Every Tufts student (and many prospective students!) knows that Tufts has great study abroad opportunities and that about 50% of the student body goes abroad at some point during their college career. I thought I was going to be among those people who spent at least a semester away from the Medford/Somerville campus and go abroad. It's the quintessential college experience, right?
I eventually came to the conclusion that no, it was not the quintessential college experience-- at least not for me. For so many people, going abroad is a fantastic way to expand your horizons, meet new people, and get outside of your comfort zone, not to mention you get to travel all over the world! Those all sound like fantastic reasons to go abroad, but it's an extremely individual choice, and while I believe that going abroad would have been an amazing experience, I found more reasons to stay than to go.
For many, college may be the only chance to go abroad, but you also only have four semesters to be at college in the first place, and for me, I didn't want to spend any more time away from Tufts than I had to. There are also so many classes I want to take here (yeah, I'm a nerd- I know). Going abroad places an emphasis on learning outside of the classroom (a dream come true for many). Of course you may feel lonely at times being away from your college friends, but imagine all the new friendships that are forged during this time during your adventures. Like I said before, this is a highly individual choice, and there is no right or wrong answer here, which makes it even harder for some to decide.
In the end, for me at least, I knew that either way, I would probably have days where I was satisfied with my choice, and other days when maybe I would wish I had made the other choice. But I came to the conclusion that just because something was considered the "norm" does not mean that you need to follow that path or that you can't get the same benefits out of staying on campus. There are so many opportunities right here, that I eventually decided to stay, and so far, I've been loving that decision.