Choosing where to go to college is an exciting (and often frightening) experience. You spend four years of high school trying to figure out what it is you want to do and where it is you want to be. You’ve probably had friends go off to schools across the country—maybe even in other countries! Now, you’ve been accepted to Tufts! Woohoo!! But there’s just one problem – Tufts is basically in your backyard; Maybe not literally but let’s just say it isn’t across the country. Now you’re asking yourself, can I have the college experience I’ve always wanted at a school close to home? To help you answer, let me share a little about my experience.
I grew up in Burlington, MA, which is about 20 minutes away from Tufts. My parents grew up in Medford, MA, less than a mile away from Tufts. I grew up around Tufts and the city of Boston. But I’ll be honest, I never really thought about going to Tufts until I was much older. I went to St. John’s Prep, an all-Boys school in Danvers, MA. After High School I did a post graduate year at the Canterbury School in New Milford, CT (about 3 hours from Boston). For those of you who don’t know what a PG year is, it’s basically an extra year of high school to improve your grades, test scores, and for me, athletics.
I went through the college search process during my senior year at St. John’s, and went through it a second time during my PG year at Canterbury. Believe me, nobody knows how to fill out the common app better than me. After two years of searching for the perfect college, I finally found Tufts – which was in my backyard all along. I always say in my info sessions that there is no one PERFECT way to get to Tufts. Everybody has their own path. But once you’re here, you’re a Jumbo.
Going to school close to home was an incredible experience. I lived on campus all four years, and even though I was only 20 minutes away from home, I still felt like I was ‘away at school’. I got to experience a whole new side of the city I grew up in. I made friends from all over the world who had never been to Boston. I quickly found out that I didn’t know the city as well as I thought I did. Going to school close to home has it’s perks – Mom dropping off home cooked meals on a Sunday afternoon, Dad coming up to watch a football game in the fall, and Mom dropping off more home cooked meals (she is a really excellent cook!). Never once did I feel like I never left home, or that I wasn’t branching out into the real world. Because I was creating my own college experience that was unique to me.
So when you make your decision to go to school close to home, know that wherever you go, you’ll make your own experience – and being able to visit your family whenever you want (or not visit), is always up to you.