Midyear students from near and far join the Brandeis family

Move-in is first step of life-long journey

They came from 21 states and eight countries, bringing their dreams and a collective excitement to begin their Brandeis experience.

Last week, 105 new Brandeisians were welcomed to campus during midyear student orientation. The students, many who spent the fall working at internships, studying abroad or taking classes closer to home, were eager to start their spring semester in Waltham.

“It’s so amazing to be at Brandeis,” said Eliana Cohen, a midyear student from Burlington, Vt. “I studied abroad in London in the fall and was with a group of Brandeis midyears there and we got really close. But I’m excited to meet the other freshman and students on campus.”

Licheng Shen of Shanghai shared Cohen’s enthusiasm. “It’s great to finally be here,” said Shen, who also spent fall semester studying abroad.

The orientation team leaders included students who were former midyears themselves and were eager to share their first-hand experience to help the new students assimilate. From late-night parties meant to foster bonding and school spirit to discussion groups about health, combatting racism and succeeding at Brandeis in and out of the classroom, Midyear orientation offers students the opportunity to get to know one another and their new academic home.

“This is my third time being a midyear orientation leader and I’m so excited to introduce the new students to this place,” said Dylan Schlesinger ’18, who came to Brandeis as a midyear in the spring of 2012. “Everyone in my group is so happy to be here. I remember being in their place almost four years ago. It’s surreal but an incredible feeling to be able to help them kick-off their Brandeis experience.”

The students moved into the Village Residence Quad on the morning on Jan. 8, and then connected with orientation leaders who guided them through four days of activities, events and information sessions geared toward integrating them into Brandeis before the start of spring semester.

At the Brandeis Beginnings convocation, Provost Lisa Lynch challenged the new students to reach out of their comfort zones.

“Experiment, take some risk, take some chances. This is the time of your life where you will never have something like this again,” Lynch said. “You have so many years to explore the possibilities in front of you. Enjoy that, have fun and make good friends, both with your classmates and your professors.”

In welcoming the new students, President Frederick M. Lawrence told them they were joining something that would last a lifetime.

“Today, you are now part of this Brandeis family,” he said. “I tell you today for the first time, and I'll tell you again the day when I give you your diploma, you are an undergrad for four years, you are alumni for the rest of your life.”

The midyear students said goodbye to the families at the conclusion of the convocation and then set off to continue to get know their fellow students, who will become part of their larger Brandeis family.

Categories: General, Student Life

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