Every few months, we feature selected articles from JUMBO, the Tufts admissions magazine. If you would like to read the rest of this issue, or any of our back issues, just click here to go to the archive.
This month, you can read about making Tufts into a home away from home, different ways to major in psychology at Tufts, tips on living in a dorm from a current student, Tufts students' personal map of Boston, and four of our national champion sports teams.
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We trade bathtubs, living rooms, and backyards for communal showers, common rooms, and residential quads, and we love this new, evolving home, 5,000 people large and populated with excitement. But even college students crave familiarity, and at Tufts, familiarity often takes the form of the faces greeting us every day in the entrance to the dining halls, scanning our ID cards when we muster the motivation to go to the gym, and providing safe shuttle rides across campus at night: our staff members.
Rasika Sethi ’17 traveled 8, 500 miles from Bangkok, Thailand, to make her home at Tufts. Her arrival on campus marked her first visit to the U.S. and her first time setting foot on a college campus. Quick-witted and abuzz with passion, Rasika strikes me as someone with a gift for adapting to new situations—someone who could befriend anyone. She says that connecting with others is an effort she makes consciously.
“On the flight back to Bangkok, I was sitting next to this guy. You know how when you’re on the subway, you don’t talk to other people because there’s an awkward boundary? Well, we started talking,” she said. “He was a 40-year-old construction worker, and his perspectives were really fascinating. I talked to him about living in Thailand and moving to America. It’s really cool to just hear people. I want to know everyone. Everyone has a story.”
The Department of Psychology is a hub of undergraduate and graduate activity and a center for cutting-edge research on human mental processes and behavior. The department also offers one of the largest and most diverse groups of undergraduate programs on campus. In fact, there are five options when thinking about a major in the field of psychology, each with a unique set of course offerings and research areas. Take a look!
Psychology majors choose from courses like Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Adolescence, Theories of Personality, Emotion, Animal Learning, and many more. They also have flexibility to explore courses in other fields, such as economics, political science, or computer science. Professors’ research areas are diverse, and include language and semantics, personality assessment, and psychopharmacology.
Biopsychology is an interdepartmental major for students interested in neuroscience and animal behavior. Students take many classes that explore the biological perspective on how the brain works. Classes like Human Neuropsychology and Behavioral Endocrinology make this major unique. Professors’ research includes animal cognition, sexual and aggressive behavior, and vertebrate stress response.
Clinical Psychology prepares students for a career in mental health, psychiatry, or human services. Tufts is one of the only universities in the nation to offer this major, which includes a senior capstone project. Current work includes the assessment of shame and guilt as related to symptomatology and the mechanics behind a schizophrenic brain.
Engineering Psychology focuses on how to design equipment with human behavior and mental processes in mind. How do you build an air traffic control panel that’s easy for people to use? How should you design a surgical training device based on how medical students learn best? Engineering Psychology has the answers.
Cognitive and Brain Sciences (CBS) is extremely interdisciplinary, drawing from at least five academic programs beyond psychology, including philosophy, human study and child development, biology, and computer science. CBS majors might study music cognition in psychology, explore human perception in philosophy, or dive into the world of artificial intelligence in computer science.
Living in a college dorm is about more than just getting along with your roommate and learning to maximize your space. It can be good for the soul. That might sound dramatic, but it’s true! Sharing a space with another person and living in a building with hundreds of your peers can teach you many important life lessons… and maybe some unimportant ones. Benya Kraus ’18 asked some of her friends what lessons they’ve learned from living in Tufts dorms. She threw some of her own newfound wisdom in the mix, too. Take a look!
Make your space feel like home.
You don’t need an entire HGTV team to make your room feel good. Whether it’s a photo from home, a jumbo poster of Rosie the Riveter, or, as my friends Max Hirsch and Steven Reichel ’18 chose, a fully decorated 4-foot Christmas tree, having something uniquely yours on the walls makes living away from home less alien and impersonal.
It’s important to set your boundaries and acknowledge what types of sharing you are comfortable with, but as Noah Schwartz ’17 says, a living space with your best friends encourages you to allow people into your life in a way that “most people aren’t comfortable with, but inevitably brings you closer.” Noah should know, he’s sharing a suite with five other boys. It’s that blur of personal and community space (in moderation, of course) that lets people “understand you beyond the surface level,” he said. For many students, the best dorm living memories are the nights where nine guys fit themselves into a room to watch the Patriots game on TV—the nights we share the space together.
It’s okay to be alone sometimes.
