In light of the recent Regular Decision release, I’ve been reminiscing about the final stages of my own college decision process. I remember anxiously but excitedly scouring all the online resources I could find to help weigh the pros and cons of my final options. One of the most valuable resources, of course, is hearing from students who are in the middle of their college experiences, so I checked out some student reviews.
A year later (feels more like a few months than a year, time moves way too quickly), I’m revisiting some of these reviews to see what people have been saying about Tufts since the last time I checked these websites out. Now that I’m on the other side, it’s interesting to see how my experience has compared with those of the people who write those reviews.
Just like last year, I’ve found plenty of reviews talking about how perfect the size is, how passionate all the students are about their interests, how great the professors are and how delicious the food is, all of which is true. But there are a few recurring misconceptions I’ve been picking up on that diverge considerably from what my experience has been thus far. I’ve compiled three important ones here that need a little debunking.
1. There isn’t much school spirit.
While it’s true that most students don’t flock to the sporting events, defining “school spirit” on those terms is incredibly limiting. If you think of school spirit as a sense of community, in which people are excited for each other’s successes rather than eager to outcompete them in one way or another, and everyone laughs their asses off together at the comedy of the Tufts Daily April Fool’s edition that nobody outside the campus would understand, then Tufts is teeming with cohesion and school spirit. People are genuinely proud of their school for the opportunities it provides for them, and also of their peers for the opportunities they seize, even if it isn’t expressed with mobs of shouting people and painted faces.
2. It’s overwhelmingly liberal/people with different political views are always arguing.
Sure, there was a party in the campus center when Obama won the election. But from what I’ve seen, there isn’t a single person here who feels out of place because of what they believe in politically. On my floor alone, there were people who voted for Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein – I actually think Obama supporters were the minority in our neck of the woods. But we weren’t at each other’s throats on election night. We all get along incredibly well in spite of our conflicting opinions, and any debates we might get into are quite civil.
3. There’s a “Tufts bubble” that people tend to stay locked inside of.
I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how it takes a little bit of effort to get yourself out into the city. Having said all that, people are always getting off campus to the immediately surrounding area, which really is comparable to Boston in terms of how much there is to do and how culturally vibrant the place is. Any time you take the Joey into Davis Square, the little urban hub just off campus that serves as Tufts’ launching point to the rest of the Greater Boston area, there are tons of people coming and going to and from all sorts of fun shops and eateries and performances. Tufts has a ton to take advantage of within its boundaries, but those boundaries aren’t marked off by a social wall that makes it difficult to get out and explore all the cool stuff just a few minutes away.
Have you read anything else people have been writing online that you’d like to discuss? Feel free to email me at Joseph.Palandrani@tufts.edu and I’d be happy to talk about it to the best of my ability.