Hey! This is Scarlett, and I am bidding  farewell to my Brandeis undergraduate career. I have 600 words to tell you about my  college experience, and I am not sure where  to start.

I applied to Brandeis because it was a medium size, academic institution in Boston that  had a campus. I was an international midyear admit who was interested in social sciences and the humanities. I became heavily  involved in the Brandeis community, while  most of the Chinese international students I  know were fall admits, living off campus and  studying business, economics and science,  technology, engineering and math. I came  in the fall of sophomore year. Because the  Brandeis campus was shut down for a year  due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I only spent  two and a half years on campus.  

A lot of what a four-year full time on campus student experiences was already abnormal to me. But I was pretty dedicated to being  in some way abnormal, and everything made  sense when I found a Snapchat memory of  myself four years ago, holding a book titled  “How To Excel At College.” 

During my time as a Brandeis student I  went to Alabama, University of California  Davis, Silicon Valley, the Middle East and  numerous nearby towns. I worked a total of  five different student jobs, rose to leadership,  did research and studied abroad. I received  nominations, scholarships and made connections that are going to last beyond Brandeis.  There is only one Scarlett on this campus and  she wears red during big occasions. 

I also remember when I was reported for  racism to the Office of Equal Opportunity  during my first weeks here and cried in my  off-campus apartment for multiple reasons.  I remember going to my first counseling appointment and also getting rejected from  internships. I remember days when my  friends were incarcerated — twice — and I  questioned the ethical morality of Brandeis.  I remember when I locked myself up in the  dungeon, grinding out essays and test preparations because I didn’t have any support  system that I felt comfortable reaching out to.

I used to hated being at Brandeis, because  it meant individuals who lacked social cues  and were considered quirky. To be honest,  I thought that students were not prepared  for the world, because of the massive leniency and limited financial resources at this  university. But somehow, I was voted the  most “Brandeisian” once, and I believe it’s  because I’ve learned ways to navigate this  campus.  

If I have any advice to share with my fellow “Brandeisians,” please take advantage of  all the resources and opportunities, the kind  people who care about you and the diversity  all around — across socio-economic status,  race, ethnicity, belief systems. Stand up for  things you believe in; even if it’s really hard.  Remember to always keep going. Sometimes  you might get what you want, you just never  know. You can come out of the college experience with learned lessons and memories —  good and bad — you will be well prepared for  the real world. Brandeis, at the very least, is  a safe space to make mistakes.  

I am grateful to be writing my last college  journalism piece for The Justice, as I oncewas a Hoot contributing writer. And I am  very grateful to Brandeis for the good and the  bad and everything in between. Thanks and  best of luck everyone!