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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 15, 2024

Four years, one home

For me, Tufts has meant being a part of a variety of groups belonging to one beautiful community.


President's Lawn is pictured on Oct. 9, 2022.

When I arrived at Tufts in September 2020, I was alone, attempting to get my two large suitcases from Gantcher Field House to Tilton Hall. I didn’t recognize campus — when I toured in February 2019, a layer of barren, snow-covered trees created an entirely different landscape than the one I’d just arrived in. Stepping into the world for the first time amid a pandemic, leaving everything I knew on the other end of the country… it was a daunting prospect. A mom of another first-year student saw me struggling and ran over, offering to drive me to my dorm. We soon discovered that her son was living in the same building as me. This random act of kindness was my first interaction as a Tufts student, and proved to me that even when I thought I was alone, at Tufts, I never was. Like the thousands of Jumbos that once walked these streets, this place became my home.

I found home in Tilton Hall. With clubs and classes on Zoom, my new group of friends spent every day together: chatting, playing games, watching movies and eating Dewick takeout. It was certainly not a typical first-year experience, but I made many cherished memories over that strange year. From helping my dear roommate Emma film her Sarabande auditions, to taking masked photos in the Boston Public Garden, to laughing over the questionable mashed potatoes we were given for Thanksgiving, to visiting the Museum of Fine Arts on our one-day spring break, to even playing Holi with my new friends — that year was filled with joyous moments that shielded us from the isolation of the pandemic around us. While we’re not all as close as we once were, a couple of these Tilton Hall friends are my current housemates, who have spent these four years with me. Mia and Meg, I love you endlessly.

I found home in the Tufts History Society. In my sophomore year, I branched out beyond my dorm, becoming THS’ secretary. I’d only participated in THS a few times on Zoom, but the former president, Phoebe — who was the first upperclassman to take me under her wing and offer academic and extracurricular guidance — convinced me to run. Three years later, I have now served as president alongside Ilan, who has been by my side in the club throughout our years here. In THS, I found a group of people who love history as much as I do. This has manifested in our hilarious meetings, such as the meme bracket with which we finished off this year, but also in the THS executive board’s “drunk history” nights, group costumes based on BBC’s “Ghosts” and late-night “Rasputin” Just Dance choreography. In THS, I found great friends as well as a supportive community with whom I’ve run a club, taken classes and written a thesis.

I found home in London. Junior year brought study abroad, where I found a group of incredible people with a sense of adventure and curiosity to match mine, including new and old Tufts friends. I remember Ella meeting me with flowers when I arrived — we got a pint while I was still in my airport sweats. Meanwhile, Mirabelle and I found out we were flatmates because of the warnings we individually received about our flat’s fridge. A couple months later, we were running through the rain in Croatia. I even made friends from all over the world, one of whom I’m visiting in Belgium this summer. From them, I learned about football (both American and British), beer and way more than I ever thought I’d know about the musical “Wicked.” I found such a beautiful collection of people abroad, that when I met my family at the airport I was still crying over us needing to go our separate ways.  

I found home in The Tufts Daily. Returning to Tufts my senior year, I became part of one last community. While I’d been in the Daily since my first-year spring, for me, it was a very professional setting for most of my time at Tufts. In the fall, I made my first real friend in the Daily. Working on a piece about Tufts finances, Kevin and I became fast friends despite constantly debating our very different political beliefs. Since then, I’ve made many more friends in the Daily, such as the other two parts of our opinion leadership triumvirate, Toby and Justin. I’ve gone from spending countless hours editing in my room as opinion exec to hanging out in the Daily office several nights per week… when I probably should have been working on my thesis. I am so grateful not just for my intellectual experiences in the Daily, but also for my experience truly becoming part of the “Dailmunity” as I described in an article in our Jumbo Month special edition. I wish I had more time with the wonderful Daily staff members who have become some of my closest friends, but I treasure the memories we’ve made together regardless.      

Back in February 2019, what struck me most from that Tufts tour — and a sentiment I’ve also heard from others — was watching as my tour guides were stopped over and over again by students walking by. It seemed like Tufts truly was one big community where everyone knew everyone. Five years later, looking at that same campus I once could hardly recognize, I can attest that Tufts really is this way, or at least it was for me. While there are many Tufts students I don’t know, it is incredible to realize the extent to which our disparate groups overlap — creating a transcending sense of home at Tufts that has meant so much to me. We may not be a Division I school, but my school spirit rests in the incredible people I’ve met and this community I belong to. I’ll always be grateful for my time at Tufts, and always see this place as home.