My 1+4 Story: Aberdeen

Hello world it’s me, writing a personal blog for the first time in a long time.  What am I up to?  Currently I’m laying on the president’s lawn at Tufts enjoying the 80 degree weather (so long as I pretend our planet isn’t dying) with a new friend I made this semester.  First semester here I saw a lot of people around campus that I wanted to be friends with but never reached out to so my social goal this semester was to approach everyone I had a “friend crush” on and try to befriend them.  So far it’s worked out swimmingly.  I used to approach situations from the standpoint of “Oh no… they’re too cool for me…” but I realized that’s ridiculous and if someone thought they were “too cool” for new friends then I probably wouldn’t want to be friends with them anyway.  I’ve worked to surround myself with people I enjoy being around- people I want to make happy and people who want to make me happy, largely my 1+4 friends, because being emotionally content is just as important as doing well academically and I think I solidified that life outlook last year.

This year has been trying but I think about where I would be had I not taken a year between high school and college through 1+4 and I think I would have dropped out of Tufts.  I always receive shocked and disturbed looks when I say that but what is really so surprising about that?  Many students pass through college not having any direction or passions they’ve realized yet but they’re there to get a “good” job in the future.  Isn’t that a bit more scary than dropping out to pursue some other sense of fulfillment and meaning?  I don’t think a goal such as a good job could have sustained me for very long and I would have decided to pursue something else to find out how I could contribute to something bigger than me and find it meaningful.  I needed time before college to ask myself what mattered to me and I was privileged enough to have that opportunity so I’m still thankful for everyone who helped me do that and everyone in the 1+4 family.

Generic updates anyone?  I have them!! I intend on declaring a double major in Environmental Studies and English, with a minor in Portuguese.  I have become co-director of a club on campus called Students for Environmental Awareness and this has taken up a fairly large portion of my time but it’s very fulfilling and makes me happy.  I run this club with my roommate, who is also my best friend here at Tufts, and we have lots of fun and it’s something that really matters to me.  We do volunteer work in the community, advocate for current environmental issues, attempt to spread awareness on campus, and run events on campus to involve Tufts students in the environmental movement.  I am also in a cooking club which is a ton of fun.  I will be interning at an environmental justice organization this summer called Groundwork Somerville working with ‘at risk’ (I use quotes because I have some qualms about this wording) high schoolers from Somerville in Groundwork’s urban garden where the students will be running the farmer’s market as well as their summer job.  This project is working with problems of environmental racism, social injustices, healthy food access, and marginalized populations’ representation in the environmental movement.  These are all things I’m really passionate about and know that 1+4 was a really important part of preparing me to be qualified for this internship.  On the other end of things, I’ve been reading and writing more poetry this year which has been a source of great joy for me.  I finally decided that I would like to pursue an English major because it’s something I simply enjoy doing and I think that is really important.

And there you have it folks, 1+4 shows up in my life still in subtle and obvious ways that all impacts me positively and I don’t expect that to go away anytime soon.  When school becomes too much I know I have my 1+4 family to lean back on for support and that’s a really wonderful feeling.

3 Replies to “My 1+4 Story: Aberdeen”

  1. Thank you Aberdeen for this excellent update! Your college goals and studies make perfect sense to me. An English major is very valuable because it’ll make you a much better writer, not only because of the things that you write but because of the great books you’ll read. I just read an interview with Margaret Atwood of The Handmaid’s Tale and she said that’s how she and all writers get started: as readers. And the E.S. major is #1 too in my book as well. Proud of you!

  2. You never cease to amaze me, Aberdeen Bird. I love how you’re following your joy-that’s what life is all about.

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