Hello, Brown hopefuls! My name is Kimberly Truong and I am the awkward (but utterly thrilled) first-year behind A Fresh View. With that big question mark hovering over where you’ll be spending the next four years of your life, rest assured that this freshman will tell you her experience as she stumbles through the wonderful world of Brown.
As you’re getting ready to submit your college applications and I prepare for finals in the weeks ahead (a notorious time of hardcore studying and apparently, social isolation), I thought reflecting on what I’ve learned this semester will be helpful for the next four years of your college experience. (Prefroshies: Get excited! Continue trying your best at whatever you do but also have fun your senior year. That is what it’s for. Parts of high school may not have been as fun, but I promise you’ll miss it in the end :). I tried to keep this as general as possible; I’m sorry if some of them are specific to Brown. I also asked some of my friends to add to the list so I’m not only offering my perspective.)
- High school friends are always a phone call or text away. You never wished them “goodbye”—only “see you later.”
- Call your parents once in a while, even for a few minutes. They want to know if everything is okay.
- Naps are refreshing.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day when you’re on the go.
- Stay hydrated if you do choose to party (which is not a choice you should feel pressured to make!)
- There is no rush to have sex, drugs, and alcohol if you don’t want to. Pace yourself.
- Exercise regularly. Even if you are in pain the next day and have to walk to a class across campus.
- You don’t have to pull all-nighters in college.
- A bit of planning ahead is always worth it.
- Have an hour carved out of your day to be alone. For me, I like to have early breakfast at the Ratty and read a book.
- Halloween lasts a week here. Plan your costumes accordingly.
- Go to random events — hear important speakers, info sessions, walk-in hours at the CareerLAB. Who knows, you might learn something and/or establish a new connection.
- Be kind to yourself. Your health and well-being always come first. Have ways to de-stress.
- B’s are not necessarily bad. You’ll become less competitive with others and be more competitive with yourself, striving for self-improvement.
- Become friends with upperclassmen. It makes the transition a bit easier.
- Know what times and what incentives make you the most productive. Work your schedule around those.
- Don’t think too much about the future. Stay in the present and make decisions that will make you happy now.
- It is okay to end up hating something after trying it out. At least you learn something about yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help—from TAs, your professors, upperclassmen, faculty members, academic deans, friends, etc. Go to office hours!
- Check your email on a regular basis. The most efficient, effective way to get in contact with a professor is email.
- Don’t stare at people when they’re dancing — the whole experience becomes awkward for both parties.
- Decorate your room. Make it feel like home, not just a place you happen to live.
- Do your laundry – don’t rewear your clothes. Ew.
- Have friends to study with.
- Have solo dance parties when your roommate isn’t home. But also communicate with your roommate. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but they will always be there for you.
- Remind yourself how lucky you are every day.
Some of the best years of your lives await you. Best of luck!
Any questions or suggestions for my next post? Please send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to answer and heed to all of them!
No matter where you are in the world, From Albania to Zimbabwe is the right place to find out about international happenings at Brown University! Hi, I’m Celina Stewart, a sophomore concentrating in International Relations here at Brown, and this is my space to give you updates and info about all things international at Brown, including international student life, international speakers, and different clubs and activities with an international focus. Read along and explore everything international at Brown!
This past Thursday marks one of the largest holidays celebrated in the United States- Thanksgiving. Traditionally, the holiday has been marked with overeating of traditional food like turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberries, bread-crumb stuffing, asparagus- and if you’re in my family, a variety of delicious Vietnamese food courtesy of my cousins. This entire overeating process is then counteracted (*wishful thinking*) by the calories burned carefully planning, outlining, and waiting in lines for that mad dash into whatever stores you’ve included in your Black Friday MUST HAVE hit list. The chaos at my local Walmart was incredible last year- and also unnecessary, as I ended up getting maybe three regularly priced DVDs.
I realize, however, that this holiday has little significance for some international students who don’t understand the history or general gluttony condoned on this particular Thursday-weekend period. On a happy historical note, the picture I used is from the street in Granada, Spain, on which its rumored that the sails for Christopher Columbus’s ships for the journey to the New World were made. While the history after his arrival is quite troublesome and has a lot of potentially touchy implications, I figured I’d share a quick story with you all in the spirit of giving thanks for friends and family.
When I was young, I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia and attended an international school during my time there. My best friends were Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and German, among many other nationalities. My absolute best friend was a girl named Monique, from Perth, Australia. Her family and mine were quite close, and as Thanksgiving approached, my parents suggested to hers that they come to Thanksgiving dinner with us. Her family was confused- they never celebrated Thanksgiving, as its hardly relevant in Australia. I remember spending some of that morning in class making a turkey out of my hand print, being dressed up either as a pilgrim or Native American (the class did an American history lesson for all of the students), and then coming home to a fully Americanized dinner (with a couple Indonesia dishes). We shared dinner that night, three Americans, four Australians, and four Indonesian friends, all enjoying the celebration.
