Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Modulations of a midyear

Published: April 27, 2007
Section: Opinions

So theyre happy. Finally. The Midyear class of 2010 plans to graduate in three-and-a-half years, the registrar understands this, there are rules specifically relating to transfer credits, studying abroad and all that goodness, and they have as a whole become a visible, socially-active presence on this campus. And I congratulate the administration on accomplishing this feat;

as a member of the original midyear class, I did not think Id ever see the day where someone (Beth Bowman, 10) whos here as a midyear could say, I love it here. I dont want to leave, and mean it.

When I arrived, back in the day, Id only ever been to Brandeis for a half-assed June orientation. We stayed in Rosenthal and were quite confused as to what was going on. A lot of those people arent on campus any moreseveral took or are taking time off, many transferred and some just faded away. We had no real secondary orientation and arrived during a horrible cold spell in January. I lived in the Schwartz hellhole and began a long spiral into a deep, dark depression that lasted over two years and weighed in at some 45 pounds. It was fun.

But now, now they are happy. People know what midyears are there are no more alienating stares from confused sophomore dorm-matesand there are services and rules meant just for them, like the winter activities fair. I would have liked one the moment I got onto campusI could have been the nervous first-year in the corner hiding from overly-loud seniors;

or the first-year somewhere at the bottom of the Justice totem pole (yes, there was a time without The Hoot) or the first-year on the equestrian team. Instead I learned how to knit in the back of Teubers Philosophy of Law class and that I hated playing the viola even more than I ever thought I could, and how to avoid my fellow man via email.

Im glad that Brandeis seems to have fixed the programI really do think its a good idea. I had an extra semester of study abroad because of it, something I thoroughly enjoyed, and a lot of really involved high school seniors now have a little more time to take pause before they become really involved college students. Theyve kept all the midyears together, so they can have a unique dorm culture;

theyve tried various orientations and finally settled on a routine, and now there are other midyears who know how the system works to advise the newcomers on its best manipulation. Being the guinea pig really hurt, but I do think our pain helped Brandeis develop a new way to educate, even if it is mostly for the benefit of the administrations pocketbooks.

Midyear Stats
Despite how it seems to most of us midyears, it turns out most of us are still here.
Stats from Mark Hewitt at the registrar's office:
76 Midyears originally.
10 are no longer active students (9 dropped out, one leave of absence)

Someone graduated last fall (didn't know that was possible!)
52 are graduating this spring
10 next fall
3 after that (students who took time away)