I’ve been looking forward to revisiting the “Why Tufts?” prompt for quite some time. I still remember the challenge of fitting everything into 100 words or less, and the painstaking process of figuring out where I could cut out a word or two to make space for another one. Maybe you are reading this as you’re about to start the application process, or searching for inspiration, or interested in why Tufts students chose this school. Hopefully, no matter which stage you are at, you can find something helpful here.
Before giving my current “Why Tufts?”, I thought it might be useful to share the original answer to the prompt that I wrote for my application. Here is what I wrote back then:
It poured during my first visit to Tufts. The wet, blue-poncho-clad faces peering out from plastic bubble umbrellas looked mostly miserable. But the smile on my face was just the beginning of my love for Tufts: our tour guide, who made the same ‘gung-ho’ gesture I did and my family hated (a sign, if you ask me); the opportunity to intertwine my passions, from Spanish to biology; the ridiculously strong sense of familiarity I feel on campus; my yearning for a conversation with any Tufts student or alumnus. So why Tufts? Because it already feels like home.
And here’s what I would write now (in 100 words):
Best Crossovers Ever
My first Kaffeestunde at the German Language House completely altered the trajectory of my college career. There, I met Tufts’ exchange students, here for their time abroad, and though the people change each year, the mindset—the global perspective, the desire to learn—does not. They embody Tufts’ interdisciplinary focus, which makes for some of the best crossovers ever: preparing Spanish tortilla de patata in the German House for biology friends; debating which language to use in a group chat; and comparing linguistic expressive approaches with friends studying other languages. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
As you can see, Tufts’ interdisciplinary focus was important to me when I applied, and it has continued to be throughout my undergraduate career. There’s a natural flow on campus between different subjects: it feels normal to go from a German culture course in the morning to a biology lecture in the afternoon, followed by a Spanish literature course in the evening.
It was this intellectual and expressive freedom I was searching for when I came to Tufts, but I’m not sure I realized it at the time; I just knew that I was reluctant to give up the academic and extracurricular interests I had developed throughout high school, and I felt that the interdisciplinary environment on campus would give me the best chance of continuing them. I could never have anticipated picking up another passion by way of the German language, but thanks to the enthusiastic and eclectic nature of the Tufts community, my German minor fits seamlessly with my biology and Spanish majors. Tufts has allowed me to take an inkling of an idea—learning German—and run with it, all while maintaining the subjects and activities I love.
My “Why Tufts?” changes often, and I appreciate that. As a tour guide, I close my tours by giving my explanation, but I don’t think I’ve ever said the same thing twice. One day, it might be why I chose Tufts; another, why I love it now. Sometimes, it’s a way of reminding myself on a tough day that the whole experience is worth the ups and downs. But no matter what, I’m always finding new reasons to appreciate the Tufts community, and I am grateful to be a part of it.