We asked our student communications group for a few reflections on the semester so far. Here's what they had to share:
Jacob Shaw (pictured in banner shot)
Returning to school after a long summer is always a jolt back to reality, and not always a welcome one. In high school, no matter how much you love your courses and clubs, there’s the inevitably impending sense of getting back to the grind, a countdown until the next break (or if you’re an optimist, an endeavor to make the most of your time until the next break). Last summer ended with my packing up my Chicago life and venturing out to Boston to start my college life as a freshman at Tufts, a jolt to reality if ever there was one.
But returning to college after a summer—now, there’s an experience I’d never had before.
Reality check? Yes. Change of setting? Of course.
But as long as I waited for that feeling of “back to the grind” to kick in, what I found instead—and I mean this—was a refreshing wave of opportunities coasting back in. As much as we were, and are, getting back to hitting the books (on fascinating subject matters, nonetheless!), I’ve just as much been hitting the creative opportunities (attending theatre on and off campus, keeping up with some art in our amazing, resource-stocked facilities, shooting films with the state-of-the-art professional equipment I can rent free from the ExCollege), hitting the work opportunities (not only producing marketing content for Admissions but also doing some groundbreaking research on ASL phonotactics after Professor Ariel Goldberg invited me to collaborate with him in his Psycholinguistics Lab), hitting the social scene (reuniting with groups of college friends is more like returning to camp than to school, and welcome communities like Chabad and even our freshman pre-orientation group are eager to reconnect), and certainly hitting the dining hall (with miso-glazed salmon, fig and goat cheese paninis, a noodlery, and hundreds of other offerings daily that continue to shock my parents every time they come to visit, I admittedly went for the unlimited meal plan again). Don’t get me wrong; I love my home, my town, and especially my family, though none of this would have been possible back home, and certainly not as conveniently to where I live!
But suffice it to say, the best part of returning to Tufts as a sophomore is that the how-to-be-a-college-student learning curve is out of the way. The doors are open wider than ever, and you can set foot on campus ready to hit the ground running.
Sophomore fall has been busy, interesting, and fun! Am I exhausted? Maybe. Am I loving everything I’m doing? You bet. I’m really interested in my four classes, enjoying being a Teacher’s Assistant, and learning more about writing through the Tufts Career Center, Student Communication Group, and The Tufts Daily. One thing that’s been extremely meaningful this semester is being a student on the Experimental College’s board. The ExCollege is one of Tufts’ most unique features, offering courses for credit that wouldn’t necessarily fit in a traditional classroom setting. As a board member, I’m involved in monthly meetings, deciding on courses, and speaking with parents and faculty about how amazing the ExCollege is. It’s really fantastic to be on the ExCollege board, especially considering how passionate I am about new and exciting academic opportunities. Look out for an ExCollege feature in our next issue of JUMBO Magazine, written by me!
With the general election so close, JumboVote, the student-led organization that promotes voting and civic engagement, has been kicked into high gear. The organization’s Voting Party took place in the Mayer Campus Center today, where students could register to vote and request absentee ballots while enjoying some free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
Personally, I came to them asking for help getting an absentee ballot, and the students that helped me were extremely informative and enthusiastic. It took all of ten minutes before my request was mailed off, getting me a step closer to participating on November 6th. For me, getting politically involved has sometimes felt confusing and tedious; but with JumboVote’s help and their contagious passion, it’s much easier to see the value of my vote.
In the 2016 election, 1,366 Tufts students registered to vote through JumboVote. This year, despite historically lower turnout in midterm elections, JumboVote aims to surpass that number. The organization’s growing number of representatives can be found in every Tufts school and administrative department, so asking questions and getting involved has never been so easy. Plus, with the incentive of free ice cream, doing our part in the political process has never tasted so sweet.