My point with this story is to find relevance in seeming cultural difference- with friends, I’ve celebrated a variety of cultural holidays and festivals, including Chinese New Year, a Colombian folklore festival, the festival of San Juan, etc. Despite often times not fully understanding the implications of my participation, I have enjoyed learning and spending time with friends. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my family, my Brown family (cheesy but true), and for having the opportunity to share a small bit of my life and experience with you all.
I hope that wherever you are in the world, you can take the time to think of a couple things to be thankful for and join me, across the world, in a metaphorical Thanksgiving of our own.
Have questions or comments? Feel free to email me at email@example.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Or, if you’d rather, just comment on the blog!
What’s good y’all!? My name is Deionte Appling, sophomore class of 2016 here at Brown, and I’m a music and psychology concentrator. Fun Facts: I sing in chorus, I occasionally perform operas with Brown Opera Productions, and I love Robert Plant! Music to My Ears is the prospective student’s gateway to the life of music at Brown, and I’ll attempt to show you the ins and outs of our music department to the best of my knowledge!
One popular track within Brown’s music department is the Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments track, or MEME, which is, simply put, an in depth study and understanding of electronic music. The opportunities that result from this track are astounding. You have access to many types of resources that many departments can’t, such as highly prominent speakers. This is a result of this field being so fresh and relevant in today’s times.
Studying MEME is just like any other track in the music department, basically meaning you start by taking MUSC0550-0560, and go from there. The general idea of this concentration is to develop a firm understanding of computer music, production, and electronic art and use the skills from each aspect to form individual ideas. Most concentrators are also musicians of some sort (although I doubt it’s required) and are supposed to develop keyboard skills (which will inevitably be a result of completing Theory of Tonal Music (0550-0560). Concentrators also have access to Granoff, which is one of Brown’s newest most up to date buildings equipped with a full recording studio with all the bells and whistles. It also houses the showcasing of the final projects of students in some of the computer music courses. Many students use this knowledge and these resources to test their skills as modern day musicians and/or producers etc.
For those of you tickled by curiosity, would like to express your love for me, or simply want to chat about any and all things music, please feel free to email your questions or comments to Deionte_Appling@brown.edu and I’ll get back ‘atcha ASAP!
If it ain’t Baroque…
For those willing to venture off-campus from time to time in search of good food, Providence and the surrounding area is brimming with fantastic eateries, especially ones that have many vegetarian and vegan options. Two in particular are Garden Grille, a vegetarian restaurant, and Wildflour, a vegan bakery, both of which are located in the same strip mall in Pawtucket. Follow Adam Horowitz on Brown Greens for weekly updates on vegetarianism and veganism at Brown.
If you start at the Ratty and walk north up Hope Street for about forty-five minutes, you will eventually reach two Pawtucket restaurants, Garden Grille and Wildflour, that are the perfect destinations for vegetarians and vegans looking for a nice meal.
When you first walk into Garden Grille, you’ll notice the giant tree sculpture decorated with Christmas lights, which highlights the quality of the restaurant’s aesthetics relative to its small size. Although the menu may change from time to time, most of the dishes tend to remain fairly constant, and for good reason. You can start by ordering one of their delicious juices before looking to the appetizers. I recommend the nachos or the sweet potato latkes, but there really isn’t a bad choice.
Every dish is vegetarian and the ones that are not already vegan can easily be made so using substitutes, so getting the seitan mushroom burger with vegan cheese or the tofu BLT with vegan chipotle mayo works wonderfully. My favorite dish would have to be the vegan macaroni and cheese, which is also gluten free.
For dessert, walk to Wildflour Bakery, conveniently located a few doors down from Garden Grille. Unlike its counterpart, Wildflour is 100% vegan, but that doesn’t mean the food is any less delicious. The bakery has various muffins, scones, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and brownies as well as many raw and gluten free options. Also available are a few lunch options, such as raw lasagna and kale sesame salad.
Wildflour doubles as a juice bar which serves amazing smoothies and milkshake, my favorite being the Elvis, which is made of banana, granola, peanut butter and coconut milk. You can also call in advance for larger orders.
For those not up for walking (especially in this weather), the restaurants are very accessible using RIPTA (take the 42 bus outbound) or by taking a taxi. No matter how you get there, you will enjoy your meal, and if you bring back a few cookies for your friends, they’ll probably love you forever.
Feel free to send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, the current co-president of BVS.
