When I first came to SMFA at Tufts, I was anxious about not being able to make friends and concerned about how I would get involved in activities with my academic time being split between campuses. As a high school athlete, I wasn’t sure how I would fit into the art school community and wanted to find people that understood me.
I quickly learned that wasn’t something I had to worry about, and I was able to join two organizations that brought me closer to various community members across the campuses. I found the boxing club on a whim, logging on to the Tufts Class of 2023 Facebook group and seeing an ad for Boxers on the Hill. I had only gone to a few one-off boxing classes in high school and wanted some motivation to go to the gym on a regular basis without being alone. So, I joined the boxing club and quickly learned everything about the sport. One thing the head of the club emphasized when I first joined was that anyone –athletes, artists, engineers, etc. –can learn the sport with the right training. The space was welcoming and inclusive, with everyone supporting each other to let off some steam and properly throw a punch. Practices are hosted many times a week, so it can easily fit with anyone’s schedule. Now, I am the head of the club and have been encouraging people from all backgrounds to try boxing! I also work at the Tufts Daily, which is a newspaper that reports on things happening in and around the Tufts community. There are a variety of ways to get involved in the paper, with elements of writing, graphic design, photography, business, and social media management happening all the time. I was encouraged to join the layout section of the newspaper by one of my friends (who is also in the Combined Degree program) who thought I would enjoy working with InDesign more. They were right! I quickly learned the ins and outs of InDesign and fell in love with the process of laying out a paper and preparing it for print. For the last three semesters, I have been the Layout Executive for the Tufts Daily. I love coming into the Daily office each week and creating a paper with my peers. It’s also incredibly satisfying to see my work physically in print each week.
I feel very lucky to be a part of two communities that let me explore all of my interests. One of the best pieces of advice I can offer might be cliché, but it’s true: be open to new experiences and try everything. One of the best ways to get involved is by going to the club fair at the beginning of each year and signing up for all the clubs that seem interesting to you. Then you can narrow down exactly what fits with your schedule and goals. You can also always change clubs and join new ones after your first year! You are not stuck in a club just because it is what you have been doing your entire time at Tufts (or life in general). Your interests are allowed to change and grow as you change throughout your time at college!