This summer, two students from the Bridge to Engineering Success at Tufts (BEST) program are blogging their experiences from Tufts in Talloires, a six-week summer program that offers students a dynamic group of courses taught by Tufts faculty in Talloires, France. In addition to coursework, a wide variety of optional outdoor activities, weekly hikes into the Alps, field trips, and organized events offer each student the opportunity to explore the unique Haute-Savoie region of France.
By Hernan Gallegos
To be honest, I probably would have had a horrible time here in Talloires if I was alone. The experience of being here is amazing, but if I was here by myself, I would have been miserable. I didn’t experience that due to one major reason — well, several individual ones. The friends I have reunited with, and the new ones I’ve met, keep me going. We have all kept each other going throughout these six weeks outside of our comfort zones.
I did not expect to build this close of a connection with each one of these people I now call friends. I shouldn’t be surprised, since we all have a similar identity. We are first-generation students and young people of color. We come from all across the country. From California to Maine, we each bring something to our very own melting pot.
We usually plan things the day when we want to hang out. Great timing, I know. But once we get together, an ample amount of hilarious jokes and memorable moments take place. Whether hanging out and swimming in the lake, or eating at a great Italian restaurant, we have all become a big family. A common notion that comes up between us is our experiences within our daily lives. What I can mention, since these are very special moments for us, is that after we share our stories, we strengthen our bonds with one another.
These bonds continue to grow as we approach the end of the program. I can happily count on these people, these friends, to be there for me and vice versa. I know this sounds like a complete cliché, but it’s something that I stand by and strongly believe. Tufts University will soon see this bond in action back on campus. Together, we cannot fail.
Hernan Gallegos is a rising sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia, majoring in mechanical engineering.