I never thought I would end up at Brandeis. In fact, until two years ago I had never even heard of this institution that I now love with all my heart. Allow me to explain.
I was raised in an upper-class family that is deeply entrenched in both New England politics and business. Throughout my high school years I attended a wealthy private school and was surrounded by the so-called elite. Thus when it came time for me to apply to universities, it only made sense that I would continue the three-generation-old family tradition of attending one of the "top" universities in the country.
Yes, my time at this Ivy League school was enjoyable, but I felt that something was lacking. Students were just going through the motions of being interested in their coursework. They were mostly intent on outdoing their peers, and often showed little interest or passion towards the material itself. I was a business major at the time, and I felt that while the level of instruction was definitely superb, the passion that I expected to be there was absent.
With that in mind, I began a search to transfer to a different school. No longer caring about what my family would think, I spent hours reading online reviews and chatting with students at schools throughout the country. I visited over 15 universities, but when I stepped onto the Brandeis campus I knew it was the place for me.
Brandeis is the exact opposite of everything I had experienced at my previous university. Students at Brandeis love what they do. They are friendly and genuinely care about making the world a better place. They are not afraid to break the mold and voice their opinions. Every single student has a passion and follows it, and after only a few months there I decided to forgo studying business and instead began pursuing musical theory.
The faculty members, on the whole, are stellar and, in my opinion, much better lecturers than those at my previous school. It is easy to meet with professors and because most of the classes are small, professors are able to devote much more time to each individual.
Contrary to many of the comments here, social life at Brandeis is robust. There's always something going on, whether it is a play, a lecture, or an arts festival. There are parties every weekend, both at fraternities and in other locations. This should not worry anyone!
Finally, I just want to mention that Brandeis' location is excellent. By being just outside of Boston, Brandeis maintains the feel of a small-liberal arts college, but students are able to easily travel to Boston whenever they desire. There are free shuttles, trains, and buses. Personally, I am in Boston nearly every weekend.In all, choosing Brandeis was the best decision of my life. I highly recommend this incredible institution to all who are seeking an intellectual environment, incredible students and faculty, and who possess a passion for social justice.