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Words of wisdom for the new batch of midyears

Published: February 12, 2010
Section: Opinions


Hello, midyears! Welcome to Brandeis University. We like you already. I’ve liked you ever since Wednesday, when I gave a cookie to a midyear and he responded with a hug. I like that you’re that kind of people. Keep the hugs coming and we’ll get along just fine. There are several things you ought to know about our fine university. I’m here to tell you those things.

Firstly, the turkeys will not bite you. They will gobble at you, but please have no fear. They are the friendliest of beasts. They are not for eating, however. They are for befriending.

Much of your Brandeis transportation experience will involve desperately chasing after the Branvan as it leaves you behind in the snow. The driver may even turn around and wave at you as he picks up speed and disappears. Do not complain about this experience, as it will only harden their resolve to abandon you.

Dining hours are structured in a way that makes eating an impossibility. Please pack a lunch for the weekends, as otherwise you will starve to death.

The man in the mail room will sing you any tune you like. He’s astounding! Once he even gave me a cupcake. Be nice to him, he’s been here for 30-something years.

You may discover Prof. Levin (POL) brushing his teeth in the library. Nobody know what that’s about. I suggest you don’t ask questions.

The frat boys are going to ask you to sign a gigantic ball at some point or other. Defy them! They are not what they seem, and the ball is a binding contract.

Everyone is required to own at least one Big Silly Hat. Do not be caught without one.

The lady at the Heller coffee shop makes really delicious lattes. Go and get one!

The more fascinating your UWS looks, the less fascinating it will actually be. Find the UWS with the dullest title imaginable, and it’ll probably be enthralling.

The Student Union only has power as long as people believe it has power. Destroy the myth, and you destroy the Union!

Jehuda Reinharz is far cuddlier than his reputation would suggest. He has the eyes of a teddy bear. (They have no irises!)

There are free newspapers! Get there early, though, or else you will be lumbered with the USA Today, and everyone around you will think you’re a fool.

The printer in the campus center will not work as soon as you desperately need it. It loves nothing more than to have a paper-jam ten minutes before your assignment is due.

Nobody knows what Bronstein Week is, so don’t even bother asking.

There is a big ol’ hill. You will walk up and down it frequently.

Do not attempt to adjust your room temperature. All efforts to create a pleasant living environment are futile. You will spend your Brandeis life either extremely hot or extremely cold, but nowhere in between.

The fire alarm is loud, and only ever goes off at 4 a.m.

Every single person at Brandeis is exactly the same as every single other person. If you think you’ve found a difference, you haven’t.

The dormitory ventilation system carries both heat and sound equally well. I hope you don’t have promiscuous neighbors.

The envelope should not be pushed. Stay in line!

With these sage words, you are ready to embark. If you have any questions, please approach and hug me.