- Class: Alum
- Major: Other Social Science
- Gender: F
- High School:
- Transfer Student: N
Tufts is perfect in a lot of ways...it's a gorgeous enclosed campus, but it's right by Davis Square, which has a lot of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Boston is really accessible by T or bus (20ish minutes), and Cambridge has countless fun little neighborhoods to explore. The school is a great size because I always recognize people at events and run into people I know on my way to class, but there are always people I haven't met yet. After four years at Tufts, I never felt claustrophobic--it's big enough that everyone can keep their own business private. The president of the university (Larry Bacow) and his wife (Adele) are SO adored by the student body. They are incredibly accessible and make an effort to be involved in all activities on campus. We can tell that they care so much about this school and its students, and that's clear in the fanclubs the Bacows have amassed over the years. Tufts is fairly old, so we do have some pretty stellar traditions (the Naked Quad Run is famous and it's my personal favorite). Although our athletics aren't well known, they have had a great run in the last 4 years. In general, the student body is friendly, smart, and really fun. Kids care about learning, but they're also here to have a good time. Tufts has a good balance of working really hard, but also knowing how to loosen up sometimes. There are a lot of kids here who may come across as ditzes or slackers, but then you have a class with them or read their papers and you realize they're actually closet geniuses.
There are a lot of really dedicated professors here. I had one professor for School and Society who memorized all 40 students' names, hometowns, and high schools by the second class; this is just a small example of how devoted the prof. was. Healthcare in America (CH2) is one of the best classes I've taken (and most kids would say the same)--it's fascinating, challenging, and applicable to our lives because it teaches students all about the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. healthcare system and the alternatives in other countries. Most Tufts classes are dependent on class participation, especially classes under 50 students; these smaller classes are usually discussion-based, and the professor just serves almost as a moderator. Lectures are less participation-heavy, but there are opportunities to talk in class if you like to. Tufts has pretty strict academic requirements, but it's not too hard to fulfill them (just start planning early!). kids complain the most about the math requirement, but there are some courses in other departments that count for it (like Psych Stats). Tufts emphasizes its global focus, so the foreign language requirements are pretty extensive, but there are a lot of different ways to fulfill them. You have to take 3 language classes, but then you can take 3 culture classes or a combination of language and culture. Even though you may complain about it while you're doing it, I promise it's completely worth it.
(Refer to my "big picture" answer for some of the basics) Tufts is a very liberal campus--we joke that there are 3 Republicans on campus. Kids are fairly aware politically, and definitely very opinionated. Perhaps because of this liberal environment, there is a really active LGBT community, and they are completely accepted on campus. Racial and ethnic diversity is lacking a little bit, and kids tend to self-segregate. The international kids hang out together, black kids hang out together, Latino kids hang out together, etc. That's sometimes frustrating, but it's not an intentional hostile segregration; it's more that kids gravitate to kids like them. If you're really motivated to have a diverse group of friends, it's pretty easy to get involved in other cultural communities, but you do have to make an initial effort. A lot of kids come from middle upperclass backgrounds and some (unfortunately) have a somewhat entitled attitude. Because Tufts is so expensive, there are not many kids from working class families; those kids often have a different experience because they have to work a lot more (through work-study or off-campus jobs) during college than their friends.
The Best Things
The people!! I wish I'd had more time to meet more great people. I love that Tufts kids are really smart, but completely down-to-earth and funnn.
The Worst Things
Housing lottery system (it ends up working out, but the process is so complicated and stressful)