As someone who used to read these wonderful blogs back when he was a pre-frosh, I find it extremely strange and exciting to be sitting here in my dorm common room (Wren Hall, YEAH) typing up my first post on the exact same site. I feel like everything has sort of come full circle in some weird symbolic way, but hey, I’ve still got two more awesome years at this school!!
Allow me to (quickly) introduce myself. My name’s Andrew Carp, I’m a sophomore Electrical Engineer from Los Altos, California (think Google headquarters), and love almost anything that’s a mix of engineering and business. A lot of different things interest me, so be prepared for random shots of information to come out in strange places. I also love to travel and adventure, so you’ll probably find my posts physically all over the place as well (though everything will revolve around engineering and business in the end).
I’ll leave the intro at that for now, and get talking about things much cooler than me, namely, the Tufts Quidditch Team, the Tufflepuffs!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Quidditch team at Tufts, we’re a particularly interesting group of people who do our best to make fantasy Harry Potter game called Quidditch into real life. We run around with brooms between are legs while throwing volleyball quaffles and catching human sniches. We tackle each other in the mud and rain. And we even occasionally take halftime breaks to play games of ninja against other teams. If you still don’t get the picture, I highly suggest you check this link out: https://twitter.com/TuftsQuidditch
Now, I’m not here to argue with people over whether Quidditch is a real sport or not, but one thing I think we can agree on is that’s it’s an absolutely ridiculous activity. Just recently, in fact, I received a great question on one of my tours about the craziness of Quidditch. This question, posed by a parent, asked what the point of the brooms were if you couldn’t fly around on them.
Personally, at the time of the tour, I really had no idea how to respond to that kind of prompt. She was right, what was the point of the brooms in the game? What do they add on to the actual sport? They don’t really do anything at all. In fact, they really just make the game even more dangerous (which comforts my parents a lot).
The more I thought about that question, in fact, the more it frustrated me. Until today, when I had a small epiphany: A huge part of the reason people love Quidditch isn’t because they love Harry Potter or because they enjoy the sport. Rather, it’s because they love not caring what anybody else thinks about them. They love being wacky.
Growing up as a teenager, everybody is embarrassed easily. It’s natural, it’s necessary, it’s even proven by Erikson’s Psychosocial Life Stages. We want to be cool, and as a result we do things like hide behind trash cans when we go with our parents to the mall (yeah, I used to do that).
But when you get older, you get more confident, you get more comfortable with yourself, and sooner or later you can do things like introduce your parents to your friends! (gasp! What? Yep, normal people do that). As a result, you start caring less and less what other people think, or you realize that nobody’s even thinking about you in embarrassing situations.
That’s why, as someone who used to consider himself a “serious varsity basketball player” in high school, I proudly hop on a Quidditch broom and run around the residential quad with a deflated volleyball in my hand. There may be no strategic point to having a stick of wood between your legs (no innuendo intended), but there certainly is a cultural as well as philosophical one.
And, lucky for me, there are plenty of people at this school who will gladly join me in this wizarding world of ridiculousness. In fact, that’s actually why I believe Tufts is such a wonderful place. Everybody here is so comfortable with themselves and their own personalities, they’ll take a dive into the most wacky and different things without a second thought. As a result, class of 2017, get ready to either be drawn into places, people, and things you never thought you would have ever done or tried. And, if you think you’re already in that mixed bag, then be prepared to have people happily hop in beside you.