The ultimate question: “Why Tufts?”
“What makes this liberal arts school of 5,000 undergrads in Medford, MA so special?”
The best advice I ever got when making my final college decision: "Not only look at who you are right now. Think about who you will be in a year or four years down the line. Who will you be then? Trust your gut because when you know, you know".
I joke that I find new reasons to fall in love with Tufts every day. The punch line: it’s not a joke.
It’s the little things, like my Global Health professor bringing the class donuts before an exam or the Carm dining hall cheese bar (brie!!!!).
Yet, if I were to re-write my “Why Tufts?” application question fifteen months later, I’ve realized the three most significant reasons are why I am so thankful that I chose Tufts to call my home for four years—my three “Why Tufts”.
1. Liberal Arts
This term gets thrown around a lot in college information sessions: distribution requirements, flexibility… but what does it really mean? Frankly, I didn’t really know until I got here.
When I was deciding on my final college decision, I was terrified of being ‘locked’ into a particular major or department. I had a LOT of different passions during high school and didn’t definitively know which one I would choose to pursue.
Day to day as a Tufts student, my liberal education has above all given me opportunities to explore and connect seemingly distinct subjects—like Art History, Philosophy, and Global Health (hint: Plato and Aristotle). Tufts’ distribution requirements actually encourage this by requiring students to take classes in Math, Art, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Language, usually before the student formally declares a major.
Through the art distribution requirement, I discovered my love of art history, a class I doubt I would have taken without some motivation to also fulfill a requirement.
Going in as a pre-health student, I knew that I wanted a university community where collaboration rose above competition, not “cut-throat” as it’s often called.
Visiting over Jumbo Days, I was startled by the sheer number of students working together on problem sets in Tisch library or helping each other after class with a confusing lecture problem.
Although I don’t want to discount the incredible support I’ve received from Tufts faculty, I want to highlight student relationships because it's something special. Some other “very selective” colleges I visited, the overwhelming impression I felt was competition, with each student pitted against another.
At Tufts, I have never felt like that.
It’s no lie that Tufts students work extremely hard, but it’s together. Not only does it make the workload more manageable, it creates a support system and friendships that go beyond just sitting in a classroom together.
Flipping through a Tufts college brochure or reading up on the history of Jumbo can help understand what it’s like to be a Tufts student, but for me, visiting campus was the catalyst for “pressing the button” to accept my Tufts admission offer.
I have been incredibly blessed to have made friends at Tufts who I know I’ll be taking their kids to the park someday or that have changed how I perceive the world around me. It’s extremely difficult to put into words a “student atmosphere” but at Tufts, passionate and gregarious come to mind.
On top of academics, almost all students are balancing an extracurricular (if not two, three, four…). My friends at Tufts have become my family away from home—to give me a hug when I see them around campus or a pep talk during a tough day of classes.
Making the decision to go to Tufts has been undoubtedly the best decision I have ever made and I would make it again and again if I had the choice. At the end of the day, above all, trust your instinct.
When you know, you know.