool again. People will find your Spongebob Squarepants shirt refreshing, ironic, and above all absolutely hilarious. Match it with a scarf and nonprescription glasses (the thicker the frame the more serious you are) because you're not all fun and games. You're an academic, a political activist, and a poet/author/musician/artist.
This is (mostly) true. College is like being a small child, but with an incredible amount of work. Disney movies? Awesome (but actually). Anything that used to be on Cartoon Network? Amazing again. Action figures? Yeah, why not? Going to breakfast in footie pajamas that your entire freshman floor ordered off of Amazon? Sweeeeet.
18. Having fun at a party is for frat dudes and conformists. It's best to stand outside in the freezing cold clutching a Pabst and smoking a cigarette. This equals instant respect. If you decide to ingest drugs, tell everyone about the drugs you are on as they will all certainly be impressed and fascinated.
Having fun is what you make it. If you're a frat dude who wants to have a party at least once every weekend, do your thing. If you're a board game nerd, find your other board game nerds and party with them! Tufts is definitely not about making people fit into a mold.
19. Use words like ‘solidarity' and ‘governmentality.' Learn to love Foucault and Derrida. While you're at it, pick up an obscure instrument. Perhaps the kazoo or the banjo. Wake up your neighbors by practicing said instrument early and often. When neighbors accost you, hit them with some deconstructionism. They will be impressed.
But replace “Foucault” and “Derrida” with whomever Western Political Thought (one of the Intro IR classes) is teaching about now. All the freshmen go gaga about one or another philosopher (“I seriously think that we need to redesign our society to fit the worldview of Edward Abbey”) sometime in the year and then forget about it in a cloud of apathy and misanthropy. Then they remember that they have an arts requirement to fulfill, take World Music, and pick up the djembe or the oud, if they didn't already play something.
20. Get a tattoo. If anyone gets/understands/relates to the tattoo, you did it wrong.
Arthur Dent: What happens if I press this button?
Ford Prefect: I wouldn't-
Arthur Dent: Oh.
Ford Prefect: What happened?
Arthur Dent: A sign lit up, saying “Please do not press this button again.”