Meet Waideen Wright, A23

School: Tisch College of Civic Life and the School of Arts and Sciences

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Home: Wherever love is. For me, that’s Chicago and Boston.

Why was Tisch College the right place for you?

I had always had an interest in politics and international relations. I knew I wanted to travel abroad and also to explore politics from a more human angle than we tend to approach it in the United States. Tisch was right for me because I was able to participate in the pilot program of the Tisch Civic Semester, going to Peru during my first semester here.

The program called to me in a very specific way, because it blends experiential learning with an academic journey. Those are both things that I value deeply. Continuing my classes at Tufts after having direct experience doing hands-on community work in Peru helped me frame my thinking about communities and encouraged me to engage with civics throughout my time at Tufts.

What have you learned about yourself during your time at Tufts that surprised you?

Being in Peru was such a transformational experience that, when I came back to campus, I couldn’t begin to explain to other people how it had affected me. I felt a little removed from my peers, and I found it hard to engage with coursework in the typical way, because I was so involved with hands-on work in Peru.

Eventually, I realized that it was my focus on international relations that was creating difficulty for me. It surprised me to realize that it just wasn’t the right field for me any more. I switched tracks entirely and turned to anthropology and political science. I found those fields to be a perfect blend of centering human experiences and culture while also paying attention to political realities and processes. 

What place on campus has been the most important to you?

Pres Lawn in the spring. That’s where I spent my last few moments before COVID happened on campus. I was there in the sun with my friends, and that was the day before we got an email telling us campus was shutting down. I love holding on to that memory of enjoying time with friends on Pres Lawn before everything changed.

What’s next?

It’s been an amazing four years that have made me realize there are so many different avenues I want to pursue. In order to accomplish everything I want to, I’m going to take a break before graduate school. I’m originally from south Florida, but I live in Chicago now, and my plan is to work for a year in Chicago or Boston, wherever opportunity knocks. I’m interested in building community in both places. Afterward, I’m hoping to attend either law school or a public policy Ph.D. program.

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