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Meet the members of the class of 2018

Nath Samaratunga: Midwesterner ready to bring smiles to the Hill

Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 08:01

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Courtesy Nath Samaratunga

While many high school seniors just recently submitted their applications to universities like Tufts, a lucky few have already received their acceptance letters. With one of the largest applicant pools to date — nearly 19,000 — the class of 2018 boasts an impressive bunch of early decision applicants. 

Nath Samaratunga joins the class of 2018 having applied early decision. Hailing from Minnesota, he has been boasting Jumbo pride for most of his life, as his favorite animal is the elephant. 

“I chose Tufts mainly because of the people there. I have some friends that go there now, and they are all some of the nicest people I’ve met,” Samaratunga said. 

“All of them are awesome, and they were super helpful in helping me make my decision,” he continued. 

Samaratunga said he is excited to broaden his horizons at matriculation next fall by meeting people with different backgrounds and perspectives.

Samaratunga was born and raised in St. Louis Park, Minnesota and currently attends the Breck School. For one of the newest members of the class of 2018, extracurricular activities are about being active and putting smiles on the faces of others around him. 

“In my free time, I like going for runs around the lake, baking, reading, making covers of songs and biking,” he said. “I also have a passion for ‘day-making,’ where I basically write anonymous notes or leave baked goods for people to spread some smiles.”

Samaratunga explained that the phrase “day-making” comes from Susan “Stargirl” Caraway, the protagonist of the popular young adult novel “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli, who enjoys completing tasks like “day-making” to promote kindness. 

The book is known in the young adult reading community for its themes of diversity and acceptance. Part of Tufts’ appeal to Samaratunga is that, similar to “Stargirl,” Tufts students are unusual, often marching to the beats of their own drums. 

“I love how everyone is both fun and quirky and also really, really nice,” he said. 

In the academic realm, Samaratunga would like to study medicine and is interested in the various sciences taught at Tufts, particularly biology and chemistry. 

“I’m not sure what type of medicine, but I have time to figure that out,” he said. 

While many incoming freshmen at universities may find themselves intimidated by the prospect of interacting with professors, the 17-year-old Midwesterner said he met some Tufts professors on his campus tour and looks forward to spending time learning from and getting to know them. 

Samaratunga said he hopes to try out a variety of the university’s clubs and discover what may fit him best. 

“When I come to Tufts I definitely want to join an a capella group and hopefully one of the theater groups, too. I really want to try out ultimate frisbee and maybe even the gospel choir,” he said. 

With many exciting prospects next year, Samaratunga discussed how easy it was for him to apply early to Tufts. 

“The teachers and tour guides I met when I visited were great ... Besides that, it [had] all the programs I like, such as a great theater program and an awesome science program,” he said. “I could just see myself going there right away. It felt right.”

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