Campus fishbowl

Dear Prospies,

I feel like this school has transformed into a deli. No, it is not because some newfound lunchmeat odor has recently consumed campus in a honey ham hurry. Rather, I’ve become the chicken breast (shaved of course) behind the glass counter alongside the other students at Tufts. Campus tours have exponentially grown in size over the last month, where it seems like prospective students and their parents goggle at current students, at times, like we are literally meat. This phenomenon can be flattering, but also perpetuates self-conscious sentiments. So I write to you today in order to warn you about “surprising” occurrences that may pop up on college tours: mystery meat edition.

First, the general exterior appearance of a university’s population will vary heavily from day to day. Touring at the beginning of the week is usually the most promising to see everyone look “put-together.” But as the week progresses, most effort will concurrently decrease. Thirsty-Thursdays are a real deal people, and Friday mornings can showcase this like no other. I have 10 a.m. recitations every Friday, which culminate in walking out of class into a hoard of prospies ambling past the academic quad. Alas, my excuse for wearing sweatpants and having some crusty-crunch mess of hair often stems from procrastinating doing homework the entire week by watching YouTube videos in an attempt to learn Finnish (perääntymään vihaajat!). The gist is that there will be a myriad of looks and visual vibes going on during your tour, which shouldn’t really be too surprising or distracting. People are just doing their thing, be that stereotypical Vineyard Vines or caper-colored cape aesthetics.

Campus will also not ideally match the promotional picture on the website, brochures, etc. Most people are aware of this, but the reality is a whole other ball game. Hairy drifters saturate the grounds asking for handshakes and prom-posal Instagram pics. Rabid dogs are known to attack prospies on the left but cheek, so watch out for those ones. You know Rihanna’s “S&M” (2010) and her allusion to chains and whips? Chainsaws and whippet canisters can often be spotted in the bushes behind the dining hall. OK, I kid. But there are really some aspects about certain students that will be a bit jarring for some people. For example, many people at Tufts smoke cigarettes. And while helicopter mom and dad will be deeply disturbed, that fact is just another representation of the extremely diverse personalities one will encounter at college. Little Billy-Bob will probably do a lot of things in college that his parents won’t be proud about, so seeing a crushed beer can on the side of the road does not really warrant a grade-A freak out.

Also, this brings me to the point of seasons at school. College tours are most popular during the fall, with beautiful ranges in the hues of foliage and sweater weather, or the spring, where budding flowers and growing grass revitalizes everyone who walks upon the grounds. But these maybe five weeks of the year are simply a modicum of the year. In Boston, either sickly dense humidity or an endless pit of frigid wind and snow that turns even the warmest heart into a morose icicle can characterize the majority of the year. But fret not, Californians! A big coat (Canada Goose controversy, you feel) and a S.A.D. lamp will allow anyone to survive the mélange of weather at school. Just don’t expect fall beauty to last forever.

Wishing you plentiful brochures and library tours,