One of the most important parts of your college experience is finding a community of people who care about and support you. Fortunately, I found my community at SMFA in my classes, by joining student organizations, and by randomly saying hello to people I did not know around the school. It can definitely be difficult to put yourself out there, but everyone I have met at SMFA has welcomed and supported me. And, by putting myself out there, I have built a strong community of friends.
I made my first friend at SMFA in a very unusual way. On the first day of classes, I was sitting on the SMFA shuttle heading to the SMFA campus. A girl I did not know sat down next to me, and instead of putting in my headphones, I decided to start a conversation with her. Fortunately, she was also a first-year and was also trying to find her SMFA community. Our conversation easily flowed on the shuttle, and to this day she is still one of my closest friends at SMFA. Since that moment, I try to strike up conversation whenever I am on the shuttle. Pushing myself to do this has helped me meet some really cool people and make new friends.
I have also made many friends in my art classes. Every class at SMFA is collaborative in some way; you’re either working on a project with other people or critiquing your classmates' work. These collaborative moments are where some of my strongest friendships have formed. The friends that I have made in my art classes have built the foundation of my community at SMFA. They are always excited to visit art exhibits in the Boston area with me and often recommend new artists to check out.
The final way I have strengthened my community at SMFA was through joining student organizations. Unsure of how to make friends as a first-year, I decided to check out as many organizations as possible. After going to many General Interest Meetings, I found the three organizations that fit my interests the most: Boxers on the Hill (a group that teaches boxing to fellow students), the Tufts Daily (Tufts’ student run newspaper), and the Tufts Tour Guides organization. Prior to joining these organizations, I had no experience in boxing, organizing a newspaper, or giving tours. But these student organizations have taught me all the necessary skills to succeed in their respective fields and have become strong and supportive communities for me.
Finding community at SMFA can happen literally anywhere. From dorms to classes, dining halls to the SMFA shuttle, and everywhere in between, everyone is trying to find their sense of community. So, when you come to SMFA, be yourself and you will find an incredibly supportive and loving community of lifelong friends.