I was incredibly nervous when I first arrived at Tufts. The question running through my mind: How am I supposed to meet people when I’m coming in a year later than most students? Thankfully, Tufts has pre-orientation programs so students can meet each other before classes start. The week before classes began at Tufts, I went on a Tufts Wilderness Orientation (TWO) program, backpacking with ten other transfer students. We all understood how it felt to start over at a new school. Over the course of our five day trip, I learned more about each person and why they’d decided to transfer to Tufts. I felt really validated in my decision, while resonating with their stories, the reasons they’d transferred, and their hopes for Tufts.
After the TWO trip, I’ve remained close friends with the people from my group and as we’ve all found friends outside of the transfer community, we’ve introduced our new friends to each other. I’ve found great comfort in spending time with other transfer students and love meeting all the friends they’ve connected with.
Aside from my transfer community, everyone I’ve met at Tufts so far has been super welcoming. I’ll mention something like, “I’m an English major,” and suddenly the person I’m talking to has introduced me to their three English major friends and I have plans to get coffee with them. This energy — where everyone is eager to help introduce you to all their friends – is everywhere at Tufts. People really go out of their way to introduce you to everyone they know and this has helped me feel very connected to Tufts very quickly.
I meet new people every day through the friends I’ve already made. Someone will have dinner plans and ask me to join or I’ll come study with a friend at the Sink (our on-campus, student-run coffee shop) and meet a new group of people. After the first week, I was already seeing people I knew on my walk to class and they all looked so excited to stop and talk or to simply give me a smile and a wave. At a new school where you’re coming in without knowing anyone, having a few people smile and wave at you makes all the difference.
My web of Tufts connections has also grown once I joined a few clubs on campus. I went to a Boxers on the Hill club meeting last semester on a whim and was so nervous because the only person I knew there was my roommate. By the end of the night, I’d talked to over ten people and throughout the semester, the friendships I made in this club strengthened. Now, a group of us get dinner every week before practice.
I’ve found a similar sense of community at the Tufts Daily, our campus newspaper. I showed up for my first layout training last week and met a whole room of people who were eager to talk to me about the Daily and hear what I was working on. Now, I feel comfortable hanging out in the newsroom and love that I found another community where I feel safe and welcome.
Whether it's a transfer student, Daily staff member, friend from class, or a person I met in the dining hall, I always have someone to study or sit with between classes. The friendly atmosphere at Tufts has made me feel so much more comfortable on campus. I’m thankful for all the connections I’ve made already at Tufts — after just one semester — and I’m excited about the people I’ll meet in the rest of my time here!