The First Month at Tufts: My Reactions

Growing up as an only child and living in the same place for 18 years, I knew college was going to be a major change. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when the end of August rolled around, I was ready to leave home and make my way to Tufts. It’s been a month, and I want to share some of my first experiences as a collegiette!

Pre-Orientation I participated in Tufts Wilderness Orientation (TWO), a pre-orientation program offered the week before the official freshman orientation. Being able to spend a week in the wilderness with a small group of people, away from the madness surrounding the start of college, was one of the best choices I’ve made coming to Tufts. I arrived back at school for orientation week knowing that I now had a handful of real friends here, and it helped me feel a lot better about being in a new environment.

O-Week Orientation week was one of the most jam-packed, stressful, and exciting weeks of my life. Everyone is just as nervous & thrilled to be there as you are, and I have never heard (and forgotten) so many new names in such a short period of time! Although not every friend you make during orientation week will last you a lifetime, having people to sit next to in your O-Week sessions and to say “hi” to around campus made the new experience feel a little more familiar.

Communal living Going from not sharing any space as an only child to living in a 12’x14’ double on the fourth floor of a dorm was definitely one of the biggest changes between home and college. That being said, dorm life is basically living with hundreds of your friends – it’s amazing how many connections I’ve made just by leaving my door open!

Planning!!

I’ve always been a huge planner, so having full control over my own schedule is something I’ve always looked forward to. On campus there are hundreds of clubs to sign up for! Unlike high school, you can find ways to plan out your day so it’s not completely structured with only academic classes one right after the next. I have a lot to do every day, but I can do it when it works for me! I’m much happier with the flexibility and ability to create my own schedule!

Navigating campus Everyone gets lost the first week, everyone gets lost the second week, and maps help you through the third week…it’s normal to be overwhelmed by a new place, but I found myself getting the feel of things pretty quickly and have even found a few shortcuts!

Managing meals Coming to college, I think everyone’s concerned about the “Freshman 15.”  Luckily for me, it’s been easier to avoid than anticipated! With extra time on my hands, I can eat when I’m hungry instead of being forced to eat at absurd times like in high school. Also, when they tell you that Tufts is on a hill, they’re not joking – you’re free to treat yourself at meals (maybe even with an off-campus meal)!

 

Classes After O-Week and having my schedule packed with mandatory programs and social events, I had almost forgotten why I was at Tufts in the first place – to learn!! College academics are definitely different from those in high school, but it’s been a great change to learn about things I’m interested in as opposed to just fulfilling the requirements.

Joining groups As soon as I could, I signed up for as many clubs and activities as possible. Although my days busy are now super busy, I’m never bored and they’ve given me a sense of community, which has helped turn Tufts from a new place to home.

Reaching out In high school, people tended to stick to their own groups when hanging out or grabbing meals, but in college people want to branch out. I’ve made so many of my friends at Tufts by just asking for someone’s phone number and making a spontaneous plan with them! Don’t be afraid to reach out!

Understanding myself I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last month since coming to college. I’ve started figuring out how to balance my priorities and work, what I have time for, and what truly makes me happy. Although not every second at my dream school has been an absolute dream, it’s all been a learning experience and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come to Tufts. Let’s go ‘bos!!!

 

And, of course, the biggest thing I’ve learned since coming to Tufts: The Battle between Carm and Dewick (Carm, obviously.)