“When I was touring colleges, I was struck by the sense of community and cooperation at Tufts, especially compared to some of the bigger schools that I was considering,” freshman Jessica Blough reminisces. Jessica is from Los Gatos, California, so community was extremely important throughout her college search. This isn’t unlike other Tufts students – with over 60 countries and all 50 states represented on campus, students travel far and wide to be at the Medford/Somerville campus. Now, as Jessica completes her first year, Tufts is a very special place for Jessica. “It’s not just home to me,” she explains, “but it’s also home to some of my best friends.”
Jessica met many of her friends through different groups on campus, like Tufts Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and her job on campus. “During my first week at Tufts, I mentioned to the Tisch College Student Outreach Coordinator that I was interested in journalism, and she got me a job in communications at Tisch College,” Jessica says. Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life is Tufts’ community service and outreach outlet on campus. Jessica has met a variety of students through these different groups, especially older students who provided her with advice and support throughout her college transition. Jessica appreciates that Tufts, in these ways, is a place that caters to an individual’s interests and passions.
Growing up in Los Gatos, Jessica was extremely passionate about print journalism. During her senior year, she was an editor-in-chief of El Gato News, the award-winning Los Gats High School newspaper. She’s written about every topic, from analyzing rape culture to reviewing Adele’s 25 (2015). Now, as an Assistant News Editor for The Tufts Daily, Tufts’ daily newspaper, Jessica thrives in both writing and reporting, taking classes like Intermediate Journalism and working a feature story about Boston’s Muslim community. “Tufts doesn’t have a journalism major, so there have been many times when I’ve felt a little lost in regard to how to study what I’m passionate about,” she says. Despite this, she finds that she is able to learn about different topics that she’s interested and explore journalism through other avenues, like The Tufts Daily. This semester alone, she interviewed United States Senator Susan Collins and met political journalist Katy Tur. “I get to write and report on subjects that I care about. I wouldn’t have had these opportunities at a bigger school or on a bigger newspaper,” Jessica explains.
Although she is currently undeclared, Jessica is exploring different options for her major. “I’m looking forward to meeting more professors and faculty at Tufts who want to guide me through this process, and to meeting more passionate people,” she says. She believes Tufts’ fantastic network, both through students and alumni, will continue to teach her more about what she wants for her future. As Jessica continues her undergraduate education, her next three years at Tufts look incredibly bright, not only because of the resources Tufts has to offer, but also Jessica’s own individuality and curiosity.