A Freshman Perspective

Written by student worker Nick Golden, Class of 2016.

Phew! It’s been a fast couple of weeks into my first year of college now, and what a few weeks it has been. From midterms to activities and clubs, Tufts has been an experience and a half. Nothing, however, has really captured my attention as much as the ExCollege. The ExCollege was one of the main draws for my applying to Tufts as well as for my eventual decision to attend the school. I found the possibility for students to teach unique courses as well as the wide variety of visiting lecturers a uniquely potent program that Tufts had to offer its students. As a freshman, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in the ExCollege in multiple ways.

Over the summer, the freshmen had the opportunity to choose if they would like to take an advising course, and, excited as I was, I spotted a course called “The Role of Rising Powers in the International Order,” an Explorations course taught by seniors that would not only teach about the unique material but also inform the freshmen taking the class on how to manage all the possible trials and opportunities of the first semester of college. The course invites open discussion at the same time as it provides a place for freshmen to debate and find counsel from experienced and qualified students who represent some of Tufts’ best and brightest. From my experience in taking this class, and seeing hearing about others, I can tell that more ExCollege classes are in my future.

At the same time, I have also had the luck to work at the ExCollege itself, as a student assistant. Seeing the ExCollege from the inside has been a fascinating experience. The number and breadth of courses that people of all walks of life apply to teach give the great people at the ExCollege the ability to really decipher which courses, with the help of student and faculty reviewers, will best educate and invigorate the student body of the school. From courses on superheroes in American media to investigatory journalism to public policy and science-fiction, the possibilities are virtually endless.

Altogether, the ExCollege has become a prime fixture of the first few weeks of my college experience. It seems to touch on so much of what I’ve done, am doing, and seek to do. I don’t know a lot about where the rest of my experience at Tufts will go, but what I do know is that I can tell that the ExCollege will play a part in it.

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