My "Why Tufts" when I applied:
On that rainy October day, one thing about Tufts caught my attention. Outside the library in the cold, a huddled group was chanting "Save the cheetahs! Buy a brownie!" I left the tour group and bought some brownies out of pure empathy, recalling many times I had to put myself out there to fund raise. For UNICEF, for local pantries, for cheetahs: I was pleasantly reminded of myself, seeing like-minded teenagers try to push the world forward, one dollar and one brownie at a time. Of course, the shared dedication to homemade baked goods was a pleasantly delicious treat as well.
-Hasan Khan, Applicant for the Tufts class of 2022
My "Why Tufts" now:
It’s been almost 18 months since that fateful and rainy October day, and I’ve passed by Tisch library soaked from precipitation maybe 18 thousand times since. On one hand it might be how often it seems to rain or snow here on campus (not all that bad when you’re not trying to keep up with a tour guide). On the other hand it might be how often I’m jetting right past the library straight to Campus Center, where I’ve learned all the rest of the bake sales occur. But that’s just why I still pass by Tisch (of course I do actually use the library sometimes too). My new answer to ‘Why Tufts?’ would take a very different approach—without the worry about word count because that part is already over! Congrats! So here’s your unadulterated version of why you should be a first year at Tufts this fall (from a current first year who also wasn’t sure which school to enroll at last spring).
Your classmates, your new family:
It’s honestly quite astounding how many fellow first years I have met this year who I thought were upperclassmen. Besides the constant deep staring into the horizon, searching for answers to their latest genetics problem set, Tufts students engaged in serious work exude a level of maturity that is unmatched. Everyone from hardcore lifting club bros to the most confident of Mock Trial lawyers shows their passion and does so with Jumbo pride. They already look and seem like experts in their fields! Me being a daytime chemistry researcher, nighttime dancer, and weekend speaking coach among all these young professionals seems like a light workload sometimes, but at the end of the day, you remember you too are in this class, this university of exceptional individuals forging their own paths (it’s enough to inspire a smile on a rainy day)!
A community unbroken:
Besides how talented Tufts first years are (you’ll become immediately aware of this at the orientation talent show, full of original rap and contortion acts), there are over a hundred different ways to connect and get to know each other over four years, finding the most sincere friendships I’ve ever created. Tufts makes it easy with small class sizes (most of my classes as a first year have around 10-15 people) and the invaluable study groups through the Academic Resource Center to make a large class of 300 people into a more manageable group of 10 or so comrades with a student group leader. I very much went into my large classes intimidated by a wall of people I didn’t know, but before long, two seniors in my chemistry lab more or less “adopted” me as both their lab partner and first-year-in-need-of-guidance. Other surprising ways I’ve made friends here are through the weekly meditations in Goddard Chapel, participating and performing in the South Asian Culture Show, and even just sitting by someone alone in the dining hall and recognizing from afar exactly what they’re stuck on in their problem set (obviously helping them thereafter).
Tufts, the campus on a hill:
“Why Tufts” now? Even after a couple weeks of first semester, I recognized one fact in particular over and over again: without a hill to climb up and down every single day, campus would be kinda small! Although, experiences like participating in the illumination ceremony, where the entire class of 2022 stood together with candles to illuminate the hill, volunteering off campus, visiting friends at other schools, and enjoying Boston’s vibrant culture and points of attraction (and food) all contextualize our hill that sets it apart from the other rolling Massachusetts ranges. At Tufts, you feel purpose. Purpose is palpable in every classroom corner and late night dining hall study break. It’s etched on our faces, it guides our conditioned calves up and down, up and down the hill. Not even two semesters into my life here, I hear “Why Tufts?” and struggle to think “Why not?”