Over the past week, I’ve had so many assignments, readings, club meetings, Zooms, and so, so much homework, but for once, I surprisingly don’t feel as stressed as I thought I would. I won’t lie to you: sophomore year has definitely kicked into challenging mode, and it’s safe to say I don’t always have the absolute time of my life trying to get everything done. BUT, there is a huge silver lining that makes all that seem so insignificant, and it’s simply this: my professors are AMAZING! To give you some idea of the wonderful encounters I’ve had with my professors, I’ll go through a few of my classes:
For Experimental Psychology, Professor Heather Urry is so incredibly caring and always encourages us to put our mental health and personal needs first. She sends weekly check-ins, has made a class Spotify for us all to add music to, and always uses cool Zoom features to keep virtual class engaging. I also had office hours with her where we ended up talking about our favorite beaches and hiking areas around Massachusetts, as well as discussing some research and career paths; we also found a shared love of the band Hall & Oates. She also introduced our class to a tool called Zotero for citing sources and keeping track of research papers…I know you all must be thinking how incredibly boring that sounds, but I spent at least 2 hours geeking out about how cool it was and how much time it would save me with research papers. Basically, I know Professor Urry has my back, and she’s simply the greatest!
Another class I’m enrolled in is called Parent Child Relations, offered through the Child Studies department. I added the class a bit late in the semester and was very nervous I’d be far behind, but the professor, Prof. Mary Casey, encouraged me to join and was so welcoming right from the beginning; I set up a Zoom with her in a frantic panic that I’d missed everything, but she nicely reassured me and told me exactly what I needed to do to be caught up. She is also one of the best lecturers I’ve ever had, and I swear I either leave that class almost in tears or in a state of sheer excitement because of how passionate she is, and how much she inspires me to question how this class applies to the real world. For example, last Thursday, we watched a Ted Talk about Marian Wright Edelman, a woman who has dedicated her life to giving children a better life and better resources. After this, Professor Casey urged us as a class to think about Edelman’s commitment to service, and how we might apply this to the world around us as members of a young and passionate generation. To me, this represents the true purpose of education: not just reading textbooks for the sake of spitting facts, but rather learning how to improve myself as I grow into an adult in this world.
I have to also shout out my advisor, Professor Lisa Shin, who could see that I was overwhelmed and aiming to do too much, and therefore advised me to drop a class in order to have a better overall fall semester experience. That led to me having to send an email to the professor whose class I had to drop, and I told him that I was very sad to not be able to take the class this semester, but look forward to signing up in another semester (which is very true, it’s top of my list for next semester). The professor, Prof. David Denby, was so incredibly kind in his response, telling me that he’d guarantee me a spot in the class when I sign up again, which, of course, makes me even more excited to take the class soon!
I could honestly gush about my professors all day, but I’ll spare you the hour-long rant of professor appreciation. I’ll end by saying this: the professors at Tufts are so much more than just the people who teach you new material—they are kind, caring, and supportive individuals who truly make this place so special.