If you’re wondering why the title of this blog sounds silly, it’s because my FOCUS pre-orientation program had a strong affinity for putting the letters “FO” in front of every word humanly possible. FOCUS took place five days before actual orientation started and was ~focused~ on community service projects, placing us all in small groups with other incoming freshmen and two upperclassmen leaders.
More important than teaching me puns like “FO-sure” and “FO-ever,” FOCUS brought me a group of friends that I am still very much connected to as we approach the end of our first semester in college (ahhhhh!). I want to share a few of the lovely ways I am still in touch with my pre-orientation leaders and my fellow group members. For high school seniors looking into colleges to attend, I know a very important part of that search is a sense of community, so I want to give you a peek into the way I’ve found community at Tufts through my FOCUS group.
Even though we no longer see each other every day like we did before classes began, my group and I still get together whenever we can. Every Sunday, we meet up for FO-dinner (as you can see, every word needs the “FO” prefix) and talk about our weeks, as well as what is new and exciting in our lives. This past Sunday, many of us were unable to make dinner, so we agreed on FO-brunch instead; we made pancakes and omelettes at one of my group leader’s houses and had a lovely start to the morning. As I looked around at the smiling faces of my friends during brunch, I realized what a gift it was that we found a way to all come together despite busy schedules.
Another wonderful memory comes from the night I went to see Mamma Mia! with three girls from my FOCUS group. We hadn’t been able to catch up in a while, but ended up going to a nearby theater to see a student-run production of the famous musical. All during the car ride there and back, we talked about our experiences at that point in the semester; we may not have seen each other as frequently, but still made a point of knowing what was going on in each other’s lives at the time. Another night, I was able to grab dinner with two of my fellow FOCUSers, watch some Netflix, relax, and catch up. These are, of course, small incidents, but really strengthen our bond as a group and solidify how grateful we all are to be friends with each other.
Obviously, I encourage everyone interested in a pre-orientation program to do FOCUS, but that decision is still many months away. In the meantime, I want to express how wonderful it is to find friends who make the time to see each other. Though FOCUS certainly helped me make some of these friendships, I can promise you that this experience applies to the Tufts community as a whole. In just the past few weeks, I’ve sent and received many texts asking about availability for a meal, a nice movie night, a day in Boston, etc. I’m incredibly grateful for these friendships, and I hope everyone gets to have similar experiences… I can’t make you join FOCUS to do so (but 100% encourage it), but I can guarantee you’ll find your own loving community at Tufts!