Welcome to Tufts!
What you are experiencing at this very moment is going to be one of the most transformative experiences of your life. Your first few weeks are rife with emotions: excitement and tradition coupled with naivety and confusion. Finding your niche as a Jumbo will take time, but with the right resources you can find your home here in Medford.
On housing: be patient. Living with a roommate for the first time can be a daunting experience. Often times, it can even dictate how you feel about the university but being understanding and considerate of others will make all the difference. When problems arise, use the resources around you. Your First Year Assistants (FYAs) are there to help you. Having gone through extensive training on creating dialogue and problem-solving, they are well-equipped with the tools to help alleviate roommate or housing stressors. Don’t wait till problems get overwhelming and know you are always going to have someone in your corner.
On academics: be proactive. Transitioning to college academics is different for everyone, but every student will experience some kind of struggle at one point or another. Being proactive about learning will not only help you reach your goals, but it will also build rapport with your professors and TAs. Make every possible effort to go to office hours, even if it is just to say hello. The Academic Resource Center (ARC) is also an excellent option. The student-tutors who work for this organization are not only incredible teachers, but they also have taken the same exact classes. They understand the material deeply and hold one-on-one sessions as well as drop-in hours. Take those opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. Academic Advising is also another tool to utilize if you are struggling with classes, your major or have general questions about distribution requirements. Find your pre-major advisor, a Student Success Advisor or an Advising Dean to help you with nearly anything academic-related. College is all about being accountable for yourself, and being proactive is half the battle.
On extracurriculars: be exploratory. There are hundreds of clubs and organizations that Tufts has to offer—likely one that fits almost every interest. Go to the Student Organization Fair to meet with the 300+ student organizations on campus (philanthropy with the Leonard Carmichael Society, teaching children with Peer Health Exchange, civic engagement with Tufts Community Union, or writing for the Tufts Daily to name a few). Finding friends and delving into college life is incumbent upon “putting yourself out there” whatever your affinity or passion. Also, do not forget about that enormous metropolitan city right next door. Boston is teeming with hospitals, corporations, firms, schools, and etc. Do not think that your college experience has to be defined within the boundaries of this campus. Being involved in the larger picture will expose you to reality.
On health and wellness: it’s okay to not be okay. Resources such as mental health counseling, health services and the care center exist for you. Each one has professionals who are eager to help you succeed regardless of what you are going through. Self-care is also extremely important. You should be your utmost priority. That means eating regularly, sleeping 8 hours a day to function optimally and being active and healthy. Take care of yourself.
As you move into your first-year experience at Tufts, ask yourself: what do I want out of this school? The sooner you can answer that question, the sooner you can use the interminable opportunities that Tufts has to offer. With that, the Daily wishes you the best of luck this fall 2018 semester.