Congratulations! You've been accepted to Tufts. Now what?
From time to time when I meet someone new, we start talking about the high schools we attended. Usually the other person went to a school comparable in size to a single class year at Tufts (~1300 people). Naturally, I smirk a little bit when I respond with, “My high school had under 100 people and my graduating class was 23 people.” The other person might respond with a gasp or a shocked expression or a repetition of the numbers I just said, and I just nod in agreement. At this point, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. I want to walk you through my transition from a class of 23 people whom I knew so well to a class almost 100 times as large where I stood next to no chance of even meeting everyone.
So why does someone like me who absolutely adored the experience of a small high school decide to come to a medium sized school nearly 2000 miles away? That was a question I asked myself over and over again throughout my college application process. I knew that a massive school wasn’t for me. Anything over 10,000 people just felt intimidating. I worried that I would just be lost in a sea of people. Then when I visited super small schools, I worried that it would just be more of the same of high school, but I was looking for a new start in college. While I really liked getting close to all of my classmates in high school, having only 23 people left something to be desired in the ways of diversity of thought and opinions. I was drawn to Tufts for its medium size. I felt that it offered the advantage of a substantial number of people without being overwhelming.
Still, in the months between my acceptance to Tufts and my arrival for the first day of my pre-orientation program, I worried that Tufts would be too big. I thought I wouldn’t be able to meet the right people or make deep friendships like the ones I made in high school. On my first day of FOCUS (Freshman Orientation CommUnity Service), I met so many new people. It was a whirlwind, and I started to worry that I would be easily overwhelmed once the rest of the Tufts population came to campus. By the end of FOCUS; however, I made some incredible friends who are still some of my best friends to this day, and more importantly, I realized that it wasn’t necessary to interact with every single person in my class as I had done in high school. I had a solid group of friends, and that’s all I really needed.
Now as I walk around campus, I see plenty of people I know from FOCUS to classes to activities to friends of friends. But I also see faces that I know I’ve never seen before – and I’m absolutely fine with that.