Small liberal arts college with a large research university feel. Strong sense of community. Great closed campus and awesome location - so close to Boston and other colleges. Students are great. People care. Equal emphasis on academics and extracurriculars. Tons of opportunity inside and outside the classroom.
I decided on Brandeis because of it's proximity to Boston without being in the center of the city. I also liked the friendliness of the student body and the size of the school. Brandeis is big enough that you can meet new people all the time, but never feels overwhelming and anonymous.
It was very easy for me to choose Brandeis. I wanted a school that was friendly both physically in terms of the campus and people. Brandeis as a campus is open and circular and right outside of the wonderful city of Boston. Students and faculty are warm, engaging, and will go out of their way to make you feel that Brandeis is your home for the next four years. There is something wonderful about your first community being one that you can call home and recall with fond memories.
I wasn't planning on applying to Brandeis. I had heard from someone that it was "too Jew-y," and even though I'm Jewish, that was a big turnoff. I wanted something with a lot of diversity, not homogeneity. I was considering applying to Clark, and I visited in October of my senior year. I had two friends from camp who were in their first year at Brandeis, and I decided to stay with them that night since I didn't know anyone at Clark. We stayed up until three in the morning, and the next day I told my mom that I was too tired to go on the tour, but that I was applying early decision. I had absolutely fallen in love with the campus, the stories my friends told, and the people I met. They were all so down to earth, and seemed like they genuinely wanted to get to know me, rather than just being nice because I was a prospective student. One thing my friend, who was going through a rough time, told me has stuck with me for three years: "I don't always love it here, and there's a lot that I don't like, but I've never doubted that I made the right decision in coming here."
Academically, Brandeis was exactly what I was looking for: challenging but not too intense, rigorous but not cutthroat, a strong Liberal Arts education from which I knew whatever I ended up majoring in, I would be in good hands.
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