What's it like to start college in January? How will you get involved and make new friends? See how some current students started their Brandeis careers as Midyears. 

Scarlett smiling at the camera in a red sweater

Scarlett R. ’24

she/her | Hometown: Shanghai, China| Majors: Anthropology and International and Global Studies | Minors: Journalism and Religious Studies

What did you do in your fall semester?

During my fall semester, I spent time traveling to various provinces in China, working and interning at different places, and found it really rewarding. This was my first exposure to the "world," and it prepared me way better for college than I expected. It meant more time with family and knowledge about society.

What advice would you give future midyears? 

Be open about trying different things! Whether that is going to the tea club, a university-organized ice skating event, or getting involved in different initiatives, there's something for you at Brandeis. I went to so many community events and clubs and was able to quickly find new friends and interests I wanted to continue from high school. I was also very attentive in looking at various newsletters, seeing if anything sparked an interest. After all, I was really excited about the new environment and wanted to learn all about it.

Rafi standing in front of Skyline Residence Hall

Rafi L. ’24

he/him | Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey | Majors: Film, Television and Interactive Media and Psychology

What do you love about Brandeis?

I like the people. Everyone I meet has different areas of interest and that is a great opportunity if you are a curious person like me. I love listening to people talk about what they are interested in, and Brandeis is a great place to do that with its incredibly diverse community.

What did you do in your fall semester? 

I spent my fall semester in Istanbul, Turkey, doing an internship in a YouTube studio and tutoring middle schoolers in English. I was doing my internship in the mornings and usually visited two of my students every day during the afternoon. It was a busy schedule, and I had to travel all around Istanbul. It felt weird living this life, while all my friends were home doing online school, but it definitely helped me take a peek at the “real world” experience that will start after college. It was certainly a change of pace after my schedule in high school, and I’m glad I did it.

Alyssa smiles in a green field

Alyssa A. ’24

she/her | Hometown: Belmont, MA | Major: Education | Minor: Legal Studies and Theater

What did you first think when you were offered a spot in the midyear class? 

At first, I was a bit uncertain about what it was. But I liked the idea that I could do something meaningful with my first semester that was tied to what I wanted to study. The experiences I had during the fall enriched my learning once I got to Brandeis because I had the hands-on experience that some of my peers did not. I also really liked the idea of joining the Brandeis community with a smaller group of students who were all motivated and excited to get involved with the Brandeis community.

What did you do in your fall semester? How was your experience meaningful?

I worked as an after-school teacher in a preschool classroom. This opportunity allowed me to work in the greater Waltham community and use this experience when thinking about my classes and major at Brandeis. It allowed me to see the impact of some of the topics we study in classes in practice and the importance of what I am studying. My midyear fall semester allowed me to have a more well-rounded educational experience, as well as allowed me to grow personally.

Eva poses in front of a flowering plant

Eva T. ’24

she/her | Hometown: Worcester, MA | Major: Psychology

What did you first think when you were offered a spot in the midyear class?

When I first got the acceptance message in my email, at first all my energy went into being happy that I got into Brandeis but then the idea of being a Midyear started to settle in. After talking to my parents and gaining some clarity, I realized that there are a lot of unique things that can come from being a Midyear. One of those things was being able to study abroad. It is a dream of mine to be able to travel around the world and getting an early start was just something that I was open to doing. 

What do you love about Brandeis?

The thing I love most about Brandeis is the friendships I have made here. The community is relatively small, and for me it was a little terrifying to be the first person to step into the waters and make a new friend. But every time I was able to be the first person to reach out, or attend a club meeting, or to even meet up to get lunch, it made that worlds of a difference. I was able to meet so many new people. On top of that, when it comes to the role that academics play, Brandeis has so many faculty members in all fields that are super passionate in their area of study, and it shows when they teach to their students. It makes the classes themselves a little more enjoyable - especially when you get to the challenging higher level courses.