Whether you currently attend Brandeis University or have already graduated, you will definitely be able to relate to these 15 signs!
1. You don’t know what Purim represents, but you love it.
The best part of the year takes place at the Chabad house (because Brandeis). Every year, your friends tell you the story behind “Jewish Halloween” and every year you can’t remember it the day after the party. But hey, dressing up and drinking with a rabbi, what’s not to love?
2. You’ve shopped at the C-Store, the only grocery store more expensive than Whole Foods.
Until you move off-campus, the C-Store is the only place you can get groceries if you don’t have a car, (I’ve heard of people walking to Walgreens, but that sounds ludicrous). The C-Store is unique in the sense that you might be paying more for expired products! Play it safe, stick with the milkshakes.
3. You’ve watched or participated in a Quidditch game.
Yes, apparently it’s a real sport now. I don’t know how popular it is on other campuses, but Brandeisians seem to love it as you can see the team practicing on Chapel’s Field every other day. All jokes aside, they hit hard.
4. You’ve marveled at the castle, until you walked inside.
The castle is a major selling point for the school during campus tours. It looks great from the outside but what a mess it is inside. Apart from a few large suites, it feels like a dusty maze in there, especially since you basically have to be quiet ALL the time.
5. You’ve ordered Asia Wok, loved it, then hated yourself.
Its 1 am, you get home drunk, you’re hungry. Only two options in Waltham at that point, Dominos or Asia Wok. The first one might never get to your dorm, the second one is amazing for about twenty minutes. The next morning you see that container with nothing but old broccoli in it (who eats that part?) and you lie to yourself by saying you’ll never order it again, the culinary equivalent of “I’m never drinking again.”
6. You’ve taken pride in the fencing team.
The fact that Brandeis is in the NCAA’s third division and doesn’t have a football team makes it hard to follow the school’s teams passionately. Fencing is the exception to that rule. Not only are we really good (from what I understand,) but fencing meets are a lot of fun to attend, regardless of your knowledge or interest in the sport.
7. You’ve fallen and seen people fall down the Rabb steps.
If Brandeis’ campus has any rites of passage, then falling on the Rabb steps has to be one of them. Granted, it’s only funny if no one is hurt. But who thought those steep stairs would ever be safe? (Especially in northeastern winters and springs.)
8. You listened or taken part in heated arguments about the Middle-East.
No matter what your opinion on Israel is, it matters at Brandeis. From random arguments in the library to pointless Facebook debates (214 comments won’t solve anything), you’ve had to either bite your lips to stay out of it or be ready to enter a discussion going in circles.
9. You’ve had to get out of bed at 3am because someone set off the fire alarm.
I don’t know if the system is flawed or people just don’t know how to make popcorn right, but the fire alarm on campus goes off as much as you get emails from clubs you don’t remember giving your email address to. It becomes so common; you’d never even imagine there was an actual fire going on.
10. You’ve complained about food services.
From Aramark to Sodexo, you’ve had to pay for an overpriced meal plan to eat undercooked food. There’s been some slow improvement but if Chipotle is bad for you then Curritos can’t be good…
11. You’ve bragged about all the days off and snows days you had.
On one hand, people like to complain about Brandeis’ Jewish traditions when all they can find in the dining hall is turkey bacon (completely understandable). On the other hand, we all love having what feels like every Monday off in the fall and two different spring breaks due to Jewish holidays.
12. You’ve had your car ticketed and maybe even towed by Brandeis Police.
Brandeis Police does not have much to do during the day except let freshmen who got locked out of their room back in and ticket cars parked in lots they don’t belong in. They are very good at both of those things. If you’re even more unlucky and park somewhere you shouldn’t when they’re in a bad mood, they will tow you, even though the lot is not even full…
13. You’ve been on the waitlist to take Suzuki.
Every university has a few unique classes; Suzuki is exactly that. Its an old Japanese method of training for actors and performers. Because it’s a fun and an easy A, you actually had to be on the waitlist for a semester or two before being able to enroll. But the real prize is that it satisfies the Creative Arts requirement. And Suzuki is much better than Intro to Drawing, which is not as easy as it sounds.
14. You’ve seen turkeys take over campus.
Campus is your home as much as it is the home of geese, the occasional skunk, and of course, turkeys. Do not underestimate them: they’re big, make annoying noises, and travel in packs. I wouldn’t mess with them, even by trying to take a good snap.
15. You’ve lost friends due to the housing lottery.
Every year, people get excited for March Madness, in a good way. But a very different type of public craze takes place on campus every month of March: the housing lottery and selection. It’s the time of the year when you find yourself plotting like a Game of Thrones character and when people get double crossed. There is no way to avoid drama, all of that for a small room in Rosie…