Disclaimer: Abby Schmidt is a contributing writer for the Tufts Daily. Schmidt was not involved in the writing or editing of this article.
For some seniors, going to Tufts was about a change of place.
“I’ve always loved traveling and seeing new places,” Abby Schmidt said.
In an open study room in the Mayer Campus Center, she’s reliving her journey from Dripping Springs, Texas — a ridiculous town name, according to Schmidt — to Boston. When picking where to attend college, Schmidt knew she wanted to leave Texas for the Northeast.
“I had this vision of the ivy-covered buildings and snow and the fall leaves,” she said.
Now, as she looks back on the four years she spent at Tufts as an undergraduate, Schmidt thinks she chose Tufts because of a gut feeling she had.
“When I visited and went on the tour,” Schmidt said, “I had a really good feeling these were the type of people I could get along with.”
She’s accomplished quite a lot since that gut feeling, from a double major in music and film and media studies to being president of Tufts’ theater organization Pen, Paint, & Pretzels (3Ps) and a semester abroad in Tübingen, Germany. Schmidt assured that she’s spent the last four years just like most Tufts students: busy.
In her first year at Tufts, Schmidt lived in Houston Hall and was originally interested in a music major and then medical school.
“I think it’s because I watched too much ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (2005–) in high school,” she joked.
Schmidt’s focus shifted toward music as a full-time pursuit, one that she could complement by joining theater groups on campus for singing and performing. As she’s reminiscing on her Tufts experience, she’s also busy planning for her senior music recital.
During orientation in 2015, Schmidt attended the 3Ps ice cream social, an event dedicated to showcasing theater organizations to first-years. Then came auditions.
“I auditioned for Lord Barnum’s Players,” she said, “and got in, which was really exciting.”
She continued to audition for different shows throughout her undergraduate education. This past year, as president of 3Ps, she found herself growing into being a leader.
3Ps is the oldest student organization on campus, an umbrella collective for groups ranging from Bare Bodkin, which focuses on original and experimental work, to Tufts University Television, a student-run filmmaking organization. Being president of all of those umbrella organizations isn’t easy, but it’s a challenge Schmidt welcomed.
“It’s a really big organization, and there are shows and money and faculty [that] are involved,” Schmidt said.
She’s been making changes as president, from how the organization is funded to how sensitive content is handled.
“It’s hard being in charge because there’s no one I can go [to]. It’s [just] me,” she said.
And despite any struggles or doubts Schmidt has had, she’s hopeful she’s made an impact on 3Ps and Tufts’ campus.
Like many Tufts students, Schmidt spent a semester abroad, enjoying cafes and learning in Germany.
“It was so nice to have free time and just enjoy,” she said. “It was really worth it.”
Schmidt said she found the experience refreshing, and looking back, said she wanted to learn German coming into Tufts. She believes people should study abroad if they can, simply because it means getting to leave Tufts’ campus for a little to explore the world.
And, as she reflects, there’s a reminder that study abroad was just one positive experience on a long list of things Schmidt has enjoyed.
“I was involved in things I cared about and made friends and took classes that were interesting,” Schmidt said.
She’s thankful for the busy four years she’s had and the people she’s met.
“I really love how involved everyone is outside of the classroom,” she said. “It makes us all busy and passionate.”
Schmidt loves the size of Tufts and how the community feels so connected. She also loves that she continues to meet new people into her senior year.
After graduation, Schmidt is moving to Brooklyn, N.Y. to work at a technology public relations company. It’s an exciting move for her, and as she moves on from Medford, Somerville and the hill, she confirms that Tufts fit her well.
“Overall, I think it was the place for me,” she said.