Editorial | It’s okay to fall on your face
Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 1, 2013 16:09
If you’re on campus right now, you’ve already been inundated with reassurances and advice from parents, students, faculty and anyone else you’ve bumped into who happened to overhear that you’re entering your first year of college and somehow knows that “you’ll have such a great time.” It probably seems like everyone has something to say about maximizing your Tufts experience, and you’re expected to listen to and absorb all of the recollections and cliches and well-meaning-but-still-annoying reminders from your mother that you can stomach.
You are matriculating at Tufts. You’re here because you are an intelligent, driven person. Despite the fact that everyone around you is too, there’s something unique about you that made someone in Dowling take a second look at your application. The (divisive) new “YOLO” admissions essay question emphasizes the fact that the Tufts community wants Jumbos with passion, purpose and imagination — not just that 4.0 GPA and National Honor Society membership. We want new lights on the Hill that burn and fizzle and pop and don’t necessarily follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.
So, maybe the thing to do is to excuse yourself from the next conversation with your mom about separating your whites and your colors and to start finding the things at Tufts that really speak to the person you wrote about in your application. That may mean doing the open dance with Spirit of Color and twisting your ankle, or trying out for B.E.A.T.s and realizing you have a passion for hitting objects with other objects. It may mean writing something for one of Tufts many publications, despite the fact that your high school journalism teacher told you to give it up. It could even include strapping on snowshoes for the first time with Tufts Mountain Club and trudging through five feet of snow in the New Hampshire mountains.
Scariest of all, it might mean you don’t even recognize yourself in the mirror sometimes (which has nothing to do with the pink shirt you’re wearing that was white before those Pizza Days socks got sorted into the wrong pile). The cookie-cutter advice that you’ve been getting is utterly useless because you need to make mistakes, make your parents question your sanity and rise to the occasions you never thought you would. It’s okay to be afraid. Look back at what you wrote about yourself in your Tufts supplement, but also look ahead to the next four years with an open mind.