Brandeis 102

Brandeis 102

Even after weeks or months or years at Brandeis, chances are you will still not have the hang of everything, or just not know about everything that exists. Hopefully the second part of the instruction book will add a little to your pool of knowledge. 

Housing 

Having a comfortable living environment is crucial to being happy: if you dread going back to your own room, that’s not a healthy environment to be in. Unfortunately, bad roommate matches happen, and it’s okay to not get along with your roommate. I came to Brandeis thinking I was going to be best friends with my roommate, but I soon realized that that was not going to be the case. And that’s OK.

Although you should work to maintain good relations with your roommate, you can always go to your Community Advisor (CA) if you are having issues. In general, your CA is a resource you can go to for any housing-related issues you have. They will help you have a conversation with your roommates or guide you to any further steps that need to be taken. 

If the match just is not working out, you can go to the Department of Community Living and ask for a change. When I had issues with my living situation, they moved me within a week of me asking without making a big deal out of it. If you aren’t happy on campus, remember that moving off campus is always an option after your first year. 

If there is an issue in your room which requires maintenance, you need to file a work order, which can be done online or through the BRANDA app. 

Dining

Food is a topic of much debate. Personally I am not a huge fan of Brandeis food, but others disagree. If you want to be able to have a lot of variety in the food you eat, choose the meal plan with the most points. You can eat at the dining hall for points or at any other place on campus. However, be wise with spending your points; many use all of them up during the first few months and later have limited options. 

If you do not like the dining hall food, you can always go to Upper Usdan, which has burritos, sandwiches and sushi. I would personally recommend Curritos. Although you cannot use a meal swipe there, their burritos are really good. There is also Louis’ Deli, which has sandwiches, salads and soups. 

The Stein is my personal favorite. It is open Thursdays through Sundays and serves comfort food. If you are in the mood for fries at 1 a.m., that’s where you should go. There is also a convenience store on campus, where you can purchase snacks, sandwiches, salads and much more. 

You can use a meal swipe at most dining locations on campus; charts of where you can use a meal swipe are also available on the Sodexo website. It also has menus of what is available at the dining hall, though they are not always accurate. There is also a food pantry open to all students located in Kutz Hall. 

Social

Joining a club is a great way to make friends. Brandeis has over 200 clubs that will suit any interest you may have. You can even write opinion pieces for my section at The Hoot; I welcome any opinion, even if I disagree with it. Hoot staff have written about everything ranging from feta cheese in the dining hall to investigative pieces on the implementation of Title IX at Brandeis.  

Check the calendar of events to see what’s happening on campus: there’s always a lot of things going on. 

Take advantage of the free shuttles to Boston. They work Thursdays through Sundays. They leave every hour and a half and take you to the center of Boston or Harvard Square. The last bus to Brandeis leaves at 2 a.m. You can find the exact schedule online. 

Look at all the benefits you get as a student and take advantage of them while you can. The Museum of Fine Arts offers free admission when you show your Brandeis ID, while the Museum of Science offers admission for only $15. 

The Launch Trampoline Park offers weekly College Night at Launch Watertown every Wednesday from 4 p.m. until closing, you get 50 percent off their walk-in rates for jumping or laser tag with your Brandeis ID. A number of cinemas in the area also offer discounted rates for students. 

If you want to get to know Boston or your family is in town, you can go on the Boston Duck Tour for $25 or to the New England Aquarium for $15. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

I hope now you are confident in continuing the rest of your Brandeis journey!

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