I’ve been giving quite a bit of thought to how my “Why Tufts” now would differ from my “Why Tufts” then. Have my interests truly shifted that dramatically over the past two years? Has my proposed course path deviated so significantly from the direction in which I thought I was headed in the spring of 2017?
The fact of the matter is I didn’t have a solid path in mind. I had open doors, I had a pile of bricks to pave that path, but I didn’t have a path, and I was comfortable with that. With all the respect in the world to peers of mine who have known since they were two that they wanted to be marble sculptors or marine biologists, it always has been important to me as a student and a person that I keep my options open, and I know many of you share that feeling. It’s a very Tuftsy feeling. It’s not that I found solace in procrastinating a commitment to a career or skillset. Ask any of my friends; I’m not one to procrastinate. What was meaningful to me was not pigeonholing myself into one box, one major, one profession, as a senior in high school.
Tufts, unlike any other school I explored, has allowed me that freedom. I’m a student in the School of Arts and Sciences but can take advantage of the School of Engineering spaces and study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, enrolling in classes from the world-class professors in each. Creative extracurriculars and job opportunities on campus are rarely limited by degree plan. Even my first major, in Cognitive Science and Applied Linguistics, I created myself through the Interdisciplinary Studies program, bolstered by an advising team of my favorite professors with all of whom I’m already on a first-name basis as a sophomore. And the array of courses I’m taking within that major allow me future options in psychology and psychiatry, law and diplomacy, film and theatre, marketing, consulting, academia, the list goes on.
I wrote about that in my Tufts application two years ago, how I was ready to “dibble-dabble,” as the ever-Tuftsy mentality had been described on my campus tour. I wrote about how I hoped to take advantage of the unparalleled infusion of arts into the time-honored academic curriculum thanks to the then-nascent Tufts-SMFA merger and already robust theatre and film programs, and I have, fortunate to be cast as the lead in my first show freshman year and collaborating in producing a feature film six months later. There have also been new discoveries, like the leadership roles I’ve taken up with Chabad after falling in love with their community or my work last summer in the Tufts Psycholinguistics Lab after being invited by my professor to collaborate on some groundbreaking research into the phonotactics of American Sign Language.
So “why Tufts” now? Same reasons as before, only now I can attest to the reality of what I had hoped wasn’t too good to be true. Yes, students do come here to pursue their lifelong single track to their dream job. But so many also come to open more doors rather than close others.