It hit me how fast the year goes by when I found myself ripping down the “Welcome to FIT” sign on my door, which was one of my very first welcomes at Tufts. For those who did not know the meaning of FIT, it is one of the pre-orientation programs offered for freshmen. I wouldn’t emphasize the overused phrase, “Oh, it just feels like yesterday I was at xxxx”, but I could attest to how quickly the weeks go by once you are immersed in school work and activities on campus. Personally, I am ecstatic for next year, but one of the pitfalls about losing your freshman status is that you can’t justify your mistakes by simply saying "Oh it's okay, I'm just a freshman". To avoid some of these common “ Well, I am just a freshman” mistakes and also make the most out of your first year, I have made a list of 10 recommendations that range from academics to social activities. I elaborate on the first three topics of my list because those are the main tenets I took away from my experiences freshman year. Anyways, look at this list with a grain of salt, but doing the following can only enhance your first year at Tufts.
Freshman Year Recommendations
1. Auditorium classes?
All freshman will probably have at least one class a semester with 100 students and just one professor. Many times it can be difficult to fully engage yourself for the full class time. Eventually, you’ll start to notice your peers go on their phones or do other work on their laptops, and by group mentality it is naturally very hard to resist the temptation of using your personal technology. Even the most disciplined students will often struggle to pay full attention from class to class. If you find yourself behind on the material, I highly recommend going to professor or TA office hours because lapses of concentration in class add up and will have consequences when you find yourself cramming for an exam. Again, some big lecture hall classes are not conducive for 24/7 active learning and listening, but as long as you give an effort to keep up with the material then you should be golden!
With Davis only being a quick Joey ride away and Boston only a few stops on the T, the opportunities beyond tufts campus should are definitely for everyone, even freshman. There are so many amazing restaurants and events to choose from that it can be hard to decide what to do. One of my favorite moments this year was going to the Boston Marathon with my roommate because of the electric atmosphere and witnessing these runners achieve such a monumental task. Not a lot of college towns can offer these types of activities, so definitely try to make the most of it!
3. Explore Part II
In addition to broadening your social activities, exploring is also a very significant aspect of freshman year academics. Tufts students are very ambitious and passionate about their studies, so you might find some of your friends already have all their college classes planned out to fulfill their double major and double minor. However, If you have no clue what you want to study (many freshmen), do not worry! I still am trying to decide going into sophomore year, and I still have almost a whole year until I have to declare. Freshman year is designed for you to take classes that are of interest to you even if they may or may not have any long term importance in the future My friend never took a computer science in high school, but he tried it out first semester going in with no expectations, and now he plans on majoring in computer science. Moral of the story: Have an open mind!
4. Try to do laundry on week days; the weekends tend to be very busy.
5. Bring the absolute essentials to college… Remember that you will accumulate more stuff throughout the year.
6. Go to a concert or a sports game in Boston! I went to one concert with my friend, and had an unforgettable experience.
7. Experiment with different study spaces. I have grown to love working in Ginn Library, but initially only liked working in my room.
8. Try to see one of our musical or dance groups perform (Sarabande, Beats, Beelzebubs). Tufts students bring a lot of talent to the stage!
9. Join an intramural sports team. Basketball was a huge hit among my friend group, and the games were very competitive, but a blast.
10. Last but not least….. Try to avoid taking Friday classes. I had no Monday classes first semester which is similar, but having a three day weekend is a treat and opens up so much more free time.