- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Government
- Gender: M
- High School: Blind Brook High School
- Transfer Student: N
Tufts is exactly what I looked for in a college. Students are passionate about their interests and motivated to learn, but at the same time recognize that college is about growing. Everyone realizes that we are at college to learn and expand our horizons, but at Tufts you see that this is best done both inside and outside of the classroom. Our professors are great and we learn a tremendous amount in class, but the relationships you make with friends and peers make college what it is. Tufts brings together a diverse student body of people who come from different backgrounds, have different interests, share different views on all issues and so on. Tufts students care about working together to make a difference and learn for the sake of learning. The typical student is competitive within himself, but never at the expense of another student. The student body is a collaborative and integrated group which forms a warm, welcoming community. On a more basic level, Tufts is the perfect size - 5000 undergraduates. The school is big enough that you have resources of a school five times its size but small enough that you can get around easily and stay close with friends and professors. Being 20 minutes from Boston is an amazing thing. The city is incredible and opens up Tufts students to anything they may want. It is a "small big city" that has a very young feel to it. Overall, Tufts is a very special place. Students are not afraid to admit its shortcomings. It is not hard to come across administrative red-tape and sometimes things take longer to fix or get done than students may hope. Residential Life at Tufts is often a huge pain - a well-known fact. And yes, we don't have an overwhelming sense of athletic school spirit. But does an school with only 5000 students? These few features, however, become insignificant to Tufts students. We're on a beautiful campus near an awesome city with a student body who is motivated, active and extremely happy. People are sometimes turned off to Tufts because it doesn't get the name recognition that Harvard or some other Ivies do, even though Tufts is equally as competitive as all of those school. This should never deter a student from considering Tufts, where they would get phenomenal academics and a very energetic student body.
Tufts is known for its top-notch academics. Like at any school, professors will vary in their quality or availability. But overall, professors are experts in their fields and care about their students' progress. On a medium-sized campus, it is very easy to make and maintain relationships with professors. Students coming from smaller high schools have to realize that often they will need to make the effort to familiarize themselves with professors, but once that happens many professors truly do care about forming relationships with students. As always, its a two-way street. Students can find classes in whatever may interest them or, like many liberal arts students, explore different areas that are new and exciting. You can find anything from "the 1960s" to "American Sign Language" to "Mathematics of Social Choice" and everything in between. We have the Experimental College which is a truly unique and special feature of the school. The Ex College offers a variety of courses which change every semester taught by professionals from outside Tufts, Tufts faculty and even qualified upperclassmen. These courses are quirky and focused ones which attract students who are genuinely interested in them. They are amazing opportunities and really embody the Tufts notion of learning for the sake of learning. Courses can include "Producing Films for Social Change," "Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies" and "the History and Mathematics of Baseball." The Tufts faculty is comprised of world-renowned experts in their fields who have so much to share with their students (like Daniel Dennet in the Philosophy department or renowned psychologist Robert Sternberg, our Dean of Arts and Sciences). Tufts students put in a good amount time for their work, but it never takes over their lives. Coming to Tufts, it seems to many students that we have an overwhelming amount of requirements. However, these easily disappear when we learn how many courses double-count and that AP credit is very helpful. Language can seem intimidating at first when students see that there is a 6-semester language requirement (three semesters of spoken language). However, AP credit or the placement test quell any fears. As a freshman, I came to Tufts having already fulfilled 4 out of 6 semesters of Spanish.
Tufts students definitely abide by a "work hard, play hard" mentality. Students are intelligent and intellectual, but really care about having fun and thriving in college. Students always find what fits for them at Tufts, whether it's the party scene, drama or anything else. Tufts is known to be very diverse (with about 17% international) with a special emphasis on internationalism and viewing problems through a global lens. You meet students who are diverse in thought, background, religion, personal views and so on. Coming from a small, relatively homogeneous high school this was a much-needed breath of fresh air. Living on campus, there is not a tremendous feeling of religious or racial diversity for some reason. There is an active Jewish presence, but other religious groups are not really in the limelight. Students are certainly liberal-minded, and anyone would be hard-pressed to know more than one or two conservative students. Anyone looking for a traditional, conservative student body should definitely not consider Tufts. Still, although there is a liberal tilt, it is by no means overwhelming. Students are open-minded and welcome diversity in any form. It is sometimes easy to find self-segregation at Tufts; jocks and minorities are often known to group together, but are definitely not separate from the rest of the students. Tufts students come from all over the US and the world, and I can guarantee your best friends will most likely not all come from the same state (a great thing!).
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The Office of Residential Life