Like every week, this week had its ups and downs. I know that I have a tendency to look on the negative side sometimes, so in an effort to accurately represent my week, I want to acknowledge the good and the bad. Here goes...
First, my rose: I always say that a word that describes most Tufts students is “community-oriented,” and this weekend, I experienced that community-orientedness firsthand through a workshop held by Project SHARE. Project SHARE is a club on campus that spreads health access, education, and resources in our neighboring community. I had never heard of this organization before, until last week, when they posted in the Tufts Class of 2023 Facebook group, advertising a mask-making event, for charity. On Saturday, Project SHARE hosted groups of seven in the Crafts Center to hand-sew masks for a women’s shelter called Rosie’s Place, in Boston. It was lovely getting to work with my seven other peers to learn to make a mask, and even rosier knowing that it was for a good cause!
Next, my thorn: With cases going up on campus, Tufts was forced to take action and enact new safety measures for its students' health. On Sunday, Tufts announced that all students are supposed to stay in our dorms unless we are picking up a meal, going to, or from, class, exercising outside, or studying. This measure, while necessary, was extremely frustrating for a variety of reasons. Not only were we supposed to film our tap dances this week in person (which was cancelled), but we now can no longer hang out with anyone from another dorm unless we are exercising outside. Activities that I was doing before, like reserving a study room with friends to watch a movie (masked and socially distanced), or eating outside, are no longer possible here. Tufts has also increased the number of times we get tested from twice a week, to every other day. I appreciate all that our administration is doing to make our learning environment as safe as possible, but it is unfortunate that it all has to come at such a cost this year.
Finally, my bud: With the new rules in mind, I have decided to go home for Thanksgiving and not return after break. While I am sad to be leaving Tufts a month earlier than I expected, I made the decision knowing that if I stayed here, most of my next four weeks would be spent alone in my single. On the bright side, I now get to spend Thanksgiving with my Mom and Dad, and after about three months of not seeing their faces, I will be very happy to see their smiles.
Going into a strange Thanksgiving, I feel like it is easy to forget all of the good things that we have to be thankful for this year. I may have my thorns, and I wish that I did not need to leave Tufts, but I know that I will be welcomed home with open arms. In addition, I am so incredibly thankful for my professors, who accommodated me and let me go hybrid after Thanksgiving, my parents, for rearranging their schedules to come get me this weekend, and all of my school and home friends-- my school friends, to whom I do not want to say goodbye, and my home friends, with whom I absolutely cannot wait to be reunited.
This year especially, it is easy to get down and pick out the daily disruptions this pandemic has caused, but I have found that my friends and family are constants in my life that always manage to bring me joy. My advice to you this holiday season is to acknowledge the good things, no matter how big or how small. And mask up, it’s a dangerous world out there.