If any of you have been on my Tufts tour, you may remember me huffing and puffing as I walked up the steps next to the president’s lawn, enthusiastically…
Something I’ve been wondering lately is if it would be worth it to begin college during a pandemic. I can imagine that a lot of high school seniors right now are feeling immense ambivalence—is it better to take a gap year, or to run the risk of a somewhat isolated freshman year? I don’t have a good answer to that, but I wanted to take a second to really paint college life right now, in the hopes of maybe saying something that some senior somewhere will find helpful when making this decision.
Truth is, college life right now is not the traditional college scene that you see in movies. There are days when I don’t see anyone without a mask; nevertheless, I think college students are adapting and finding new, safe ways to hang out. Here are some of the ways I’ve spent time socializing this week:
Porch hot chocolate:
On Sunday night, I met up with the president of Theta, and we drank hot chocolate on the Theta porch while sitting six feet apart. Either we’ve built up a tolerance to the cold, or the hot chocolate worked miracles, but we were able to last for over an hour before getting too cold. I call that a win!
Hide and Seek in the SEC:
On Friday night, I organized a sophomore tap hide and seek game in our Science and Engineering Complex (the SEC). Because there are ten sophomores, we were able to comply with the Tufts rules which limit gatherings to ten people. We broke into pairs and then hid in empty classrooms in the SEC (while being mindful of the people studying around us). Unfortunately, I’m a better social planner than I am a seeker, so my partner and I were not so successful in finding our friends; however, I had a really fun time and it was nice to be able to hang out with some of my friends who I haven’t been able to see as much this year.
Walk Along the Minuteman Trail:
On Saturday, I walked with my two friends, Kayla and Hannah (pictured above), on the Minuteman trail. The trail picks up in Davis Square, which hosts the nearest T-station to campus (until the Medford/Tufts station opens in 2021). The trail is super scenic, with sculptures and artwork all along the trail, adding to the experience.
Dancing on Tisch Roof:
One of my classmates in my dance class this semester organized a group bonding on Tisch Roof. Saturday night, we met up and got to know each other better with question games. One of the questions was “what is your favorite song right now?” After we each shared, we listened to each other's picks. Because we are dancers, and were also very, very cold, we decided to choreograph to the songs, and we had an absolute blast dancing on the roof!
I want to note that half of these experiences were with people who I just met/hung out with for the first time this week. I do think that it is possible to make new friends at college during the pandemic, although, not necessarily an easy feat. My Emma’s Advice for today is to take the time to learn what college life is like right now at each school you are considering. Reach out to current students, look over the Covid rules, and consider what you want out of your college experience. Hopefully, we won’t need to worry about Covid next year, but it is best to be prepared!