A Fresh View: The Joys of Shopping Period and the Evils of the 9 AM

Hello Everyone!

My name is Emily Schell, and I’m the new freshman behind “A Fresh View.” You get to read my attempts to tell jokes and blog for the next year – but at least hopefully you will get something out of it! While you all struggle through the college application process, I get to struggle through the trials and tribulations of being a freshman. So there you have it: neither of us is alone. This blog is just a little bit of Brunonia to brighten up your week!

As pre-registration for second semester classes is coming to an end, I figured I would tell you all about one of the very important parts of registering, taking, and ENJOYING Brown classes – shopping period! At the beginning of each semester, there is a period of two weeks in which students can go to the classes they registered for, but also literally “shop” other classes that seem interesting to them. That means that you can “shop” as many classes a day that you want. So, if being the crazy kid who runs in and out of 13 classes every day of shopping period really appeals to you, go wild! However, I caution you from completely embracing the craziness that is shopping period. After the first week of “shopping,”you should begin to settle in to 5-6 classes you would actually take. If it takes you another week to determine which 4-5 of those classes you are committing yourself to for the semester, that is completely fine. I say this because, while the first week is mainly introductions, syllabus reading, etc., the second week is actually real course material. You wouldn’t want to miss that because you were shopping another class for kicks. Still not making sense? If not, I’ll give you two real-life examples of actual stymied freshman (just like yourselves in a few months) doing real shopping during actual shopping period.

Me: The first semester I was here, I did not shop during shopping period at all. I had a list of about 6 classes, but when I went to 5 classes, I decided to not even shop the 6th because I was so deadset on those 5. If you feel like you didn’t take ample advantage of shopping period, that is completely okay as well. Sometimes you just know what you want to take that semester – and don’t feel like you aren’t taking advantage of the Brown system by not shopping. It’s a personal choice that you can exercise if you feel the need.

Jared: On the other hand, my friend Jared is one of those kids who actually does sprint from class to class in order to shop all the classes he wants. I think his second semester schedule on the Brown Course Scheduler (which you will learn to love and sometimes stalk during pre-registration time) is a bunch of red blocks – which means that he is looking at so many classes they all run into each other. I always joke with him about his “red” schedule because if you have that many red blocks on your schedule, you may not be doing things right. However, Jared did limit down his ridiculous number of choices to 4 by the time shopping period ended, and he is very happy with the 4 classes he is taking right now.

With that being said, both Jared and Emily’s methods (haha that’s me…) are completely legitimate ways to approaching shopping period. Brown just puts shopping period in place because they want their students to really know what classes they are getting into and BE HAPPY in their classes! ☺

Also, the second part of my title, “The Evils of the 9 AM,” is still very germane to this discussion. When you are scheduling courses, keep in mind what kind of person you are. Do you like long lunches? Are you a morning person? Do you enjoy running from class to class or taking longer walks? All of these questions are important to keep in mind. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I (stupidly) scheduled a 9 AM for myself in one of the farther spots on campus. I am by no means a morning person, however, waking up at 6 AM every day in high school made me feel like I could take that 9 AM on. Big mistake. While I still do love the subject of the class itself, walking to Smitty B (Smith Buannano Hall) from Keeney every morning at 9 AM just makes Emily a sad girl. However, now that I know what not to do, my schedule for next semester is filled with classes no earlier than 11 AM. For learning my 9 AM mistake early, I will be all the more happy (and well rested) for it ! ☺

Happy reading! Good luck with the college application process! If you all have any questions or want me to cover a specific topic, feel free to shoot me an email at emily_schell@brown.edu.

Ever true to Brown,
Emily Schell


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