Ben Borgers

Tufts College Essays

Update: I was accepted into the Tufts Class of 2025 for Early Decision!

Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, “Why Tufts?”

When I visited Tufts in February, the tour began with a surprise — my tour guide was Emma, from the Magic Circle theater summer camp I returned to for years in the Aidekman Arts Center. She still remembered me!

As she and admissions officers led us through opportunities, events, and students, I could see the mystical “college fit” coming together.

The courses they mentioned seemed exciting and interesting — subjects I had never thought about, but that piqued my interest (Political Psychology! Ethics in Computing!).

The possibilities for clubs and meeting interesting people seemed endless, and I could even picture myself in one of those dance-for-people-who-cannot-dance-for-the-life-of-them clubs.

And to cap it all off, everyone was so nice. The collaborative and “aggressively nice” (as Emma called them) students were exactly who I wanted to be among.

After the tour and on my way to track down lunch, I felt genuinely energized by Tufts.

How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?

Being an only child, I’ve grown up closer to my parents than most people I know. We’re a trio, a family of equals. They’ve shown me the values of empathy and a broader worldview.

Empathy is important to my family. When we’re angry at each other, we try to consider the ways that the things we do make others feel, and communicate when we don’t appreciate something they’ve done.

It’s made me carefully watch my own empathy. A month ago, I called somebody out on Twitter and proceeded to spend a day down-in-the-dumps after realizing that that was a decidedly unempathetic thing to do. I had jumped to conclusions instead of trying to assume good intentions. I like to think of myself as a generally empathetic guy, and anything that reveals where your self-image and actions differ is bound to be painful.

My parents have helped me broaden my worldview. When I go to Germany, I see the more relaxed culture that my dad talks about growing up in — more deeply than a tourist I think, being able to speak the language and with my dad as a guide. When I go to Hong Kong, I speak to my grandparents in their native Cantonese and hear about my Grandfather’s arduous trip leaving the mainland for Hong Kong. I find it fascinating to immerse myself in cultures that are different from what I know, being able to frame the world with what my parents are able to show me.

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