I love being in a lecture hall with a plate of prepared cheese and crackers, listening to my favorite words like "chromatin", "genomic medicine", and "prefrontal cortex" dancing through the air from the lips of a visiting professor.
I love the silence that hangs in the air after all the rustling and conversations of field experts, students, and community members cease before the academic lecture begins.
I love the accessibility that being an undergraduate, especially a pre-health student, has given me to hearing fascinating speakers such as MIT's Dr. Eric Lander highlighting the current state of international collaborations to promote contemporary genomic research and Harvard's Dr. Joshua Buckholtz on his research into decision making ("the neuroscience of self-control failure) through personality and behavioral assessment and neuroimaging.
I love the relationship that the Medford campus has with Tufts School of Medicine. I have had opportunities to attend the annual Dr. Maurice S. Segal Lecture and Khondadad Lecture, both hosted jointly by the Tufts School of Medicine and both right here on the Medford campus as an undergrad. (The Dr. Maurice S. Segal Lecture was held in the Fletcher School—only a 30 second walk from my dorm!)
Though being a Tufts pre-health student has afforded me countless opportunities (the chance into the Early Assurance program to Tufts School of Medicine, knowledgeable advisors, supportive peer community), by far, the most intriguing has been the plethora of academic lectures centering around genomic research.
Few students are given the chance to sit in the same room as their university professors—my chemistry professor whose class I had that morning also attended the Dr. Maurice S. Segal Lecture—and learn as equals.
I love the inspiration I feel as I leave such lectures, that I am the next generation and I myself could be giving one of these distinguished lectures in a few decades.
But for now, there will always be more studying to do.