- Class: Junior
- Major: Education
- Gender: F
- High School: Hunter College High School
- Transfer Student: N
The people at Brandeis are amazing. There's a really strong sense of community, and it makes it very easy to call Brandeis home. People are very accepting, and it's rare to feel like an outsider. Everyone is welcome. The size is perfect. You can walk across campus and bump into dozens of people you know, but it's also big enough to find a few different niches and escape from the people you always see. Waltham sucks, but Boston and Cambridge are nearby and awesome. There isn't school pride in the traditional pep rally sense, but people are very aware of what it means to be from Brandeis, and students constantly talk about what it's like to be a Brandesian. I'm proud of my school, and I love having my friends from other schools visit. The campus is kind of ugly, but there is construction for lots of new buildings.
Non-intro classes are small, and professors get to know students really well. They're very accessible and love to talk to students outside of class. There are lots of hands-on classes, in which you can apply what you're learning outside the classroom. I took a class on teaching science to kids, and we did all sorts of physics experiments with balloons and K'nex and batteries. I learned more physics than I had in high school, and it was tons of fun. Some students study all day and all night, and some rarely study. It depends on the classes you take. Science classes require a lot more time to work than some others. Students are competitive against themselves, not each other. Most of my classes have not been curved, so it really doesn't matter what grades anyone else gets. The psychology major requires too many hard science classes. I wish I could have taken more classes like Abnormal, Social, and Developmental Psych, instead of calculus, statistics, chemistry, neuroscience, etc. The general university requirements are easy to meet, and valuable for a liberal arts education. I have finished all the university requirements and one major by the end of junior year, and I only have two classes left before I finish my other two majors. That means that after 7 semesters of college (3.5 years), I will have completed the general requirements and three majors. They make it easy to cross-list courses and get credit for different majors.
There is no type of student who would feel out of place at Brandeis. People think of Brandeis as being super-Jewish, but it's easy to forget that. There are plenty of students who practice other religions. There are plenty of resources and clubs for people in the LGBT community (such as the QRC, and Triskelion), and different racial and ethnic communities (AHORA, SASA, KSA, BSO, JSA, etc.). Students dress fairly casual for class. Some wear pajamas and sweatpants, others wear heels and mini-skirts. But the average student wears jeans and t-shirts. Students do tend to group off. In the dining hall, there would be a frat table, an international students table, a dorky table, and a table of "average" white, middle class students. There are a lot of people from the Northeast (New England, NJ, and NY). It is very hard to say what financial background people have. It's rarely discussed or flaunted. Students are very politically aware, generally left-wing/liberal democrats. Lots of people are invested in social justice/human rights. But there are also a lot of people who are here just to be doctors or investment bankers.