- Class: Junior
- Major: Music
- Gender: M
- High School: Saratoga Springs High School
- Transfer Student: N
There are two things that resonate with me about Brandeis. First, wherever I go, I am guaranteed to run into people I know. Everywhere. I can take a different route to class and see people I haven't met before, but I will run into someone I know. I don't think that's because I'm the kind of person who has a lot of friends, it's that Brandeis students are interconnected with all disciplines. While I may venture into the science complex very rarely, I still have friends who are science people and I meet them wherever I go. The second big thing I like about Brandeis is that there are opportunities here that you can't get at the more historical schools. Since Brandeis is so new, there are countless ways to make a mark and start a tradition. This is an exciting place to be because change happens in a short period of time, and you can actually make a difference in your four years here. At more prestigiously older schools, like Harvard or Yale, the history and tradition is more deep-seated, so the room for change isn't as easy. While there are plenty of issues that aren't unique to Brandeis (inefficient student government, new practices implemented in administration, etc), the possibility to change those things is in your grasp. There is no perfect school, but at Brandeis, you can shape it into your perfect school.
In all of my classes at Brandeis, only one has disappointed me. My calc10a class was taught by someone who didn't speak English well, and I was bored in class because I knew a lot coming in and didn't get a lot out of it. Also, math is not in my professional outlook, so I skived it off. Otherwise, I have been very happy with academics. I have had challenges, and if I was more narrow-minded, I would have hated a couple of my classes, but my outlook was to get a rounded experience of teaching, topics, and styles of class, and I got that. Some of my classes were so tiny that the pressure was on- one philo class there were four students (including me), and in true Brandeis fashion, three were named Dan. Some of my classes were on the large side, 100 or more, but I still felt like the professor carried the class and I enjoyed them quite a bit (Adolescent Literature and Behavioral Neuro). Outside the classroom, the professors have been surprisingly helpful, open, and friendly. My favorite music professor invited me to hang out with him at an artist's retreat. I had questions about my philosophy essay and my professor forced loads of foreign candy on me because she had gotten so much in thanks for writing recommendations. My Near-Eastern and Judaic Studies professor is coming to my musical, and the next week he's making sushi for a resident hall event. With fellow students, I am scared to leave college and be bereft of the knowledge sharing we engage in. Like I mentioned above, people are connected across all the disciplines, and finding people to collaborate or help you is very easy (also Academic Services has a great peer-tutoring program). I'm full of ***tail knowledge because people who have exciting classes tell us about how cool they are.
Unambitious and lazy people will not have a great time at Brandeis. True, my first-year roommate was a bum, but when we were both excited about things, we really made them happen (...notpron...). The student body here is so involved and so dedicated to various interests that if you come here with a desire to party or sit around all the time, you'll miss out on the real Brandeis experience. Be prepared to try new things, and if you're not prepared, you'll just get pushed into them. There is a lot of quirk in the student body, but there still are cliques just like high school. You can never eliminate that, but to Brandeis' credit, the cliques are fluid and interact positively with each other. You will have a first-year hall with people of all ranges, but you will most likely get along with all of them and realize that you span multiple cliques, just like everyone else. The connotation of "clique" is usually negative, but at Brandeis, it means that you can always find a niche for yourself, and you're never stuck in that niche. There are a lot of Jews, which can be frustrating at times, but it's so much more fun to adapt to Jewish difficulties (Friday night and Saturday sabbath, religious holidays) than to deal with the more typical Christian difficulties. Whatever school you go to, there will be religious challenges, but Brandeis is unique in that the challenges here involve Jewish traditions, which is different than a lot of other places.
The Best Things
Opportunities for change, talented and ambitious student body, stellar academic-student body balance
The Worst Things
Kinks in the system- dining hours on weekends, money to certain types of clubs, lack of space on campus, incompetent career center