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COLUMN: Brandeis, the holy grail of fun

By Leah Berkenwald

Section: Opinions

January 28, 2005

Poop. Yes, I began an article with the word poop. This is, no doubt, because I am a college student. Wait. College students use the word poop? Well, a couple years ago I would have never thought the word poop would be a college favorite. But after coming to school a year and a half ago, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of immaturity one can find at an institution of higher education. Especially one as academically rigorous and pretentious – oh Im sorry, I meant prestigious, as Brandeis.
In high school, everyone wants to be mature. Why? Mature kids do better on their SATs and do better in interviews. They smell better too. They get into colleges like Swarthmore and Princeton. They are vegetarians and are well informed about politics and MSG. The mature kids go Ivy, the stupid kids go nowhere, and the smart but immature ones end up here.

Being the faux-mature high school student I was, I thought college would be a Mecca for maturity and sensibleness. I thought people would wake up early for classes and shower regularly. I thought people would drink responsibly and go to the opera on Friday nights. I thought people would do all of their readings for class and dress appropriately for the weather. I even thought that during quiet hours people had to be quiet. In short, I thought college was going to be boring as hell!

But luckily, I was wrong. Instead of well-balanced meals I eat French fries and cake. Why? Because my mother isnt here to tell me no. When I have finished my French fries and cake, I start napkin fights with the people sitting at the next table. Last time, my roommate ended up with a tater-tot stuck up her nose. Hey, did you see Napoleon Dynamite yet?

Laundry is also a fun adventure. You know youre a college student when all of your whites have a pink tinge because they were washed with your red Brandeis sweatshirt. In fact, Id be suspicious of anyone without pink-tinged whites. They probably have the laundry service. But I mean, really. Why would anyone want their clothes to stay the same color as when they bought them? Watching them evolve is fun! And, its not that I dont know to separate whites and darks, its really that Im too lazy. But dont worry;

Ill be sure to teach the bewildered hot guy at the next washer. And Ill betcha ten bucks hell be too lazy to keep his whites as blank as that paper I havent started yet.

It is really too bad that due to the cancellation of a beloved event this year, the freshmen havent gotten an accurate picture of drinking irresponsibly at Brandeis. While all those mature people are off somewhere sipping scotch watching the NBC Nightly News, we get to be here funneling Red Stripe and chasing it with Jack Daniels in a dingy dorm room. How exciting it was to live on a freshman hall, which turned into an obstacle course of puke and overturned trash cans every weekend! Without it, I dont think my experience would have been the same. I mean, without nights of drunken revelry, where would the nicknames (vomitbag) come from? And really, when it comes to those nights you really drank (7 shots of vodka, 6 beers and 4 cups of punch), do you really want to remember what happened anyway? Might as well down another 9 shots, take a BEMCO sponsored field trip and have a great story to tell the next day.

And how awesome was it to learn that I would never have to sleep alone, never mind in my own bed, ever again! Honestly, without the extra-cushioning of another body, how could anyone sleep on those bad excuses for mattresses? Sometimes I come home from a night in some other bed on some other body (dont remember his name – too much Jack) and find a random couple in my bed! How awesome is it that with two people to each bed, there are dozens of empty beds for drunk people to crash in! And what about all of those off-campus partiers who are too drunk to drive home? Dont they need a warm bed to sleep in too? If you think about it, sleeping around is really a humanitarian act. Some might call the behavior slutty, but I call it generous.

As for common consideration, Im glad that my hallmates dont respect me. No one I know has a copy of Rights and Responsibilities. I mean really, if courtesy and consideration was a part of college life, we would have nothing to complain about! A complaint-free Brandeis just wouldnt be Brandeis at all. So, as I take my leave (hallway hockey calls) I urge you all to remember that our time at Brandeis is limited. Dont waste your last years of immaturity by pretending to be adults. Once we leave here, the party is over. No more cheap beer. No more Donnie Darko at 4 a.m. on a school night. We will have to be mature in the real world. At least, I think so.

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