“The next Orange Line train to Oak Grove is now arriving,” uttered the MBTA train voice. People hastened through the fare gate while a determined and seemingly irritated look painted the riders’ faces (rightly so). My dreaded rush-hour commute from JFK/UMass station, where my high school was located, to Sullivan Station in East ‘Ville was almost complete. I glared at my phone as I waited for my mother to pull up in her silver 1999 Nissan van; she was late as usual. To alleviate the boredom that ensued, I turned to Instagram, then Snapchat, and finally Facebook. My efforts proved unsuccessful.
Suddenly, I received an email with the subject “Your Admissions Decision to Tufts University.” I remember logging on to the decision portal and seeing colorful confetti spread across my iPhone screen. The words “Congratulations” jumped off the page meanwhile tears of joy and pride trickled down my cheeks. Tears, a few gracias a Dios, and tender hugs characterized my mother’s reaction to my fourth college acceptance and to the fact that I’d be the first in my family to attend university. After a period of elation from my acceptances, I knew I’d have to decide where to spend the next four years. Inevitably, the question of “Is Tufts too close to home?” emerged.
While I concluded “no” to this question, in this blog post, I’ll outline the pros and cons of attending college geographically close to home. Before we delve in, I want to acknowledge some of my privileges (attending a private high school, getting accepted to multiple institutions, and receiving financial aid) and remind us to actively reflect on how certain privileges and oppressions impact the way we maneuver this world. Furthermore, not everyone may feel at home in their physical address because home is about a feeling. Lastly, these pros and cons are greatly influenced by my experiences as a first-gen student, second-gen immigrant, and low-income queer Latinx.
Let’s start with the cons: