Needless to say, our experience at Brandeis was very unique and unlike many of the years that came before us, mostly as a result of COVID-19 and its unfortunate consequences that it has had on our college careers. Regardless, I would still like to emphasize the positive aspects of my Brandeis career, rather than the unfortunate pandemic.
To start, one of the best things to come out of Brandeis for me is undoubtedly Sasha. Ever since I first came to the Brandeis campus in August 2018, she was one of the first people that I met and one of the first people who I really got to know well. While there were many ups and downs throughout my Brandeis career academically, socially, and emotionally, she was always my rock and will continue to be my rock. Quite frankly, I am unable to express my gratitude at how happy I am to find someone that I click with so well. While I am happy that I met her at Brandeis, I am even more ecstatic that she will continue to be part of my life post-Brandeis, and I could not thank Brandeis more for providing the ground and circumstances where we met.
However, even though I met Sasha at Brandeis and this overshadows any negative feelings I have of Brandeis, another pervasive concept throughout my Brandeis career was COVID-19. I can distinctly remember first hearing about us going online for two weeks. I was in Bio Lab when we received an email about going online for two weeks. At this point, in my head, I was just happy to get a two-week vacation. But, little did I know how much this virus would impact my college career and that this was nothing to be happy about due to the harm and destruction that it has caused. Although I feel selfish honing in on this aspect of COVID-19 since there are people who have lost family members and friends over this virus, starting in Spring 2020, we were essentially fully remote for a year and a half, basically splicing out my entire junior and half of my sophomore year from existence. To be honest, I barely remember anything about this year and a half. I was in remote classes, but it all mostly feels like a blur, where online classes blended together and I had the exact same routine each and every day. Not to mention, every club that I was in held only remote meetings, which made it difficult to socially connect with my peers.
However, interestingly enough, for me, I don’t think that COVID-19 was not all bad from my perspective. I started working at the Brandeis COVID-19 testing site at the beginning of my senior year, where I met a bunch of fun people and made some really solid connections. It was also a great job socially: basically everybody on Brandeis campus came to the COVID-19 testing site twice a week, so it was a great way to get to meet people and form new relationships. While I am sad that the testing site will likely be closing for the foreseeable future barring any unforeseen circumstances, of course all great things must eventually come to an end.
One of my major milestones at Brandeis was finding and writing for The Hoot, which was a great way to connect to campus life and also meet a bunch of awesome people who I am proud to call my friends. It seems weird, having a pre-med be one of the EICs of the paper, but I could not ask for a better club to have joined. Thank you for making me more of a “Gen-Zer,” and teaching me “cool kid talk” such as “Bussin” and “yas queen slay;” those will be in my vocabulary forever.
I also want to take a second to shout-out all the senior staff writers who have contributed to The Hoot over their Brandeis careers: Sam Finbury ’22, Josh Lannon ’22, Zach Katz ’22 and Jesse Lieberman ’22. You guys have fueled The Hoot will all of your amazing work; we (the 3ICs) are very thankful to you guys and wish you luck in all your future endeavors!
All in all, I am sad to be closing this chapter of my life, but I am excited for the future. I hope to see all the great things that will come out of The Hoot, and I wish the rest of the board luck. To Brandeis itself, well, Sasha said it better, so you can read my message to it in her op.