It’s hard to summarize everything I’ve learned at Brandeis in a few words. The fact that my entire Brandeis career is over baffles me to say the least. Where did the time go? How do I even describe it? I guess the best way to describe my time at Brandeis is by calling it a relationship. It’s a lot like dating actually. You go around and try out different activities, friends, classes, dining halls, and dorms until the right one fits. Maybe you find your niche sophomore year, maybe you find it senior year, maybe you have to look for it every year, or you may not find it at all. However, you have to keep looking. Go to Magic the Gathering club, try out for Banshee, stage manage a University Theater Cooperative show, or start going to the gym to find yourself and where you belong.
Here is my personal story. I started Brandeis University as a Pre-Med devoted to becoming a Neuroscientist and I leave as a Psychology major with a minor in French. How did the change come about? Well, after trying on every shoe in the Brandeis closet, I found one that fit. Joining almost every club Brandeis has to offer (well not quite), ones ranging from the Health Occupations Students of America to Free Play Theater Cooperative and Her Campus, I discovered that I lost my desire to be a doctor somewhere along the way. My parents opinion no longer mattered to me because I finally learned what I enjoyed doing – promoting events and connecting with people. This brings me to my next point.
Be sure to meet as many people as you can at Brandeis. Talk to everyone you can. Make connections with professors, the Hiatt Career Center, the people who work in Usdan, your hall mates, your roommate’s boyfriend, in short, everyone. These people can help you find a job one day or they can teach you something you never knew about yourself. Networking both professionally and socially will broaden your views as a person and teach you valuable lessons about teamwork, cooperation, and communication.
Connecting with people can sometimes involve taking a risk. I cannot emphasize this enough; take risks, healthy ones, to expand your comfort zone. Go beyond your comfort zone sometimes to push your limits and encourage personal growth. Go to a Skydiving Club meeting and soar over the valley or join Ballroom Dance Club to learn the Waltz. Just make sure to push your limits.
My final piece of advice is to jump on every opportunity that comes at you. At this point in your lives, most of your action comes with little or no consequences with the cushioning of your parents support and the resources available at Brandeis University. If you’re offered a cool internship but it’s not really what you want to do, take it anyway. You never know where you’ll end up. Experiment and try out new things. Go on a date with the nerdy guy in your Anthropology class, just for fun. Take a risk, take a chance…