Derek Castle is a senior majoring in English. Derek can be reached at derek.castle@tufts.edu.


R.E.A.L. Talk: Second chances are not a guarantee

As summer starts, students are leaving campus to plan their futures. Many will find summer jobs and internships, and they will return to their studies here at Tufts in September. Some will travel and take advantage of the time away from school. Many, like myself, will be graduating and starting a new chapter of our lives. […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: Tour the world

Admitted students are swarming the campus, checking out groups and events and anything else they can think of while on campus tours. Each potential Jumbo is followed by a patient parent asking questions with a concerned look in their eyes. The student is worried about an organization that they can join, and the parent is worried […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: Bridge between worlds

An interesting moment happened in class last week. It was one that made me think about where I fall in both the social hierarchy of Tufts and in life. I am the only R.E.A.L. student in all of my classes. That is not the case for all R.E.A.L. students, but for most it is. A student made a […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: Ancient history

I have been reminded a few times recently that history is relative. The more distance there is between you and the event, the more objectively you can analyze the situation. Most Tufts students have taken at least one class where they have to analyze a historical situation and explain the causes or the consequences of […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: No regrets

There are a lot of things I regret — my long list of exes proves that — but no one can say that I don’t take the consequences with my actions. I have made a lot of difficult choices over the years, some good, some bad, but all necessary. I chose to drop out of […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: Light at the end of the tunnel

Twenty years ago, I was taking one semester off. I was just working to save money for the next class. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. School was in the future, but I did not know when or why or how. Twenty years ago, I never would have pictured myself […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: All stress is real stress

Sitting in a room with eight first-semester R.E.A.L. students on a Monday afternoon, I see myself reflected in them. A series of younger, shinier versions of myself sit around the table waiting for a seminar to begin. Today’s topic: how to manage stress — something that I still struggle with in my fourth semester at […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: No guarantee

Each R.E.A.L. student is different and each story is unique. I recently had the chance to speak with Rachel Fridman about her story. Rachel is in her third semester at Tufts as a political science major. She moved to Massachusetts from Florida and currently lives off campus in Medford. But like most stories from R.E.A.L. […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: How did we get here?

Most R.E.A.L. students, like me, are commuters. As commuter students, there are advantages and disadvantages. I can step away from college life for a period. I have my independence and my privacy. I can come home when I want, and I don’t have to worry about my leftovers being eaten when I’m gone. Most of […]


R.E.A.L. Talk: New beginnings

In my first semester at Tufts, I joined about ten other R.E.A.L. students on campus for our version of orientation. We sat down and had dinner with each other and introduced ourselves. I was amazed at the diversity in a group as small as we were. People from all over the country and all over […]


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