Lee Goldstein: Thoughts after one week (blog 2)

Lee GoldsteinNovember 2011: How many of you remember your first week at university?

I suspect many. And no, not because it was extraordinarily confusing, exhausting and almost nerve-wrecking — which it probably was — but because it was awesome.

Last week thousands of students all over Israel started their first year of school at various universities and colleges. I, being no different, took the 9:30 bus on Sunday October 30 to the Mount Scopus campus, the place that is going to be my second (third, if you still count my parents' house — I know my mom does) home.

Once I had managed to find my way around the maze that is campus, the "real thing" began — classes. I don't know if it's just because I've just started and still have the energy to enthuse, but I really do enjoy them. To be honest, I've really missed the intellectual stimulation that comes with studying something new and challenging, such as neuron structure in Basic Principles in Biology and pre-Socratic fragments in Introduction to Greek Philosophy.

Sure, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns — besides the "administrative" things I have to take care of such as joining a gym and finding the best shop for groceries, I've already been given a huge list of books to read and an essay to write on a 20-page article, but luckily, I'm not alone in this.

And besides the new people I've already met here, I actually got to see some old ones in a special meeting last week. What special meeting, you ask? Let me explain.

On the first Tuesday of the semester, a crowd of friends from my army service organized a gathering right here in Jerusalem. It was so much fun seeing these guys, especially those I hadn’t seen for quite a while — some had just got back from a long trip abroad and some are already second- and third-year students who hardly find time for social activities (I refuse to let that happen to me!).

Seeing them right when my life's completely changing really made me realize what a huge part of my past they are. And it's not just the reminiscing that made the meeting so exciting — it was the people. Army friendships don't fade easily, for even if you don't speak with these people for a while and find yourselves drifting apart, you still share a common experience that's too special to ignore — and that's what's special about these friendships. I suppose that's why nearly all the adults I know have at least one or two friends from the army, even 30 years later.

Quite apart from the fact that we all know each other from the army, it seems that nearly everyone goes to the Hebrew University. I am not sure how it happened — we certainly didn’t coordinate it — but nearly all of my friends from the army ended up here, plus quite a few who finished their service before I began mine (and who I had the pleasure of finally meeting at the gathering). Not to mention the ones who are still in the army and intend to study here next year. What's even more surprising is that almost all of them are not originally from Jerusalem. I wonder how that happened.

You know what? Here's to new beginnings and old friends.

Tel Aviv-native Lee Goldstein, 21, is a first-year student in undergraduate studies in philosophy and psychology at the Hebrew University. She completed her army service in a top unit in the intelligence corps in early 2011.

Lee's previous blogs:

From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (blog 1)

For more Hebrew University blogs, click here