BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Biracial: Half Middle Eastern and Half Caucasian
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Private boarding school in Andover, MA with a graduating class of 300 students
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete and I will be a tutor on campus this upcoming year.
What was your favorite class last year?
Oceanography. The professor was super accessible and made class really interesting. We did a ton of different exercises so it wasn’t always a lecture.
What was your least favorite in your major?
Intro to Politics. The professor wasn’t that accessible and the class was very T.A. based. It depended on your T.A. what grade you were going to get in the course, that wasn’t really determined by the professor.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I don’t think it’s that competitive and I think it’s more collaborative, but that’s going to be based on who you’re asking. There will be kids who don’t want to work with you. I think I had a particularly collaborative experience because I’m on a team so that instantly [gives you a group] that wants to help you and that is accessible.
Do you feel people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I do think Tufts is pretty open to different schools of thought. I will say it ranges a little bit more liberal if we’re thinking upon political ideas. There are many times a professor will encourage you to argue for something that you don’t particularly believe in just so you can other sides.
How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
It’s a struggle. During my season I did not finish all of my homework. I figured out which was the most important and which would be the most helpful for me to succeed in classes. The smaller tasks I did not complete.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Hill Hall in a double
Sophomore: Haskell Hall in a suite. I’ll have one direct roommate and then eight others in the suite.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced around Medford?
I didn’t have any encounters with anything sketchy. There were a couple of nights where I walked alone, and I was on alert but nothing ended up happening. All in all, I’ve felt very safe, even going out [at night to bars and parties] I never saw anything super sketchy.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I would go into Boston whether that was on Newbury Street or the Fenway area. I also have friends that go to Harvard so I would visit them. Also, the Boston Public Library is a very nice spot to study if you don’t want to study on campus.
Pros and Cons of being in Medford, MA?
Pros: (1) You get a campus feel but you’re close to Boston so you can access everything. It’s extremely nice to be on a campus but not have that be your whole life. You have the city feel but you have a more reserved spot to have a space to do work and see friends.
(2) You can go to sporting events that aren’t just Tufts-affiliated.
Cons: (1) There are a lot of families that live in Medford so you get a lot of complaints about noise and that kind of thing.
(2) If you’re an outdoorsy person, hiking and out stuff are not as accessible as it would be at some of the other NESCACs.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I like going out with friends. There are bars around campus that people like going to on weeknights and there are parties on the weekends. Greek life isn’t really in the scene yet because we had a lot of fraternities and sororities shut down, but it should be more of a presence this upcoming year. The nightlife was a little bit slow to start this past year because of that, but then it ramped up as the year went on.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
Depending on my workload, it was available to go out Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then if a special event was occurring, you could find something to do every night if you wanted to. Tuesday and Thursday are popular nights at [local bars]. Then Friday and Saturday, because I’m on a sports team it was more popular to go to a party at an athlete house, so we’d go to one of those.
How happy were you with the nightlife at Tufts? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty content. I would say there’s more room for improvement with options because the weekends can get kind of repetitive, but that’s partially my fault because I go to the same parties. So, some more options would be nice, but I think that will happen when Greek life is more prevalent on campus.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Through mutual friends. I definitely recommend doing FIT as a pre-orientation. I didn’t do it because I signed up too late, but my roommate did it, and we were kind of friendly from before Tufts, so I met people through her. I also met people through my teammates. I’m probably going to be a science major, so a lot of my intro to science classes were like 500 people, and there are these tutoring groups that are 10 kids and you can make your class smaller by having a group of people to study with. I met people through that.
How would you describe the social scene?
I would say it’s like a 7 or 8 out of 10. It depends on what you want, so if you’re going to go to a big state school that’s a completely different expectation, but I feel like for a [school of its size] it’s okay.
How would you describe the student body?
I think you’re going to find your people. I think Tufts is a pretty big blend of personalities. I don’t think we have an identity in the student body, it’s very eclectic and quirky overall. You will find the people you get along with, but it’s probably going to be a smaller group within the big majority of the school.
Have you used financial aid? If so, how accommodating were they to your needs?
They weren’t that accommodating honestly. Last year my sister was also in college and we got some financial aid, and this year they aren’t giving me anything. We reached out to be like, “Hey, it’s like $70,000 this year, I also play a sport, I made Dean’s List, is there any way you can help” and they didn’t do it. They will be like, “you can always get a job,” but I can’t because I play a sport. So, it’s not been the most ideal financially. I think they do give a lot of aid to low-income families, but for anybody in the middle class and above they’re really not the most helpful. [In 2016-2017, about 41% of undergraduates received grant aid and 25% had to take out loans. The average grant aid package was about $38,300, or about 57% of tuition that year.]
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Tufts before entering as a freshman?
The role of T.A.’s was a big surprise. For the most part, your professors aren’t the ones grading your assignments, it’s your T.A., and you have no choice in who your T.A. is. So, knowing how the grading system worked. Also, finding connections for guidance on which classes you should take and what professors to take. My first semester I was playing the guessing game and I ended up getting not so ideal professors. Also, knowing which dorms to get into.
Do you feel that your dorm was a good dorm to get into?
I do feel like it was a good dorm to get into. It was just my roommate and I were a little isolated because we were in the basement, so we didn’t see people pass through the hallways at all.
What is something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I think they would miss the insides of the facilities. We never went inside the buildings very much on my tour. There are some places that are pretty run down, which was surprising. I think they are developing them and renovating them. I was pretty surprised at how run down some of the facilities were when I got there.
Reasons to attend Tufts:
1) You’re getting a great education and your diploma will hopefully carry you to being a step ahead in the future when you’re applying for a job and applying to graduate school.
2) There is a lot of diversity. There are a lot of international students, people from different ethnic groups, and socioeconomic classes. [In Fall 2018, 11% of undergraduates were international students and 55% of students were White. Socioeconomically, 50% of students come from the top 5% and 2.9% come from the bottom 20%.]
3) We have pretty good athletic teams.
4) The accessibility to Boston is pretty great. You get to mix with other colleges.
Reasons to not attend Tufts:
1) If you can’t afford it they’re not going to be lenient. [In 2016-2017, about 41% of undergraduates received grant aid and 25% had to take out loans.]
2) If you’re looking for a big school where you can go out every single night, that’s not Tufts.