1. Naked Quad Run (NQR)
No better way to celebrate the end of classes than with a naked run around the Tufts academic quad with your friends, dorm-mates, housemates, teammates, and classmates. Although I only got to participate in the event one year before the Tufts President shut it down, NQR will forever be a night to remember. Running with nothing but shoes, ear muffs, and gloves in 20-degree weather while it was snowing, was liberating, fun, and helped get out all of my energy before sitting down and studying for finals. Because cross-country runners are both competitive and actually enjoy running, there was no stopping us. We were the first and last ones out on the course. Members of the men’s xc team managed to run 5 naked miles, adding it to their weekly mileage. The end of NQR triggered a lot of controversy among Tufts students, and was even written about in the Huffington Post and in The Washington Post.
2. Dewick Dinners and Sunday Brunches
Strangely enough, some of my most cherished memories from freshman and sophomore year were in the Dewick dining hall. Aside from the 20 different types of cereal that I took full advantage of, Dewick served for great team bonding and social interactions. Every night after practice the cross country and track team would take up an entire section of tables in Dewick and rearrange them, so we could fit as many people at each table as possible. Sitting next to different people every night made for constant interesting and amusing conversations. Although it is not difficult to make me laugh, there are countless dinners where I was laughing until I was crying.
3. Tilton Hall
Tilton Hall was my freshman year dorm and I would be lost if I didn’t start there. Within a week of meeting the people on my dorm floor, I considered most of them to be brothers and sisters. Hanging out together, watching movies together, studying together, eating together, going out to parties together, running around screaming together, sharing bathrooms together, doing laundry together, and the list goes on and on. Literally doesn’t get any better.
4. Carpenter House
Carpenter House was my home sophomore year. I arrived during a hurricane when Carpenter had just lost power. Showering in the pitch black is actually a really difficult process, so my roommate, Clare, held the door open so I could at least see how to turn the water on and off. The Carpenter roof was great for tanning during day, and stargazing at night. With one communal bathroom among all 20 girls in the upstairs of the house, I met a lot of great people, made new friends, and had numerous shower sing-a-longs. Occupying the downstairs suite was eight of the sophomore lacrosse boys, and I could hear them singing in the shower everyday as well. Once again, people who I barely knew going into Carpenter House I considered family by the end.
5. Triple Crown
Tufts cross country traditions are weird to all people minus the people participating. Triple Crown occurs in the month of December, which is the only month that distance runners are not competing. We take full advantage of December. The first event of Triple Crown is the donut mile. The rules are strictly enforced. At every 400-meters each participant must eat a donut, and cannot start running until the donut is fully consumed. Donut mile leaders often use a bite-water-bite-water method while donut consuming to help wash it down. To ensure the seniors win, the quality of donut decreases with class, often leaving the freshman with the giant jelly-filled, frosting-covered donut.
The second event is the stacks race. At the beginning reading period, the men’s and women’s cross country team gathers in the basement of the library among all of the people studying for finals. A 1000-meter course is mapped out weaving in and out of the tables, desks, bookshelves, and stacks. At midnight, the start of the race is cued and suddenly 40 cross-country runners are sprinting through the library basement in and out of the bookshelves. Due to the high number of points obtained by the winning male and female competitor, the stacks race tends to be extremely aggressive and dangerous. Both times I raced stacks I was shoved into bookshelves, so you have to be ready to throw elbows at all times. We definitely succeed at distracting everyone studying in the basement, and if they are not cheering us on by the end they are just thoroughly confused by the whole situation. The third event normally entails some sort of scavenger hunt, normally involving many different locations around campus and taking pictures with random people. At the end we announce the official Triple Crown winner, which is a huge honor.
