To all our new Baby Bo’s: WELCOME!! I am so excited that all of you get to experience Tufts so very soon in the coming fall! To all our potential Baby Bo’s who are awaiting responses and wondering if Tufts is the right home to choose, I’d like to express a sincere hope that you find the community you’re looking for here with us. I also want to address a question that some of you may be asking as you make that big decision: how does it feel to go to school close to home? Well, as a resident of Medford attending the closest university possible, I can assure you that being so close to home is not a barrier at all; more often than not, it’s actually to your advantage (and, of course, to that of your loved ones who want you close by).
Trust me, I’ll acknowledge that most people see the appeal of choosing a school farther away... Whenever the words “I’m from Medford” come out of my mouth, fellow students are confused and mildly horrified that I go to school so close to home. Most of the time, people simply ask me, “Why?” I completely understand where they’re coming from, seeing as many students use college as an opportunity to move far away from home and become independent. What I’ve learned after a semester, though, is that any distance (small or large) won’t affect your independence, or really any aspect of your college experience, unless you choose to let it.
Quite frankly, I love being close to home because I don’t have to worry about plane rides or trains when I visit; I can swap out my clothes seasonally; and if I forget anything that I really need, my house is a car ride away. However, I don’t use this access unless I really need to; personally, I want to use my time in college to learn how to be an adult and to form many connections—I can’t accomplish these goals if I’m constantly visiting home. That being said, it’s really nice to know that if I’m feeling under the weather or just need a break from campus for a long weekend, my parents are so close to pick me up. Plus, sometimes FaceTime just doesn’t do the trick when I haven’t seen my family in a long time; getting a nice long hug and a home-cooked meal is exactly what I need some days!
I also really love knowing the area that I go to school in, but still being able to discover more and more about it. Yes, I grew up in Medford and went to school in the Greater Boston Area, but I can’t say that I have been to every restaurant, theater, escape room, etc., around here. I love having an answer when people ask me what food they should try, or if I have any recommendations. At the same time, I love not necessarily knowing what to say, and instead proposing that we all try a new place together. In my opinion, going into Boston and its surroundings never gets old; it’s a beautiful city to explore and I don’t think I’ll ever get to discover even half of its hidden treasures.
As for feeling independent, I’ve never felt held back by being close to home. I am, of course, aware that my parents are a lot closer than my friends’ families are, but the Tufts campus is very much its own little area. I am not able to accidentally run into non-Tufts people, including my family, on campus or even in nearby areas, like Davis Square. In the back of my head, I know that I have the ability to go home, but the reality is that I feel as much as others that I’ve been thrown into a completely new phase of being a mature, responsible, and independent individual.
So once again, for all those local, future baby bo’s out there who are considering Tufts for next year: please don’t let the idea of distance hold you back. You might be close to home, but you’ll realize that finding and creating a new home at Tufts will allow you to cultivate your life however you want it—including as many or as few visits to your family (and, let’s be real, to your pets) as you decide.