I remember when I was choosing colleges to tour, my mom sat me down and read me the three most common words that students used to describe their schools on Niche. Through those three words, she told me to choose which schools sounded like places where I could picture myself, and then, she revealed which schools they were, and we toured them. For Tufts, one of the words that you commonly hear is “quirky.” Niche says we refer to ourselves as “quirky,” the admissions team says the students here are “quirky,” and on my own tours, I say I like the “quirky” students here. So, what does that actually mean?
On any given weekend, you can find Tufts students participating in a variety of activities on, and around, campus. In non-pandemic times, Tufts students see student-run performances, go to parties, or have a quiet game night at the end of the week, just like students at any other school. Last year, I sometimes took the T into Boston to watch a ballet or a movie, or I walked to Davis Square for some ice cream. I think those are pretty typical college-town things to do too.
What makes Tufts stand out are the things we do here that are not so conventional. For example, last Friday, my roommate, Mary-Joy, and I had a rom-com night with our friend, Emma, from across the hall. So far, seems pretty normal, right?
Now, what if I told you that our movie night took place inside a fort...
Yes, true story, I fully admit that last weekend, my friends and I built a fort in our room by securing a blanket between the mattresses and the frames of our twin beds. I think as we sat with the blanket strewn above us, leaning on the pillows we had decorating the inside, and gulping down popcorn as we watched the Netflix original “Set it Up,” I first fully comprehended exactly what quirky meant to me.
I used to think quirky meant weird, eccentric, or peculiar— all words with slightly negative connotations, but now I think of it as unique and special, something to be valued. To me, a quirky person is original and fun, the kind of person who can be silly even during the most stressful times. It’s the kind of person who keeps life interesting during a pandemic, the person who zests up their movie night by watching from inside a fort. Maybe making a fort sounds a little dorky, or too babyish for three 19-year olds, but it was creative and entertaining and exactly what I needed at the end of a long week of working hard. Quirkiness can be whatever you want it to be, but to me, it is being yourself and owning it. And that is one thing at which I think Tufts students excel—being themselves and owning it. In fact, one could say, it is their forte.
Today, my Emma’s Advice comes from the heart of someone who truly didn’t know where I belonged when I started applying to college. Once you’ve seen five schools, they all start to look and sound the same, so what I suggest is really try and get a feel for the students. Do you get a positive vibe from them? Do they like their school? Could you picture yourself being friends with them? And when you consider Tufts, if you think you would’ve enjoyed making a fort with me, Mary-Joy, and Emma, then perhaps Tufts is the place for you!