Shared Joy is Twice the Joy, Shared Pain is Half the Pain

Why Tufts? Harkening Back to College Applications

My high school friends are getting their college acceptances this month. They are fretful and nervous and experiencing emotions I never did. I only applied to one school: Tufts was a strong choice as soon as I heard of it, and my first choice from the day I set foot on campus. All the stress I’m experiencing second hand inspired me to go back to the essays that got me into the school of my dreams, and I found this one:

Think outside the box if you answer on one the following questions. Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected. Be serious if the moment calls for it but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. (250-400 words)

3. Finish one of the following thoughts: b. The first time I…

The first time I fell in love with a school, I was in fifth grade. My parents were looking for a middle school where I would be academically challenged, and they thought the public school system wasn’t up to snuff. They looked for a school where learning went beyond the four walls of the building, where every topic of study was interdisciplinary, where the quality of work exceeded my own. Most important, though: I had to like it.

Upon setting foot on Odyssey Middle School’s campus, I felt immediately at home and had no interest in ever leaving. I valued being surrounded by smart, quirky kids who were welcoming and fun-loving. As students, we studied Shakespeare in one class and World History in the next. As explorers, we were underwater on Catalina Island one trip and soaking from the rain in Japan the next. As friends, we had a ton of fun one day, and more the next. Discussions about the recent elections happened in the midst of lunchtime pick up games, and we were told daily to “live in the moment.”

The second time I fell in love with a school was last spring. I was intrigued by the international focus that permeates every aspect of education at Tufts. Inspired by the low walls between departments and the broad swath of interesting opportunities found on campus, I slowly came to understand Tufts was the place for me. At the Tufts meeting in San Francisco, Matthew Hyde explained that Tufts’ students are great because they are constantly “living in the moment.” That one sentence solidified my commitment to Tufts. I need a school like Odyssey where students are passionate about today, talking about the news is welcome, and pursuing passions “just because” is encouraged.

Over my time in high school, I have learned to respect my first inclinations. I trust my gut because I know myself. I traveled to Japan on a minimally orchestrated whim to experience its culture; I sit outside thinking and return cold, but enlightened. Odyssey encouraged me to actively pursue my various passions. I learned to be excited by any educational opportunity. In sixth grade, I was taught to ignore the four school walls, and I still do. The question isn’t whether I will continue to explore the world around me, but where.

One response

  1. Pingback: An Oft-Written Letter | Shared Joy is Twice the Joy

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