People cringe when I tell them that I drove all the way to Indiana to watch my teammate, Audrey, and the Tufts men’s xc team run at nationals. This wasn’t necessarily a good or bad experience, but it was definitely an experience and it was definitely memorable. However, after the 34-hour roadtrip where we drove through a total of 9 states, I can confidently say that I will never drive in a car for more than 6 hours at a time ever again. Thirty of my teammates were piled in 3 vans, and although I could barely handle the lack of sleep, the lack of real food, and everyone’s energy all at once, major team bonding was accomplished. In addition, we covered ourselves in body paint and ran around the course screaming which did put me in a better mood before we had to get back in the car and drive back. There was a point during the trip where I was begging the team to drop me off at the nearest airport. After a long adventure to Indiana I made it back to Tufts! No regrets, I will remember it forever!
7. NCAAs in Wisconsin
Sophomore year I ran at nationals and had the time of my life. The top 8 runners flew to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and we spent 3 days running, goofing off at Target trying on all of their onesies, spending an unnecessary about of time at the hotel continental breakfast, taking pictures wherever we went, and racing. The fact that I had the opportunity to put on a blue and brown uniform and represent Tufts, a top 25 university, at nationals was an honor.
8. East Coast Thanksgivings
As November approached freshman year, I called my mother and asked her if she had booked my Thanksgiving flight home. She replied, “No, Lauren! You’re coming home to California in December for winter break. Find somewhere else to spend Thanksgiving!” My first thought was that I was going to be spending Thanksgiving at Tufts because no one would invite someone they’ve know for approximately 2 months to their house for the holiday. On the contrary, I had the opposite response. Every person I told I wasn’t going home for the break invited me to their house for Thanksgiving. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my new Tufts friends. Freshman year I spent Thanksgiving in Greenwich, Ct with my friend Isabelle. Sophomore year I spent Thanksgiving in New York with my sister. Junior year I spent Thanksgiving in Darien, Connecticut with friends. And this year, I am spending it in Westport, Ct with my housemate Mel’s family. I feel blessed to have met so many great friends at Tufts that are willing to welcome me into their homes and spend time with their families, while mine is across the country.
9. Supporting Tufts Lacrosse in the NCAA Finals in Baltimore, Maryland
When the Tufts lacrosse team qualified for the NCAA finals in 2011, I obviously couldn’t miss it. I drove down to Baltimore with 3 other girls on my team. Before game-day, we spent the weekend in Bethesda, Georgetown, and Washington D.C. at Elisa’s house. We then made the trek over to Baltimore, and fully embraced lacrosse culture as we body-painted, tailgated before the game, and cheered Tufts on in the NCAA finals. Even though they lost, the amount of Tufts fans, alumni, students, and parents that showed up to M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens play, to support the team attempt another national championship was incredible.
10. Vacationing with Tufts Friends
During the summer that I lived at Tufts I took a Greyhound bus all the way to Bryn’s lake house in Skanaeteles, NY with 6 other friends from Tufts. That same summer I spent time in NYC with Tufts people and spent a weekend at a ski resort in Vermont with 8 other friends. Last spring break, I spent the week in the Bahamas with a group of 16 friends from Tufts. It doesn’t get much better than taking a break from school and going snorkeling and jet skiing in the Bahamas.
11. Marathon Monday, House of Blues Concerts, and Red Sox Games
If you come to Tufts you must take full advantage of the Boston life and all that it offers! Marathon Monday is always one of my favorite days of the entire year. My freshman and sophomore year I paced teammates and friends in the marathon. The streets are lined for the entire 26.2 miles with people yelling, cheering, and drinking. While running up “Heart Break Hill” there is no stopping because the thousands of Boston College students want nothing more than for the runners to keep pushing through the pain with 6 miles to go until the finish. The high-energy atmosphere is exciting and inspiring. In addition, Boston is full of great music and concerts, and I always leave them feeling on top of the world. Even though I have only gone to two Red Sox games during my time here, I can feel the passion and pride fans have for Boston sports just from sitting in the Fenway bleachers.
Things I Need To Do Before I Leave