HERE we go again. Remember last time how I felt like I had too much on my plate? Well, I have decided that one of my goals for the upcoming semester is to have more fun.

In fact, I have been forced to miss out time with my friends and people who I want to share some quality time because either a meeting is happening or there is simply too much to do that prevents me from taking a break; from having fun. Remember future college students that college is about studying and working hard, but it is also the time to have fun.

My plan to have more fun next semester will consist of two actions. First, I will cut off on clubs just like I cut on sugar. I realized being a participant of so many clubs is not the ideal thing to do. Quality over quantity. Well, you really are not able to put your best into all the clubs, plus academics, a job, and planning a bundle of other things all at the same time. Some of the clubs, I may just become a member and give up any leadership position(s). Second, I will try to join a club where I can find a family. I see several people in clubs that bring them together and are able to form a especial bound. I am in four different clubs, and I still feel like those clubs do not bring any of us together. I may see someone from one of those club members, just walking by, outside of any related event or meeting and they may decide not to say “hello” or even acknowledge that you exist. That is also known as the “awkward Brandeis.”

This month’s post, I want to talk about what has been happening around several campuses in the nation, including where I am–Brandeis University. Sure, we talk about this before, constantly I would say, but it is important to remain talking about it. Of course I am referring to Mizzou and the “Concern Students 1950.”

Basically, several universities have been protesting about more desired diverse representation on their campuses. What the students at Brandeis are protesting for is more representation, specifically to have more Black faculty and student body on campus.  Although their list of demands does not just ask for more African-American representation, but more diversity overall. It is why the students occupied Ford Hall, which is the hall that leads to Brandeis’s president’s office. They promised not to leave the place until their thirteen demands are taken care of. And they have kept their promise and have not moved. They even stayed over Thanksgiving break, which demonstrates their determination and passion.

Personally, I opt to remain unbiased. I like to think that Brandeis is very diverse already, in either faculty or the student body. Nonetheless, I have not experienced what African-American experience on this particular campus, nor what international students experience, or any other race by that matter. If they claim that they feel misrepresented on campus, then it ought to be true. I am aware that the Hispanic population is relatively low as well, here at Brandeis, but I have been able to connect with the few that are here on campus. In fact, I have been able to grasp tighter to my roots here at Brandeis, than I ever did in New York, which is the real melting pot by that matter. But also, I have been able to branch out and meet people from other distinct, interesting backgrounds. Despite all that, I support the cause, I think this is what the student body at Brandeis is made of (vehement liberals and strong activists).

The semester is about to conclude and along with that finals, essays, and projects start to accumulate. I am hoping for the best. I have had a great Thanksgiving break, and I definitely feel that I can give the best of me to finish this semester with the right foot. As I was looking back in retrospect at this semester, it really helped me to figure out some things. I realized I might not want to be an English major (maybe a minor?). I realized I love exploring more about my culture. I want to be a Hispanic studies major and perhaps Anthropology major (as second major, meaning double major). However, nothing is one hundred percent sure.  In addition, I realized that I dislike German, but that it has been a great academic challenge. In fact, all the courses that I have taken this semester allowed me to explore more about myself, about what I want and I do not want. If you are really undecided during your first year, do not worry, you will come to find a passion. Something that sparks your interest. If it does not happen right away, keep looking, and remember that your choosing a major does not define your entire life. The greatest thing about obtaining a degree in America is that you can reinvent yourself at any point in your life. You can study biology today and do a completely different thing tomorrow. Unless you are in the pre-med track, well, that is a different story.

Another thing that I highly suggest you is taking advantage of all the resources the university (or college/institution) offers you. I have paid my first visit to the writing center, and I must declare that I was astonished. I have come to use varied resources on campus and it does make the difference. I encourage you to do the same because in the end you are paying for all of it.

Best wishes,

Santiago Montoya