Student Profile of the Month: Emma Brin
Read about Emma's story here.
Student Profile: Christopher Panella
I remember the college application process very well, particularly because I spent almost three years preparing for it. Actually, I would say I began preparing myself for the fall of senior year when I was in middle school, when I declared to my mother that I was going to attend a school in the northeast. My Florida family was well-acclimated to Florida colleges, with my brother graduating from Florida Gulf Coast University and my sister graduating from the University of Florida. The goal of leaving the state for college was exciting and terrifying, but I knew I had to try.
Tufts University flashed on my sonar in September of senior year, when I already had around eighteen schools picked, mountains of scholarship essays written and edited, and was probably getting around three hours of sleep a night. In case you are wondering, I pretty much had permanent black circles under my eyes the entire fall season. No, not dark circles. Pitch black circles. It was a fashion statement, truthfully.
When I discovered Tufts, it was a wrench in my well-oiled college machine. I fell in love with it, with its academic individualism and its unique voice. In a country where it seemed like most colleges melded together, fusing due to similar ideals and strengths, Tufts was distinctive and fresh. As a hopeful filmmaker, journalist, and screenwriter, I loved the diversity of Tufts' academic interests and studies. I loved that I could become fluent in German or Russian or Arabic while also studying French film and British literature. I loved that I could write articles and columns for The Tufts Daily or Tufts Observer about all of my very loud opinions. Tufts felt so individualized, like I could carve as many pieces out of as many pies as I wanted (it was a bad idea to write this while hungry). Despite this individualism, Tufts also presented itself as a school that brought its students together. I had to apply, I had to join this "light on the hill."
I applied to Tufts University through Early Decision II. I did not visit the campus, talk to any students or alumni, or even discuss it with the majority of my family or friends. I felt that strongly about this school. This suddenness went against everything I was as a person and student. I was organized, meticulous, and dedicated. By applying to Tufts, I showed myself that if I wanted something that badly, I had to just go for it. The week decisions came out, I was recovering from both Lady Gaga's Superbowl halftime performance and a persistent flu. It was actually one of the worst weeks of my life, a week where I estimate I consumed around thirty Emergen-c packets. Yes, it was so bad that I basically overdosed on vitamin C.
That week took a rollercoaster of a turn on Friday, when I received my decision from Tufts. When I saw that I was in, accepted, and officially a Jumbo, I thought I was hallucinating. I was, after all, reaching a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully, it was not a hallucination. I was in! Like that, the most unprepared decision of my young life turned out to be the most worthwhile. I called my mother and my father figure/musical director Daniel Katz, sobbing with excitement and thankfulness. It was pure dopamine, a moment I will never forget.
Now, in my second week of my first semester, I already feel at home. I feel like an oddly-shaped puzzle piece that helps build this oddly beautiful portrait, a small part of a thriving Tufts community built by students who involve themselves in everything they can. Giving back is a major theme at Tufts and a major reason I craved being here. These students are so selfless, a supportive collective that finds a passion and makes that passion the center of their lives and universe. It is especially thrilling to know that as an arts kid, I am appreciated for my creativity and abnormal interests and career. Everyone here is like that, though. Everyone, regardless if they plan on heading to jobs in film and media, medical school, or Tufts' own Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, is appreciated for their creativity and abnormal interests.
In regards to the next four years and after, I am beyond hopeful. I think I am most excited for the things I will learn, the experience I will gain through internships and classes, and the people I will meet. There is so much to do at Tufts, so many different rocks to turnover. From my special Filmmaking class this semester to future work internships, Tufts is handing me an enormous and unique toolbox with tools just for me to build the path I desire to head to the place I want to be. I think I am particularly exhilarated to blog for the Career Center, which is an opportunity I am beyond thankful for This is my first blog and interview in a long list of upcoming highlights of students and alumni that see Tufts the saw way I do and did when I dropped everything and chose to apply last fall. I cannot wait to detail their stories, their backgrounds, and their extremely bright futures. My name is Christopher Panella and you can look forward to my Career Center blogs and interviews coming very soon!
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