This Wednesday, I lugged my suitcases and boxes up several flights of stairs to move into my dorm, but I barely registered how heavy they were due to my significantly more prominent feeling of excitement. Though the beginning of this school year is certainly not how I pictured it, it is in many ways exactly what I had hoped for: I get to see my friends again, I get to dive back into exciting classes and clubs, and I get to be back at the place I love so much (and, of course, I get to blog again)!
To be honest, though, the past few days have been a whirlwind with moving in, taking classes, and re-adjusting to college life all at the same time. At first, I really struggled trying to figure out how to convey all the emotions I feel and experiences I’ve had in my first few days. But then, nostalgia and inspiration hit me, and I remembered my very first blog here at Tufts, called “Rose, Bud, Thorn: Freshman Edition.”
For those who haven’t heard of the Rose, Bud, Thorn (“RBT”) game, the premise is pretty simple: you share something that is going really well and bringing you joy (rose), something that you’re looking forward to (bud), and something that is a current challenge or struggle (thorn).
I feel that now, being back at Tufts, circling back to that first blog of mine is especially appropriate. I am once again starting a period of adjustment, mostly marked by excitement and joy about being back, but still trying to figure out what my Tufts life will look like in this very new situation.
So, without further ado, here is my sophomore edition of RBT: My rose is absolutely being moved into my new home in an apartment-style dorm on Tufts campus. My direct roommate is my closest friend at Tufts, and we have finally been reunited, which is SO very exciting. We also live with 8 of our other friends, sharing a kitchen, where we cook (or pretend we know how to) and a common space, where you can find us watching telenovelas or reality TV together. I’ve also seen other friends out and about campus, and it puts a huge smile on my face every time it hits me that I’ve finally arrived back at my second home.
My bud is starting the second week of classes because I’m already quite excited by what I am set to learn this semester. This fall, I chose to take classes across several departments in order to vary the content I’ll be learning; I’m taking some psychology classes (which are for my major, so I already know I’ll love them), ethics, community health, and finance. I am really looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and taking these classes in subjects I’ve never studied before; I’ve always admired the variety of departments at Tufts, and I’m finally taking the time to explore them!
My thorn is simply that, while I am so thankful that my education and overall Tufts experience can continue, I find myself sometimes missing the version of Tufts that I knew last year. Of course, this is perfectly natural because we have all been affected by the pandemic in some capacity and are wishing that things can return to normal soon. But, I will say this: though I miss walking around this campus carefree, I am so incredibly proud and grateful to be in a community of students who are respectful and mindful when it comes to taking care of their fellow Jumbos.
Do I miss hugging people when I bump into them on campus? Do I miss being able to grab a meal with friends and sit for hours in the dining hall? Do I miss walking to my classes every day instead of hopping on and off Zoom calls? Of course! But I also really love getting closer to my friends by making a conscious effort to stay connected over video calls or by meeting up safely and distantly on campus. I love knowing that my professors truly care about my well-being and will make the best of online classes. Most of all, I love knowing that I am back in the place that gave me the most wonderful first year I could ask for. Yes, there are many roses, buds, and thorns mixing together right now, but I think my second year will turn out to be my biggest rose yet.