After spending four years of high school trying to define yourself, it’s easy to fall prey to the idea that you’ve already figured out what you’re good at and what isn’t quite your cup of tea. What you may not realize, though, is that you’ve probably never had as many opportunities readily available to you as you will here at Tufts. Academically, socially and personally, you would be shortchanging yourself by not taking advantage of the abundance of resources around you in this new environment. But when there’s so much going on at once, how can you really find what “clicks” for you?
Leave your door open. When you move into your new residence hall, don’t be afraid to leave your door propped ajar while you settle into your room, encouraging your new hallmates and suitemates to introduce themselves. These people could very well become the closest friends you make here. But more importantly, leave your door open in a mental sense. It is natural to feel inclined to stick to what is comfortable, and close yourself off to new people or novel activities. By closing your door, you’d be precluding yourself from a myriad of potential new connections. So welcome each opportunity with an open mind and a sense of enthusiasm. If something doesn’t work out, you’ll become more self-aware by at least having given it a shot. After all, Thomas Edison tested over 1,000 different filaments for the light bulb before he found the one that worked.
Keep an open mind and opportunities will fall into your lap at the least expected times. Whether these opportunities come in the form of a flyer outside of Dewick, a new friend asking you to try out for a team with them or an email from one of the billion e-lists you signed up for, you will eventually end up finding a community that is perfect for you. So even if you think you’re a bad dancer, go to that tryout. If you haven’t really written before, it’s not too late to start. College is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby, explore a new field of study or learn a skill that has always intrigued you. The professors and peers surrounding you want you to succeed. Your voice is valuable and will enrich the Tufts community; that’s why you’re here. So be confident in yourself, shed your high school labels and leave your door open. You never know what incredible new pursuits you’ll stumble upon here at Tufts.