Friday, July 6, 2012

Beautiful Brandeis

Something that is really important to me in a college is diversity. I want to go to a school where I can meet people from across the world and learn from individuals with different customs, views, and backgrounds than myself. Brandeis is not only a diverse school, it is a school whose mission is to accept people based on only their intellectual ability. It promotes diversity and fosters an environment where students are accepting of one another despite their differences. Visiting Brandeis today really enabled me to see this diversity and the strong community on campus.

Once we arrived at the school, we immediately made our way to the admissions building to attend an information session. The woman, Meghan, who spoke to us graduated Brandeis in 2010, so she still has a strong connection with life on campus. She said that because Brandeis was founded 60 years ago, it doesn’t yet have ridged rules or traditions. Thus the administration is very accessible and open to new ideas from students. I think that it is really valuable to have the chance to voice opinions.

Despite the fact that Brandeis is a very young school, it has incredible resources and academics. Brandies meets 100 percent of the demonstrated needs of its students. The acceptance rates of Brandeisians into medical school, law school, and GSAS are well above the national average. Another aspect of Brandeis that really impressed me was their career center. This center is open to not only students, but also graduates. I know that, for me, it would feel great to have the support from a center such as this after graduation.

After the information session, we meet up with our tour guide Margaret. She is a rising sophomore and although she had been at the school for only a year, she was very passionate about Brandeis. She almost immediately led us to the science center. Unlike the other schools we’ve visited, Brandeis is really trying to go green. There are metal bars outside the windows of the science building that help to retain heat in the winter and reflect heat in the summer. These bars actually work; it felt like the air conditioning was on full blast.

Outside the science center.
For me, the highlight of the tour was probably visiting the castle. This castle, based off of one from Europe, was built form the outside in. Due to this, there are doors without rooms beyond them, staircases that lead to the third floor before the second, and windows with walls directly behind them.

Margaret outside the castle. 
After the tour, we ate lunch in a delicious faculty restaurant and then headed back to the hotel. A few hours after we arrived back, it was time to head off to Boston for a fancy dinner at Mistral. On the ride to Boston, Mr. Ramsey encouraged us to talk to the Brown I group about their experiences during their programs. I asked Nick, Emily, and Tayler a ton of questions about Brown and they provided me with really helpful advice. Now I’m even more excited to head to Brown than before.

Once we arrived at the restaurant, Maddie, Ynah, and I were seated at the Wellesley table with Guy and Joan, a Wellesley graduate.  Joan and I immediately stuck up a conversation about community-based agriculture. She actually started a community garden in an empty lot in her neighborhood. I’m thinking about starting something like this in my own community, so I’ll definitely keep in touch with Joan. She also provided us with really helpful information about colleges. She recently toured several Ivy League schools with her niece, so she was very knowledgeable. My conversations with Joan were extremely valuable. I hope to expand my relationship with her in the near future.

The Dartmouth group. 
After talking to Joan and Guy, I moved to the Dartmouth table. Once I arrived, I could immediately sense a strong community between the students. They were talking like old friends despite the fact that several of them had not meet before this evening. The more I learn about Dartmouth, the more I feel that community is of the upmost importance to them. Due to this, I will definitely explore more about life at Dartmouth. Next I moved to the Brandeis table. Here everyone was really friendly. The dinner ended so quickly, but I felt like I made some really valuable connections. I can’t wait to meet even more amazing people at the brunch on Sunday. 

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