StudentsReview :: Brandeis University - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Brandeis University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA Faculty AccessibilityA
Useful SchoolworkA Excess CompetitionA
Academic SuccessA Creativity/ InnovationA
Individual ValueB University Resource UseA
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB- FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceB- Social LifeD-
Surrounding CityD- Extra CurricularsC
SafetyA
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Arrogant, Approachable, Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Male
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Social Life
D-
Highest Rating
Educational Quality
A
He cares more about Surrounding City than the average student.
Date: Mar 17 2011
Major: Other (This Major's Salary over time)
Coming to this school was probably one of the worst decisions I've ever made.

I only applied on a whim, as they sent me a special "blue ribbon invitation," to apply - I'd never heard of the place before. After visiting the school, I was in sold. It seemed to be a pretty nice campus, the people were super friendly, and I had heard great things about the academics. This - in addition to the school's "31" rank on the US News & World Reports best colleges, and the fact that this was the highest ranked out of the all schools I got into, led me to come to Brandeis. I wish now I had saved some money and aggravation, and swallowed my pride to go a lesser-ranked but better all around university.

Firstly, I do want to say that the academics here are top notch. Professors really do care about you and they want to see you do well. Every professor I have had has been wonderful, and although the courses have been challenging, they have also been rewarding.

Now the bad.

Social: Remember what I said about people being super friendly? That is true - partially. However, it is important to note that people can be friendly without wanting to actually be friends. The people here are nice, but they are also extremely cliquey. Sure they'll talk to you in class, but if you are not a part of their friend group, don't expect to be invited to hang out afterward. People here are also extremely awkward, and parties are lame - most people just sit around and get drunk off their asses. Not too many people dance at these parties. In addition, many students are upper-class, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you are prepared to deal with the expected amount of arrogance that comes with it.

Food: The food is not necessarily horrible, but you will eventually get tired of eating the same thing every day. There are only two dining halls on campus: Sherman and Usdan. Because of this, the selection does not vary much from day to day, and after a while it gets repetitive. There is also a Quiznos and an Einstein Bros. Bagels on campus, but I would stay away from Quiznos (they are expensive and the food is terrible), and Einstein's serves nothing but bagels and fruit cups, and perhaps a couple of salads.

Transportation: The school likes to talk about how they are only

9 miles outside of Boston.
That's great, but 9 miles is quite a distance if you have no car (and with the lack of parking on campus, a good amount of students do not.) Brandeis offers shuttle service to and from Waltham, to and from Boston, and around campus. These shuttles are not reliable and often come late and leave early. If taking one, expect to be waiting at the bus stop for at least 10 minutes, maybe more. You could also take the commuter rail into Boston, but after couple of trips, it starts getting expensive.

Activities: Brandeis has over 200 clubs on campus, which seems good, until you realize that they all meet on the same day, meaning that you can usually only participate in one at a time. Also, many of the clubs are so similar that the number of clubs could be cut down significantly and you wouldn't be missing anything. Keep in mind, too, that these clubs are all student-run, which means that sometimes things can get a bit disorganized, and that once the school year has started, it is very hard to get involved with these clubs.

Besides clubs, there is not much to do around Brandeis, unless you are the type who wants to study all day. During the week there may be a few activities here and there, but they are nothing to call home about. At some point you will most definitely find yourself bored out of your mind, praying to be put out of your misery.

Sports: If you are the sports-oriented type who wants a campus with lots of school spirit and sporting events, STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM THIS SCHOOL AS POSSIBLE. No one goes to any of the varsity sporting events, and we do not have a football team, because apparently the school gets grants from certain donors that are only offered provided the school does not allow contact sports. School spirit is near-zero; the closest thing you might see is someone walking around with a Brandeis sweatshirt on. Intramural sports suck; as opposed to league play, many intramural sports simply run a one-time tournament.

Atmosphere: The school claims to be "nonsectarian," but don't be fooled - this is a JEWISH school. We have two spring breaks (in Feb. and April as opposed to March like everybody else) in order to accommodate Passover. We get Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashana and Sukkot off, but forget about a secular (and federal) holiday like Columbus Day. The dining halls all but close down on weekends due to Shabbat. Plus, the fact that over 50% of the population is Jewish should be an indicator as well. Not that there is anything wrong with the school's Jewish affiliation, but the fact that they claim that the school sponsors no religion is very deceptive. In addition, it is very easy to feel left out, and sometimes even suffocated, if one is not Jewish.

The school is often quite liberal, so if you find yourself to be a moderate-to-conservative, who is not so keen on being politically correct all the time, then you are going to feel extremely out of place. Many students could also be described as "hippies" - environmentally conscious (I once had a girl yell at me for throwing away a bottle instead of recycling it), all-inclusive, etc. etc. I feel like if the people of this school could sit in a giant circle and sing kumbaya, they would do it in a heartbeat.

All in all, although it is nationally ranked and highly respected academically, I can say that this school is not all it's cracked up to be. I'm transferring next year in order to leave this school with my sanity intact. Unless you are willing to sacrifice your happiness in order to say that you graduated from a top-tier university, or you are Jewish, anorexic, hate sports, and love being bored, I would find a nice compromise between the two and stay as far away from this place as humanly possible.

                     
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