My First Weeks of College: Brandeis

January 08, 2015

As applicants wait around to find out which college they will be going to, they are probably also beginning to wonder what college life will be like. How different is it from high school? What will my first weeks be like? Don’t worry—zkaufman shares with us how his first weeks at Brandeis University went!

I walked into my dorm, threw boxes in my room and piled on miscellaneous stuff that I would have to live with for the next year on my bed. I was sweating, both because my room was over 100 degrees, and from the stress of moving out on my own for the first time. As many are, I was very nervous when I first got to school. I had spoken to people on Facebook before school, made a few friends, but as you can probably guess, the way people act on social media doesn’t always reflect who they are in real life. I had chosen a roommate and set everything up, but he decided to attend a different college last minute, so I was randomly assigned one. He was Chinese, had never been to America before and spoke little English. I didn’t really know what to expect. I was already nervous about going to college, but the last minute changes just made feel even more uneasy. These are probably the normal feelings that many before me have experienced as well, but I quickly learned that these were misconceptions. On my first night, the new students were split up into orientation groups. My group consisted of seven other students. The first event was boring and I really didn’t want to be there, plus I didn’t think I would get along with my group so I didn’t try talking to them much. But after realizing I would be spending a lot of time with them for the next three days, I decided to give them a chance, open up, and I am glad I did.

Four of the seven are now my closest friends, and I hang out with them all the time. It was stupid of me to think that it would be a waste of time to talk to people that I didn’t hit it off with immediately. I quickly learned that Brandeis was an open and accepting community, so I began to talk to everyone I met. This was the best skill I have picked up at college thus far because not only is it a great networking skill, but it has helped me become a more welcoming and outgoing person. Another important piece I learned in that first week was to be myself. I know it sounds cliché and dumb, but it was so true. It didn’t make sense to hide how I acted to make friends, because if they didn’t like me at the beginning of our friendship, why would they a month down the road? And this was great, because when I acted like myself, others did as well. It was easy to see who I could relate to, and who I would want to stay in contact with. It helped lead me to joining the Frisbee team, and making friends in my gigantic lecture classes. If I took anything away from my first week it was that I had to be open and talkative, as well as stay true to who I am.  

Any interesting stories during your first weeks at college? Leave a comment and let us know!



Browse Successful Application Files

bwill
Williams ‘19


Accepted to Williams, Claremont (CMC), Amherst, Swarthmore, Pitzer, Northwestern, Tufts, WashU, Grinnell, Rice, Emory, LMU

Hi! I'm a Williams '19 transfer who's passionate about social justice, tech, and STEM. I'd love to share what I learned from navigating this hectic process twice!
ayinUChicago
UChicago ‘18


Accepted to Duke, Brown, NYU, UChicago, UNC, East Carolina, NC State

I'm a class of 2018'er at UChicago studying Economics and Psychology! Super interested in start-ups and economics.
tifstar1997
Cornell ‘19


Accepted to Cornell, CMU, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, UCSD, UCSB, UC Irvine

Cornell Engineering '19
uhoh29
JHU ‘19


Accepted to JHU, Cornell, Northeastern, Fordham, UMD, Wisconsin, Temple

Junior Woodrow Wilson Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins majoring in English and Writing Seminars

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