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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Considering a transfer? Stick around

Published: April 30, 2010
Section: Opinions

It is 2:00 a.m. I am holding a café latte in hand and staring at the blank word page on my computer screen. I take a break (from the hard work of staring at the screen) and read some useless stuff. Now back to “writing.” Still nothing. Just another night at Brandeis, wondering what to write about. Except this time is not like any other time, this time it is about my last article at The Brandeis Hoot.

It feels like yesterday when I was moving into my freshman dorm, full of illusions and hopes about college. My first disappointment was to find out that college, or at least Brandeis, was not like American Pie—man what a bummer. And not only that, but I was in a forced triple, with very awkward roommates. Then of course came the awful, and depressing weather. And from there on, it was all down hill, Brandeis was going to be a living hell, and a cold one.

But fortunately, I was lucky enough to become friends with Seniors who would cheer me up and tell me the usual “it is what you make of it” (and of course provide alcohol in which to sink my sorrows). They also told me I would grow to like it and appreciate it. As it turned out, I did. But in the meantime, I had divided my section of the room from those of the roommates with sheets. Gradually, I learned to love Brandeis … it was a little like having “Stockholm Syndrome.”

But in all seriousness as I try to collect my memories I feel a sense of satisfaction mixed with nostalgia, and a smell of coffee and bagels. Four years have gone by, and here I am, as Paul Simon would say “older than I once was and younger than I’ll be, that’s not unusual. No it isn’t strange after changes upon changes we are more or less the same after changes we are more or less the same.”

I was reminded of that this week when I gave a ride this week to a freshman student who was also heading to the Brandeis Pool in Brookline, 25 minutes away from campus. It was during this ride that I realized how much I actually liked this place. I asked him about his experience so far, and he told me he was considering transferring. I immediately supported this decision, of course. I mean the school is broke, there are too many liberals, the buildings designs don’t match, the girls (boys) situation is less than desirable, the meal plans are a rip-off, student housing is awful and so forth. I believe I scared the freshman, seriously. But then, without noticing, I began to defend it.

Because in reality, I realized that all these issues are insignificant when contrasted with all the good things at Brandeis. Sure, there are many things that can be improved, but it is up to us, the student body to demand its improvement, and so it begins: the Brandeis metamorphosis. Being a small school we are not just a number, we have the opportunity to develop stronger relationships with faculty, staff and fellow students. We feel much more capable of making a change by raising our voice and expressing our desires; which as a consequence often gets raised to a point of ridicule. But this is the Brandeis spirit—embrace it and it will take you far. As Rabbi Hillel said “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”