Well, we’ve passed the 100 days to graduation mark and so begins the countdown to the dreaded g word—graduation. In some ways graduating is really exciting, you get to go off onto your next adventure and see what else is ahead. But it also means leaving behind the things you’ve grown familiar with.
And so sparked this idea—a bucket list of things to do while you’re a student here at Brandeis.
There are things I wish I had known to do sooner, things that every Brandeis student should know about and experience before they graduate.
Go sledding on Farber Hill
While being a student at Brandeis you will have to deal with some rather unfortunate weather conditions as a hazard of living in the Northeast. Even being from New York I don’t think I was fully prepared for the variability of New England weather which is a completely different beast than the general northeast weather. Another hazard of campus is how hilly it is and while the trek up from Lower Campus to Upper Campus is annoying when you have 10 minutes between campus it makes a perfect sledding location. So when life gives you lemons you go sledding on Farber Hill. Because yes it is cold and yes it is windy and surely the next day will be 60 degrees. But make the most of the weather and build a ramp out of snow to sled off of to get extra height on your jump. Now the wonderful thing about Farber Hill is there are always bound to be people there sledding who are willing to offer up a sled or two so you can also experience the rush of sledding. The hill is steep, which makes it very hard to get back up, but boy oh boy do you really gain some speed going down. There’s nothing quite as wholesome as making some new friends who are also just trying to sled on campus.
Go to the Museum of Fine Art (MFA)
Take advantage of the perks of being a student at Brandeis. We have a free shuttle service that takes you into Cambridge and Boston. And from the shuttle stop it’s only about a 15-minute walk to the MFA. Another thing you should know: with a Massachusetts student ID entry to the MFA is free! It’s a great day trip to go with some friends and cost friendly which is essential on a college student budget. While this isn’t technically an on-campus thing to do, it does take advantage of being a Brandeis student so I’m including it. Also if you go you will see the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Rotunda, because you cannot escape Carl and Ruth even if you try. (Really pretty space though and very aesthetically pleasing, they had good taste.)
Study in Mandel
Disclaimer: don’t start studying here until after I graduate because I currently enjoy the silence of this well hidden spot. Forget the library, which has become more of a social spot than a study area (well, let’s face it you never got work done in Farber anyway). Instead make your way over to the second and third floor of Mandel for some quiet, well lit study space that includes views of the fun color changing lights. I am very easily amused and the lights act as a source of joy when I’m drowning in work. It also has everything you need in close proximity, from a water filler to plugs for your charger. Then when the weather is nice enough, there is a balcony on the third floor with outdoor seating. Here you can study and look out on campus. It’s also great to watch the sunset from up there. Genuinely my favorite spot on campus, so at least go up there once and experience it.
Live in the Charles River Apartments (also known as Grad)
This is the most underrated housing on campus. Honestly, the two person grad was not my top choice for housing junior year when me and my friend group kinda got screwed over by the housing lottery. However, I think it ended up being my favorite living situation of my time at Brandeis. The two person grad bedrooms are huge. I mean seriously my room was like twice the size of my other singles. The kitchen is also bigger per capita than the five person grad kitchens and you get your own bathroom! I know what you’re thinking—“But Grad is so far away from campus.” Take advantage of the Joseph’s Transportation vehicles and the BranVan service! It also gives you a great opportunity to get a good walk in before and after class to destress. It also has optimal locations for walks, with close access to trails along the Charles River which are great to sit by with a blanket and read. Also, for the most part Grad is quiet on the weekends because parties take place literally anywhere else on campus which is a huge plus for those who like to go to bed early. Grad is seriously just such an experience that I highly recommend.
Watch the 24-hour musical
Genuinely just one of the funniest things I’ve ever watched. Whoever was the tree in the 24-hour musical version of “Camp Rock,” you are a core memory for me. It’s a wholesome, silly tradition of the university and I am absolutely here for it. Those of you who do participate in it, I don’t know how you do it but I love to watch it.
Take a class with Professor Wright (PSYC)
One of the best human beings I have ever met. I took my first ever Brandeis class with Professor Wright for Psych 10a and she helped influence what I chose to pursue as a student here at Brandeis. Plus you will get so many fun anecdotal stories. I also have never met a person who didn’t enjoy their class with Professor Wright so this is your sign to take a psychology course with her.
Play Sardines in the Student Campus Center (SCC)
You would not believe how many rooms and staircases are in the SCC until one night you’re playing Sardines with your whole team. A core memory experience to gather round your friends and let loose in the SCC. You’ll find rooms you didn’t know existed and take an absurdly long time to find each other despite thinking there cannot be THAT many places to hide.
Go to Chums. The castle is so cool. So if the opportunity ever presents itself for you to go in, take it.
Attend a student performance (improv, comedy, ballet, play)
I am absolutely blown away by the talent on this campus. I mean seriously you are all so talented and you do this on top of like a billion other things. There has never been a student performance I didn’t enjoy. From Boris’ Kitchen’s sketch comedy (shoutout Lucien) to the Nutcracker Ballet (shoutout Maddie), I have always enjoyed watching what clubs work to create.
Join clubs (specifically The Brandeis Hoot)
Sure this one is biased. But I can say of the decisions I’ve made here at Brandeis, joining this paper has been one of the best ones. Also go to the pottery club while you’re at it, they’re pretty cool.