Do you live near Tufts? Are you considering applying, but worried about being so close to your family, whom you love dearly, but from whom you’re ready for some space? Read on, prospective Jumbo.
A lot of people were surprised when I made the decision to come to Tufts (it wasn’t really a decision; I found out that I got in, immediately started doing this really attractive screaming-crying-hiccupping-laughing thing, and broke out in my “I am a dad chaperoning my daughter’s middle school dance” moves around my kitchen). People weren’t surprised because of my choice of school based on culture, but because of the close proximity of campus to my home. I’m from Cambridge, MA, and I could walk back to my house from my dorm, Houston Hall, if I wanted. I got the, “Wow, so you’re gonna be so close!” from my classmates, the “Come back and visit ALL THE TIME”, from my teachers, and sobs of relief from my parents. There was one one-liner that stood out to me, though, and it was this: “Aren’t you worried your parents are just going to drop by without letting you know and embarrass you?”
Well, yes. I was a little worried about that. Not because I thought it would be the worst thing in the world, but because I was pretty sure that it was a trick my parents, Cambridge locals and lovers of surprises, would absolutely pull.
I decided not to worry about it, though, because what good would that do? Tufts was the perfect school for me, and no amount of distance- small or large- was going to keep me from becoming a Jumbo in the fall.
Now, let’s fast forward to three weeks into school. I was sitting on my bed, pretending to do homework, but really taking a buzzfeed quiz titled, “Are You More Star Wars Or Star Trek?” (I got Star Wars-- not surprised). My roommate, the wonderful Katrina, was also sitting on her bed, although she was probably actually doing her homework, when we heard a knock at the door.
Assuming it was one of our hallmates, I lazily called, “Come in”, not willing to get up just to tell our friend Alex that he could not have any of our easy-mac.
The door creaked open, and out from behind it came my mother.
IN HOUSTON HALL.
MY ACTUAL MOTHER, JESSICA SLATTERY MARTIN.
All I could say was, “Who let you in here?!” but I really meant, Wow, it’s so good to see you. I missed you.
That’s right. My mom did that thing, that thing that every local college kid says they’re afraid of, that thing where she shows up unannounced at your dorm.
And guess what? It was awesome.
She brought us a care package consisting of all sorts of desirable items (specifically those pouches of applesauce that are definitely for infants-- what can I say? Delicious and convenient), but the best part, as cheesy as it sounds, was that she was there at all. She didn’t stay for long, maybe only five minutes, but as I hugged her goodbye and said thank you again, I was tickled by how happy the surprise visit had made me, and endlessly grateful that we lived close enough for it to be a reality.
I’m not trying to say that clingy parents are the bee’s knees, or, on the other hand, that going to school too far away for your parents to come visit is a deal breaker. Just don’t write off a school (especially a school as great as Tufts) because you think your parents could drop by unannounced every once in awhile. You might find that getting to hug your dad a little more often or getting a fresh taste of your mom’s cookies lifts your spirits a tiny bit more than you thought it would.