Aneesh smiling at the camera, standing in a science lab with shelves of equipment like bottles and beakers

Aneesh A. ’22

Each year after a competitive process of interviews, a group of juniors and seniors are chosen to be Roosevelt Fellows. The Roosevelt Fellow program is named after the late former First Lady and Brandeis Trustee Eleanor Roosevelt, who was known worldwide for her care for others and service to the community. Roosevelt Fellows are trained peer academic advisers who serve as a campus resource, providing help with class schedules, giving advice on courses to take, and supporting their students whenever needed.

"Roosevelt Fellows are peers who have been through many of the same transitions and challenges," said Katie Dunn, assistant director of academic advising. "They draw on their own experience and are able to answer many of the same questions as staff advisers related to academic planning, academic requirements and campus resources."

Ready to navigate selecting your first-year courses? Your Roosevelt Fellows are here to help. Here are some tips for selecting courses, shared from four senior fellows: Tianyi G. ’22, Haley B. ’22, Aneesh A. ’22 and Sasha S. ’22.

Tianyi in standing in the library, smiling with arms folded
Tianyi G. ’22

Explore Your Interests

When signing up for your first-year classes, choose courses that interest you. "Choose something that sounds fun," says Tianyi G. ’22, a double major in economics and business. While students can enroll with a major in mind, students don't need to select their major until their fourth semester.

While it's good to pick courses that can potentially satisfy your major, Tianyi says you shouldn't stress. "If I could give any advice to first-year students, I'd say that it's okay to not have it all figured out," she says.

Haley smiling at the camera. She is wearing headphones and seated at a desk in the media studio with a video camera and a computer.
Haley B. ’22

Use Your Resources

"As a first-year student you are given so many resources," says Haley B. ’22. Upon enrolling at Brandeis, students are assigned three advisers: an academic adviser, a faculty ambassador, and a Roosevelt Fellow. Students can reach out to their three advisers to ask questions about academics, get recommendations for courses or to just get overall assistance with adjusting to life on campus.

Haley, an American studies and film television and interactive media major with minors in creative writing and English, recommends students not only connect with their advisers, but also their professors. "Even a short conversation during office hours, the timeframe that professors designate for questions after class, can help you become more engaged in your classes."

Aneesh smiling at the camera, standing in a science lab with shelves of equipment like bottles and beakers
Aneesh A. ’22

Get Ahead on Core Classes and Discover New Things

"Taking core classes in your first semester puts you on the right track for graduation, but also helps you discover new things," said Aneesh A. ’22. Aneesh, a neuroscience and biology major, took South Asian Culture and Society his first semester on campus. This anthropology course gave him a better understanding of his roots and family's history. "Both my parents are from India and I'm a first generation student," said Aneesh. "It was eye opening for me to learn more about my culture."

Sasha smiling and standing in front of a wall of windows
Sasha S. ’22

Change Your Perspective

It's important to select courses that challenge your perspective. "I always thought I wanted to become a doctor," says Sasha S. ’22, a double major in biology and Health: Science, Society, and Policy. She found that while she was pursuing a career in the medical field, her favorite courses were in neuroscience. Her discovery helped her realize that she wanted to pursue a career in brain research. "Taking classes outside of my comfort zone helped me find my real passion."