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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The junior experience: getting there (the adult)

Published: November 12, 2010
Section: Features

GRAPHIC BY Leaf Lefkowitz

Being a junior at Brandeis is like having a mid-life crisis. Now, more than halfway through my time at Brandeis, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel—and I’m a little depressed about it. I woke up one day and realized that my time at Brandeis is finite. A little older and a little wiser, I have my spot staked out in the library, I’ve discovered the peace room and I’ve long since abandoned Sherman as a main source of sustenance. Forty-five percent of us are studying abroad this year and, like all exciting events you secretly dread, time is speeding up to spite us. Graduate school, Teach for America and possibly, as the media likes to remind us, unemployment are around the corner. In the meantime, I’m trying to enjoy college while it lasts.

Being a junior at Brandeis is a lot like being a sophomore … except the walk to class is longer, the leadership positions available to us more plentiful, and we likely Skype at odd hours of the night with friends in foreign countries. OK, maybe it’s not a lot like being a sophomore. Pachanga is old news, we’ve declared our majors and likely several minors, and some of us might even attempt to cook if we were lucky enough to have scored a Ridgewood (or unlucky enough to have ended up in Grad). As juniors, we’re pretty on top of our game. We have our social niche, we have a basic command of the T and we’re not yet sick of the Brandeis bubble.

And yes, I already bought a GRE prep book. Like many juniors, I’m simultaneously checking off items on my Brandeis bucket list and starting to think about life after ’Deis. Instead of changing jobs and buying a new car, like you would in a real mid-life crisis, we’re throwing ourselves into our college experience. Career fairs, karaoke nights, concerts in Boston—we’re in the know. As a tour guide for admissions, my repertoire of stories and events to use to attract perspective students is ever growing. So, junior year is what it’s cracked up to be. We’re working in the classroom, yes; but at the end of the day we’re going to club meetings, we’re heading to Chum’s for the night, we’re supporting our friends at their a cappella debuts. Like the rest of Brandeis, juniors are involved … at least for one more year.