Being Jewish and a law student makes me rather opinionated. I am not afraid to speak out and make a point. I will use this opportunity to provide you with some guidance for your time at university.
Despite what you may hear about the first year of university being a breeze, it isn’t. That’s not to say that I’m not enjoying it.
What it does mean is that there is more work, and of a higher standard, than I expected. There is always more work I could be doing. Consequently, when picking what to study, it’s crucial to pick something you enjoy.
Despite all the work, get involved and get active. If you are bored at university, you are doing something wrong. There is so much to take part in, including sports, theatre, political activism, or enjoying a bagel or two with fellow Jews. It is an excellent way of meeting new people and finding out what you believe in.
Don’t hide the fact that you’re Jewish. Be proud of it. People respect you more for it. To hide it is to be ashamed, and people will judge you more for it. I have, however, found the issue of Israel somewhat trickier.
Be prepared to be questioned, whether you consider yourself a Zionist or not. People will ask your views, and people will challenge you. If you haven’t formulated your own opinion yet, it will probably develop at university. If you already have one, expect it to change.
This doesn’t just apply to Israel. As a student, you are expected to have an opinion on just about everything.
On top of the work, the societies and your Jewish student life, make time for both new friends and old. Go to the pub for a pint. Go out for dinner every now and then. Buy a railcard and stay with friends at other universities.
Last but not least, I have realised — somewhat to my surprise — that phoning home once in a while isn’t actually that bad. In fact, I recommend it.