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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Complaining about complaining

Published: April 27, 2007
Section: Opinions

This weekend, I traveled to Emory University to compete in the UAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Besides the warm weather, funny accents, and great courtesy food, another benefit was enjoyed as a result of the trip. My teammates and I were amazed at the beauty and grandeur of the Emory campus and their facilities. These far surpass the landscape and athletic sites we have at Brandeis and my teammates and I eventually began complaining about the poor condition of the campus here at Brandeis.

I have heard many times that the food is bad, that the buildings are ugly, that the girls (or guys) are not that attractive, and a number of other complaints about our university. I believe that this whining is unnecessary and annoying, and that people truly create their own dissatisfaction with their college experience. With my last column of the year, I hope to spread some Brandeis love and rebuke all of the complainers who dont understand the true greatness of our institution.

It seems that a casual conversation in Usdan or in any other context may invariably lead itself to the shortcomings of this university. I feel like there are so many complainers and the incessant whining is enough to drive me mad. All types of subjects are complained about;

from the poor quality of an actually pretty awesome corporation like Aramark, to the inadequate aesthetics of our pretty, well-manicured campus. People complain about the social life, which I find funny because the students themselves create the atmosphere they disparage, while others belittle their schoolmates as being sketchy and awkward, another irony. It is evident that a number of students have a wide array of negative comments to make about Brandeis.

Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer gives a speech at the matriculation ceremony of each academic year where he warns students, among other valuable advice, to go out and make the best of Brandeis. He says that you cant just expect a school to give you friends, a good time, and a variety of other experiences. This is the complete truth. Many people here are all too willing to criticize the schools social life when the students themselves create this scene. Many are too willing to complain about the campus and other deficiencies when, I dont know, the funds may be spent on such ludicrous things as financial aid or the new science complex. Rather than going out there and making the best of ones time, numerous complainers are resigned to whine rather than shine as my friend John D' Oleo eloquently states.

It is not the mahogany walls, fire places, or well-manicured lawns that create an institution, but the academics and people who comprise the university. To this extent, all of us are getting our moneys worth from our school and have the possibility to enrich all of our educational experiences. College is not a place to get quality food or housing, but firstly a place to learn, and I almost never hear a complaint about the quality of education at this school. Brandeis shouldnt be a university where parties are magically conjured up and friends appear at your doorway, but a location where you can grow and mature as an intellectual. Colleges are not made from brick and stone, but in the hearts and minds of those who comprise the university. To this extent, better your institution, dont complain, and simply make the best of the wonderful opportunities that can be found at Brandeis.
Sure Emory may have had a great campus, wonderful athletic facilities, and vending machines that will blow your mind. But these characteristics are superficial when compared to the meaningful attributes of our university. It is too easy to complain, to moan about the quality of Brandeis.

Ones conditions at this University are entirely self-made;

people should be relying on themselves to make the best out of what we have at this institution.