Answer the Tufts Essay



Sample Answer to Tufts’ Supplemental Questions on the CommonApp


Important Note: These responses were included just to give you an idea of how to approach questions like these, but they were not included for the intention of you actually using them!  These were written by an ABS graduate and cannot be used again in any way whatsoever!



1. Describe the environment in which you were raised—your family, home, neighbourhood or community and how it influenced the person you are today. 


Being the oldest child in the family, and the oldest grandchild too, I sometimes feel like I am the apple of my family’s eye. However, with this advantage comes greater responsibility. Not only do I have to be the master of my house during my parents’ absence, but also I am made to feel that I am under the obligation to be the person for the younger family members to look up to.


My father is a businessman whose work is within proximity from home. My mother is a housewife. Therefore, spending time together in the living room or sitting at the dining table has never been an issue; but instead, part of our everyday lives. This allows us to understand each other better by giving us the chance to discuss anything candidly.


Since my parents are young in age, I sometimes consider them as my colleagues. They know a lot about me, who my friends are, and what I do on a Thursday night. This has instilled in them a feeling of trust in me. And so, I enjoy many privileges; Yet, I respect the limits they impose on me.  


Although our world is becoming more global, my family is still influenced by our Arabian traditions, to some extent. This is because such traditions enforce stronger ties within the family. For example, we always visit our grandparents on Fridays and always spend Christmas Eve with the extended family. It is a must.


Finally, my family has always made traveling a point. They believe that getting exposed to diverse cultures at a young age assists in creating a tolerant and broadminded person who can enjoy a fruitful and successful life in college, and afterwards.  


“Education does not accomplish anything if it does not stretch your mind, if it does not force you to think about things in new ways, if it does not challenge you to examine some of your assumptions,” writes Provost Jamshed Bharucha.  Describe the aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate program that prompt your application. 


Tufts’ solid, yet flexible, curriculum is one that will definitely lay a strong foundation for preparing its undergraduates to what still lies ahead of them. Its holistic approach teaches its students how to think rather than what to think. This ensures that they become independent thinkers who can solve intellectual challenges through critical analysis and communication, while concurrently learning from each situation.     


2. Self-identity and personal expression take many forms.  Music, food, art and clothing can make a statement.  Politics, religion, nationality and ethnicity often act as defining attributes.  Colored wristbands and blogs express opinions and viewpoints while the minutia that adorns a refrigerator or a notebook can be clues to someone’s passions.  Are you an oldest child? Do you surf?  Are you a vegetarian?  Did you wear flip flops to the prom?  Do you have a tattoo?  Who are you? 


We are all mirrors who absorb and reflect. Just like any ordinary mirror. We might be exposed to the same light from the same source; be it the family, the school, or the community. However, what is found to be intriguing is that none of the reflections are like that of another. This allows us to make sense of the famous quote,


“Always show the you in you that makes you the you that you are”



By reflecting my uniqueness in a world full of people, the me in me always stands out without me intending to do so. As a result.


Everyone I know says that I am a walking encyclopaedia whose general knowledge is incomparable, especially when it comes to geography. My parents insist that I am an extremely stubborn person who feels offended when criticized. My friends see that I exhibit my sense of humour unconsciously and realize my ability to get along with, almost, anyone. My paediatrician claims that I probably have the flattest feet that he has ever seen. My kindergarten teacher remembers that I had always displayed an innate interest in creating things with my own hands, from painting with watercolours, to sculpting with play dough, to building with Lego. My classmates understand that I have a tremendous fear of all kinds of birds and would never walk in Trafalgar Square.  My physical education trainer suggests that I have the potential to become an outstanding volleyball player. Lastly, the design technology technician believes that I would become a successful architect with an exceptional ability to create, if I choose architecture as my field of study in college.   


Although spending a lot of time with various people has caused them to know a lot about me, they do not know that I still have a collection of toy planes and do most of my reading while sitting on the toilet.


After all, who cares about what they have to say about me. What is important is the way I see myself in my own eyes. But who am I? Well, I only have one answer to this question:


I am, without doubt, a combination of all the above.






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