Brandeis University Admissions
Pride Reps Make Sure It’s Easy To Be Yourself
Kristianna L. ’24
“The community of friends, the resources, and the support systems at the Gender and Sexuality Center have helped me grow and learn more about myself.”
Kristianna thinks of herself as an introverted person, but you wouldn't know it from talking to her.
"I think since coming to Brandeis and meeting people, and developing a great support system, I've been able to find my voice and speak about things that I care about," she says, "I hope in the future that helps make a difference in the world."
On campus, the sociology and women's and gender studies double-major is already making a difference with her work as a Pride Rep at Brandeis' Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC). The Pride Reps program is a peer-to-peer mentoring program for conversations about gender and sexuality.
Why Brandeis? Ask Kristianna.
What has been your most rewarding experience outside the classroom?
Working at the GSC. As a Pride Rep, I host weekly office hours, which means that anyone in the Brandeis community can come in to have either one-on-one conversations or small group discussions about personal identity—specifically women, LGBTQ+ identifying folks, allies—resources on campus, or simply what's been going on in our lives and good books or TV.
The GSC is a place where I can learn so much about topics of gender and sexuality outside of a classroom, and also about myself and my peers. The community of friends, the resources, and the support systems at the GSC have helped me grow and learn more about myself. And it's also a place that I can just exist in. I can walk in, whether I'm having a good or bad day, and know that I can be myself and have someone to talk to, or play games, or whatever it may be.
It's a place where you can make friends and form a community, especially for women and queer students. It’s a very validating and empowering space that is always filled with friendly faces and good conversations. It has been really important to myself as a person and to my life at Brandeis.
Why does Brandeis fit you?
I think Brandeis fits me in an academic sense because there's so much to study and it’s encouraged to be passionate about so many different subjects. There are so many opportunities to study so many things.
As someone who doesn't exactly know what I want to do postgrad, it is very assuring. I am double-majoring and double-minoring because I have so many interests. I think at a different school, all of my interests wouldn't be able to fit into my schedule.
When did you know you made the right choice by coming to Brandeis?
When I just found the people that I clicked with. I met some of my closest friends during my first semester here and have been together since. Immediately when we started hanging out, I knew that I found a place that was good for me not just academically, but also socially. Being able to create a support system on my own at Brandeis is really important to me at this time in my life.
What's your favorite place on campus?
I think my favorite place on campus is the library because it's a place where I can do work, but also always see a friendly face. Either there, or Upper Usdan by Dunkin' Donuts. I love sitting there. People are always coming and going and there is lots of sunlight. Sometimes, I’ll wake up incredibly early on a Saturday morning to just sit there and do homework. I'll stay there for hours to have club meetings, or just chat with friends.
What is your one piece of advice for incoming students?
Just try new things. Four years ago, I wouldn't have ever imagined I would be studying what I am or doing the things I'm doing, like playing on the rugby team here! But it's all things I really enjoy, and I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't just explored what was out there.