On Saturday, my friend and I booked a study room, intending to do at least three hours of homework that day. We had both talked about how much work we had to do, and how neither of us really felt like doing it, but we could mutually motivate each other to power through. Little did we know that idea would slip through the cracks when, on our way to the study room, we passed the shuttle that takes students to the SMFA: the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. As we walked past the bus, we both looked at each other, and in a moment of pure excitement, we hopped on and went to the Fenway campus.
Though I’ve been at Tufts for almost two years now, I’d never actually taken advantage of the opportunity to visit the Fenway campus and to walk around the SMFA and MFA area. As Tufts students, you actually get free access to both a shuttle to Boston and to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) itself. Basically, you can plan an entirely free and very fun trip to Boston… and what college student doesn’t love enjoying a day out while saving money?
While my friend and I didn’t end up getting tickets to the MFA on this trip (though we absolutely will in the future), we did end up walking around the Back Bay area of Boston. When I used to go into Boston more often (pre-pandemic, of course), I would usually take the T to Park Street or Downtown Crossing, and remain in the area near Boston Common. Or, sometimes, I would walk around the aquarium and harbor area. However, I’d never journeyed to Back Bay and Fenway, so my Saturday trip was one that allowed me to explore an entirely new setting. Not only was this area of Boston a bit quieter than the Boston Common area, but it also had lovely brownstone houses and interesting architecture.
We also walked past the Northeastern campus multiple times, which I hadn’t visited since my senior year in high school. I had truly forgotten how many other colleges are in the Boston area, and it was very exciting for me to see other college students out and about. I absolutely love that Tufts is not directly in the city, but in the same time, that means that most of my days are spent seeing the same group of people and the same group of buildings. I love the fact that even a 25 minute bus ride can change that scenery, and remind me of how lucky I am to be so close to Boston and so easily able to access it.
Though going places other than Tufts campus is really hard and a bit scary right now, I was so appreciative to enjoy that unplanned day trip with my friend. I felt much more comfortable taking a shuttle that is limited to Tufts students, rather than taking the T or even an Uber right now. Also, I finally got to see the SMFA mascot, Bessie the Rhino, in person. I’d only ever seen Bessie in pictures before, and was so excited to finally see Jumbo’s counterpart. (The picture for this blog is actually one I took of the entrance to the SMFA building, including the statue of Bessie.) Saturday was definitely a welcome change of scenery and change of pace, and reminded me of the cool opportunities that we have as Tufts students. Now, I’m already eager to take a trip back there another weekend and maybe go into the MFA this time as well!