The snow dumped on New England this past Tuesday wouldn't give any indication that spring is around the corner, but soon enough commencement will be upon me and I'll be a college graduate. It's amazing to think about how quickly this year has gone, but I'm excited for what my future brings after graduation. For those of you waiting for college decisions, or already trying to decide between schools, don't fret! The spring semester of senior year, whether you're in college or in high school, is always a bit of an uncertain time. But as the weather gets a bit warmer, everything falls into place. Don't stress too much about this time, you'll look back on it in a few years, high school far behind you, and you'll know you made it through.
A somewhat recent tradition for Tufts' graduating class has been a dinner at the president's house on campus, Gifford House. Every year, President Monaco invites the senior class to his home for a dinner filled with chatting with classmates and professors, and reminiscing about your time at Tufts. I attended my senior dinner last week, and it truly hit me just how close I was to closing my life chapter on Tufts.
The dinner used to be a smaller affair, but due to scheduling, they've changed the format to a bigger, open party type feel. Students have free reign of the ground floor of Gifford house as well as in a tent on the back patio to socialize and eat. There's ample opportunity to see friends and old faces, also while seeing the inside of a house that mostly remains a mystery during your first three years.
Additionally, a select group of faculty are invited to each dinner. Each graduating class votes on faculty members that made the most difference during their four years and the highest voted professors are invited to the dinners the following year. I was especially excited for my dinner, as my advisor was present, so I had a good time socializing with him outside of an academic setting! There are also alumni invited, and with almost 100 circulating each dinner, there's a huge chance you'll talk to someone who has followed a path you're interested in.
The best part of the night had to be the student testimonials. President Monaco opens the mic to students who wish to tell any stories that embody their Tufts experience, or simply a funny story from freshman year shenanigans. It's understandably an intimidating situation, to get up in front of your classmates and respected faculty to tell a story only you may find funny, but overall the students who spoke told endearing, funny, and memorable stories. It cemented a feeling of connectivity within our class I'd not felt for a while. It's easy to feel lost among the entire student body, but the senior dinner reminded me just how special it is to be a part of the Class of 2017 especially.
I'm not a particularly sentimental person when it comes to leaving Tufts behind. I loved my time here, but I'm also ready for a new stage in my life. But the senior dinner really made me realize how much I'll miss this amazing place. It will be hard to leave a community that's had such a profound impact on my growth and my time in college, but I also realized I'll truly always be at home at Tufts, no matter where I am in the world. The amazing group of people who come in and out of this campus every year are always Jumbos at heart, and that won't change even when we all leave the hill.