Picture this: you wake up in the morning to the chirping of birds outside your window and the golden glow of the sunrise over Boston peeking in through the blinds. As you head to your first class of the day, you see parents walking their children to school and wave to the crossing guard on duty, who you’ve gotten to know over the past few weeks. You start making your way uphill and, even though you begin to breathe just a little harder, the sprawling view of the Pres Lawn takes your mind off of it. You round the corner into Barnum Hall, catch your breath, and the day begins.
This is how most of my weekdays have begun for the last two years since I moved downhill. Don’t get me wrong; I love uphill. I lived in Houston Hall my freshman year, and at the time I couldn’t imagine leaving the Residential Quad, especially since I spend a fair amount of time uphill as a School of Arts and Sciences student. Once I moved downhill to live in the German Language House my sophomore year, though, I realized just how much downhill has to offer—there’s a reason I haven’t left since!
Living downhill, you’re never far from a variety of food options: Dewick, one of the two dining halls on campus; the Campus Center, which serves great salads, pizzas, and French fries (plus late night dining!) in addition to being a great place to meet up with friends; and Hodgdon, where you can pick up a grab-‘n’-go meal. I’ve also found that downhill living helps give me perspective on life outside of Tufts, whether it’s seeing children playing in the street, people making their daily commute to work, or (as I recently discovered) walking to Teele Square to pick up bagels. To top it all off, it’s a breeze to head to Davis Square with friends or head into Boston. All of these things and more are accessible from anywhere on campus, but living downhill puts them that much more within reach.
My Tufts experience also wouldn’t be the same without the community I’ve found in the German Language House. Special Interest Housing is a wonderful way to meet people with interests similar to your own, and I have certainly found that to be true, since many of the other language and cultures houses are also downhill. The seven of us who live in the German House form our own little family every year, and I feel a sense of independence there that helps me keep my ‘school life’ separate from what I do outside of class. To top it all off, I usually get to host my friends when we get together, since downhill campus is often a convenient meeting place for my friends living both off campus and uphill.
So as your day comes to a close, you cross Professors Row once again as you head back to your dorm, grateful you get to end the day by moving with gravity instead of against it. You pick up dinner from any of the downhill dining options, all of which you know will put you within just a few minutes of your dorm. As the door to your residence hall closes, you take another deep breath, knowing that you had another successful day. Now, you’re home.