I'm from New York, and I've generally found Boston nightlife to be very lame.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by the bar scene in Cambridge and its surroundings. Central, Porter, and Davis Squares each have some chill places with good brew on tap, and the area attracts a far more down to earth crowd than most in Boston proper. There's also a lot of good live music.
Tufts is a 15 minute walk (or five minute shuttle ride) from Davis Square. It's not an awful location.