My name is Emily Schell and I’m the editor of this year’s Bruin Club Blog! You might remember me from my work with the “Fresh View” column last year, or maybe you just remember my
bad jokes wonderful, enlightening statements… That said, this year I’m a sophomore, still writing for the Bruin Club (with just a little more responsibility), and still very happy to introduce you to the amazing institution that is Brown University! Throughout the year, I’ll be posting about cool things I see happening on campus, my take on certain comings-and-goings at Brown, or whatever else I feel like talking about! ☺
“Giving thanks for what?” you might ask. My answer is pretty simple: for going to school in such a beautiful city (cheesy as that might sound) and for it FINALLY being Thanksgiving! To address the first part of that answer I’m going to tell you all about another hidden gem I have found in my recent explorations of Providence – the Providence Athenaeum Library! Built in 1836 (according to their website, which you can look at here: http://www.providenceathenaeum.org/index.html), the Providence Athenaeum has been providing public, free access to this beautiful study space since 1850, when the library was opened to the public. This library (pictured above) not only presents a great opportunity for Brown students to get off the Hill (even if it is only halfway down the hill on College St.) and study in a picturesque, quiet space free from the stress of going to the Sciences Library or the Rockefeller Library during these final stretches of the semester. Also, you can check out any of the books in the Athenaeum OR the Fleet Library (see my earlier post on “Hidden Gems” if you want to learn more about that library) if you become a member of the Athenaeum, which is only $35 dollars for college students!
To address the second part of that answer, as you probably can tell based on the breadth of Thanksgiving-oriented posts on the blog this week, Thanksgiving break has finally arrived! Whether you’re at home doing this:
At your friends house doing this:
Or still at Brown doing this:
…every student here is taking full advantage of the 5-7 day break to get some last minute “me-time” or sleep before the finals hit, which is exactly how Thanksgiving break SHOULD be!
So for those of you on Thanksgiving break as well – enjoy your holiday! Eat a lot of turkey, knit a scarf, get in a fight with the family dog over that last slice of cranberry , and stay warm!
Until next time…
Did I hit what you wanted to know? Want a specific topic covered in the blog that hasn’t been covered yet? Need a person to rant to about the frustrations of the college application process? Feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Ever true to Brown,
Welcome to Pride and Prejudice! Want to know about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (lgbtq) happenings at Brown? Look no further! I’m Iman Jenkins, your resident queer woman of color blogger here to give you all the details of queer life on campus.
Students around campus are counting down the hours until 12pm, Wednesday, November 27: the time Thanksgiving break officially begins. Some students have already left. The campus is slowly emptying. Lucky for me and the others students who are not heading home, the main dining hall will be open during the break. It’s no comparison to a home cooked meal, but it’s food.
Going back home may mean family, friends, and fine food for some, but for many LGBTQ students, Brown is the first place they have ever been able to be themselves. Some are not able to be out at home like they are at Brown. The first (and only) time I went back home for Thanksgiving, I was in this situation. I was out and proud at school. My room was full of rainbows, my bookbag was covered with queer buttons, and I was active in the Queer Alliance. At home, I was the good, heterosexual Christian girl my minister parents wanted me to be. I had a lot of trouble balancing these two identities. I’ve learned, and here are some tips on how to handle being queer at home.
1. Share as much of your identity as you are comfortable with. I told my family about some of the groups I was in, like my a cappella group and the Black Student Union. I did not tell my family about the Queer Alliance. I did not feel comfortable exposing that part of myself to people who might react negatively.
2. Find people you can be your complete self with. For me, this was keeping in contact with friends I made through the Queer Alliance.
3. Come out to people you if you feel comfortable. I came out to my oldest friend when I came home for break. She took it well and we’re still close. People might surprise you.
4. Remember, you’re only home for a little while. Break is only a few days. Soon, you’ll be back at Brown with lots of other LGBT students.
Questions? Comments? Email me at Iman_Jenkins@brown.edu to learn more about queer life at Brown.
It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. While that may be true, there is also a lot of value in the story behind the picture. Let Snapshots of Brown with Corrine Szczesny introduce you to the majestic college campus and deep-rooted traditions of Brown University.
It is almost the end of the fall semester. The last few weeks of a semester are always hard. There are papers to write, projects to complete, and finals to begin studying for (hint: it is never too early to start studying for finals). Luckily, we get a bit of a reprieve this week due to Thanksgiving break. However, the stress of preparing for the end of the semester will pick up again next week.
During this time in the semester, it can be easy to forget to relax. And, though you might find it hard to tear yourself away from your work, sometimes you just need a break. Spend time with friends, watch a few episodes of your favorite television show, or explore the shops and restaurants on campus. There are so many cool things to do at Brown that will (temporarily) help take your mind off schoolwork. After all, sometimes, you just need a night where you cook an entire meal with friends, including a delicious cheesecake for dessert.
Email me your suggestions or any questions you have about life at Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.