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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

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A transfer says thanks

Published: September 29, 2006
Section: Opinions


I sat across from my friends mother as we discussed my future. Ugly girls, she warned. Brandeis has ugly girls. She tried desperately to convince me to attend a bigger, more traditional university with, I assume, prettier girls. I heard all the arguments, excuses and Jewish jokes on why not to attend Brandeis. However, against conventional wisdom, I decided to transfer here and so far, I conclude that 1) This place is strange but 2) I love strange so much that coming to Brandeis may be the best decision of my lifetime.

Let me explain. When walking across campus on weeknights, it feels like a horror movie. Typically at many colleges, there will be noise signaling that a party is nearby. Instead at Brandeis, it is eerily quiet that it makes you walk cautiously, anticipating being attacked by a chainsaw-carrying madman.

However, it is refreshing to try other forms of entertainment that are forced because of Brandeis lacking party scene. Weeks ago I played bingo. I never play Bingo. I won nothing, but the point is, I tried something new even if it was Bingo. I've also gone to the beach early in the morning to see the sun rise, watched an incredible rap concert in Cambridge and visited New York City and Boston already. It has been a month. There are also Tango lessons, pottery, horseback riding and many other activities. The list is endless and all because people study here during the week.

Lets continue. The school is historically Jewish. Automatically, that is different. Brandeis is sometimes unfairly teased for its Jewish roots and Jewish students, but I find it cool that I know, as a Korean-American, emut means truth in Hebrew. I dont even know how to say truth in Korean.

Brandeis eccentricities do not stop there. The school out-laws fraternities and sororities. There is no football team. There is a serial masturbator roaming campus. Okay, thats just wrong.

However, the strangest and most inspiring feature of Brandeis is its students. Please note that I adore my previous college. Still I left because I felt unsatisfied. I desired to be challenged and busy. But after one month here, I am already burning out.
The campus is filled with overachievers. My editors, for example, stay well past midnight to make sure the newspaper is finished and ready. They arent even paid. However, they lose sleep every week to put out a newspaper on two computers and in a room that is shared by nearly every other school publication. Again, maybe they simply do this because of the non-existent party scene. Regardless, it is extraordinary.

Students here simply just do not know how to sit still. They plan campus wide campaigns for energy alternatives or month-long celebrations of ones heritage. School has only been in session for a month. Nearly everyone is involved and committed for some cause and if not in some extracurricular, they bury themselves in their schoolwork to fulfill their three minors and two majors. Perhaps it is not the school that is strange, but its students or a combination of the two.

I look at my peers and I am astounded. Perhaps, in another month, Ill become annoyed by everyone trying to do too much because I can see it getting obnoxious. But for now, I wanted to say thank you to the Brandeis community for such a wonderful introduction. This place is certainly strange and perhaps, a tad boring, but worthwhile. And the girls aint that bad either.