Lost. Not only is it a word that starts with L, but it is also a good word to describe how I felt around this time in my senior year of high school. I had gotten deferred and then rejected my dream school, waitlisted at one of my backup schools, waitlisted at one of my reach schools, etc etc…. But the good news? I got accepted to Tufts!
Most of us high-achievers like to set our sights on the Ivys because, well…. I don´t know, it sounds good? But I think that this is actually kind of sad because it stops us from being honest with ourselves about we are really looking for in a university. At least in my case, living in Illinois, hardly anyone had ever heard of Tufts, so if I had told people Tufts was my first choice, they definitely would have looked at me funny, then they would have smiled and said “Oh, that´s nice.”
But the truth is, that when I did my whirlwind of college visits, Tufts was the only place where I really felt comfortable. I felt like I could really see myself living there, working there, growing there, and learning there. But it took my getting rejected and waitlisted at Ivy League schools for me to say “you know what? I really want to go to Tufts.” I even turned down a full scholarship to another high-ranked school because once I realized that I belonged at Tufts, there was no turning back.
While I had this revelation pretty early in my Jumbo career (AKA before matriculation), some of my friends didn´t have it until later. But the truth is that I continue to have revelations about my true Jumbo nature pretty regularly. Every time I´m engaged in an activity or conversation that could only happen with Tufts students, I think to myself “Thank goodness I didn´t get into my dream school, because if I had, I wouldn´t be having this incredible experience.”
Since I like lists, I´ll make a short one about the Jumbo moments that have made me grateful to be at Tufts.
1) Freshman year when my hallmates and I made a giant snowman on the President´s lawn… and I mean GIANT. The bottom ball was taller than me, and it didn´t melt until mid-April!
2) Disney movie nights!!!!
3) When I realized that every weekend there are usually at least three separate games of Settlers of Catan in progress on the Tufts campus
4) When I played for the Tufflepuffs in the 4th annual Quidditch World Cup and we took 2nd place (in the world). But beyond winning, we cuddled a lot.
5) Having debates about what kind of beer various races of Lord of the Rings would prefer
6) The day I realized that my five closest friends were from four different continents
7) When my suitemates and I unabashedly danced to Call Me Maybe for a week straight
8) When I got to show my friend from China all around Chicago
9) When I saw Of Monsters and Men at Lollapalooza Chile while studying abroad through Tufts-in-Chile (SO GOOD)
10) When I skyped into a Tisch scholars meeting from Chile, and got to reunite with my friends (abroad and otherwise)
11) I really could go on and on….
The truth is, that wherever you end up, the most likely scenario is that you´ll love it. Because there are so many incredible people in the world, and incredible people tend to attract each other, so don´t worry, they´ll find you J
My biggest philosophy on life is to never make decisions that I´ll regret. It seems obvious, but when I have a decision to make, I think to myself… Which one of these options will I not regret? And when it comes to answering that question, you have no one to please but yourself.
Choosing a college is a huge decision, and a scary one. When you choose a place to live for the next 4 years (or 3 or 5 or 6) you have no idea what actually lies ahead of you. And of course, no place is all good or all bad. But this is an incredible time in your life. You have the opportunity to challenge yourself, to experience completely new things, to meet people who are very different from yourself.
If you´re like me, you probably have a list of pros and cons for every school to which you were accepted (or waitlisted). But if you´re even more like me, you know deep down inside that those lists don´t really matter, because your gut feeling has already decided for you. I challenge you to go for it. Your gut is smarter than you think it is.
Selfishly, I hope your gut is whispering Tufts, Tufts, Tufts, because then I might to get to meet you next year and you will get to experience all of the amazing things that Tufts has to offer. But no matter what you choose, don´t worry!
Let go. Another phrase that starts with L. Letting go of all the things that you don´t have control over is really the only way to live. Once you make a decision, like sending in your college deposit, the rest is out of your hands. And let me tell you, you´re going to enjoy the next 4 months (and the rest of your life) a heck of a lot more if you just focus on what is happening NOW. Enjoy the company of your friends. Bask in the embarrassment generated by your parents/siblings. Do a really good job on that senior English literature paper. Because you´re never going to get those moments back. And if you spend all of your time thinking about the next moment, the next week, the next year, you´re not even going to enjoy those moments when they finally roll around. Ok I´m done with my preaching now. But I used to be a worrier, and the best thing I ever did for myself was to decide to stop worrying. The most I can ask of myself is to work hard, and the rest is out of my hands.
Best of luck to all of you Jumbos out there!
If you have any questions about studying abroad at Tufts, writing a thesis, making giant snowballs, or if you´re wondering what in the heck is Settlers of Catan, PLEASE send me an email! I would love love love to hear from you!
Peace and love!