Even though sharing is a huge part of the college experience, there will be times when you and your roommates are so busy that the room will be bare and deserted, and the quiet may seem like a sign that you’re doing something wrong. You’re not. Let your dorm be a place for you to relax and don’t feel the need to always carry on a conversation.
The power of compromise goes far. According to James Huesing ’18, “if your roommate absolutely insists on hanging up a broken ceiling tile and passing it off as ‘modern art,’ just go with it. Because then when you say you want to get strobe lights for the room, you have leverage.” (Fun fact: This actually happened in Houston Hall.)
Control your laundry before it controls you.
Warning: Stuffing the washers with massive amounts of clothes is not a good idea. Plan accordingly. When I asked Thomas Karol ’18 about lessons dorm life has taught him, he dove right in to the importance of remembering to take your clothes out of the washers and dryers so that other people don’t have to… then he went on and on about the Permanent Press button, his favorite washing machine setting.
Remember to clean your mini fridge.
… Just believe me on this one. Please do it.
Tufts is, in our humble opinion, the best of both worlds. A beautiful New England campus sitting just four miles outside of the bustling city of Boston, Tufts offers lawns to lounge on and all the perks of urban living just a short walk (or ride on the T, Boston’s subway system) away. We asked some Tufts students to illustrate their own personal maps of Boston and the Medford/Somerville area, highlighting their preferred hot spots and favorite memories. Check it out!
In the 2014-2015 season, Tufts men’s soccer made history by winning their first NCAA Division III National Championship. Their 4–2 win against Wheaton College (Illinois) concluded a monumental season for the Jumbos, who also beat No. 1 ranked Messiah College (1–0) and Ohio Wesleyan University (3–0) on their road to glory; schools which have a combined 97 NCAA tournament appearances and 14 national championships.
Howard Woolf, father of goalkeeping coach Nick Woolf, believes that the team’s success was due largely to the sense of community between players: “the team culture is wonderful, and I give (Coach) Josh Shapiro credit for creating an upbeat, supportive environment.”
This historic season, with a record of 16–2–4, is the farthest the Jumbos ever reached in the NCAA tournament, followed by their quarterfinal loss in 2012.
In May, the Tufts men’s lacrosse team won their second NCAA championship with a 12–9 victory over Salisbury University. There were over 22,000 people in attendance, and this marked the third time that Tufts and Salisbury met in the NCAA Final. After their victory in 2010, Tufts now leads the series 2–1.
Goalie Patton Watkins ’14 made 17 saves during the game, while Cole Bailey ’15, named Most Outstanding Player, tallied 1 goal and 5 assists. Tufts overcame an early deficit and a 5–2 disadvantage in penalties, despite playing without national leading goal scorer Chris Schoenhut ’15, who scored 80 goals this season but was injured in the semi-final win. The Jumbos finished the season with 423 goals to set a new NCAA Division III single-season record. Recently, Tufts lacrosse alumni Drew Innis ’04 directed and edited a documentary about the victory, entitled Tufts Lacrosse: Full Circle—The Road to the 2014 National Championship.
Last spring, Tufts women’s softball dominated the championship game against Salisbury University to defend their title as NCAA Champions. The game concluded a record setting season of 47–4 for the Jumbos. Head coach and Tufts alumna Cheryl Milligan ’95 led the Jumbos to their first NCAA Championship the previous spring (2012–2013).
Their recent victory earns them the place as the first Division III softball team to win back-to-back titles since St. Thomas in 2005. In this championship series, Allyson Fournier ’15 pitched 24 straight shutout innings in the series against Salisbury. Allyson, who received the Honda Sports Award as NCAA Division III Athlete of the Year in 2013, shared Most Outstanding Player honors with catcher Jo Clair ’14, who ended her Tufts career with 67 home runs, placing her third on the all-time Division III list.
In the fall of 2012, Tufts earned its first women’s team title in history with the women’s field hockey 2–1 victory over Montclair State at the NCAA Division III Championship. Heading into the NESCAC semifinals the Jumbos had a 14 game winning streak, which came to an end after their loss to Bowdoin (4–1). Despite this, the team, led by head coach Tina McDavitt, headed to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in five years. The women earned their spot in the NCAA semifinals for the third time (previously 2008 and 2009) with a win over Bowdoin. In the semifinals, the Jumbos defeated the DePauw Tigers (2–0) who had recently beat the national number 1 seed team Middlebury in the third round, to advance to the NCAA final for only the second time in team history. In the championship game, Hannah Park ’16 was named Most Outstanding Player after scoring twice, ensuring the victory, and ending the season with a 19–2 record.