A Fresh View: Why Brown?


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!

The final month — its here! December! Fear not, pre-frosh. Your stressful college application journey is almost over. If you aren’t quite at the point of being a senior in high school, then maybe you should take a bit of a rest from exhausting the college search engines, in the spirit of the holidays.

Now, around this time last year, I was finding out about Early Action and Early Decision schools (yeah, Brown!), but I know many friends of mine were deciding whether or not they should take the time to apply to “x” school or “y” school. One thing that you have probably already discovered by this time is the “senior year college washout” syndrome. That means that you have thoroughly explored every colleges website from head to toe, let your mother or father drag you on multiple collegiate tours, even to the ones you had zero interest of attending. Eventually, after all this research, all the colleges start to look the same right? Every website says their school is the best for some formulaic reasons. While websites are a good first place to start, they really are not unique enough to shape your decision to take the time to apply to a school. I’m here to help! Over the past few days, I have asked real life Brown students “Why did you choose to come to Brown?” and attempted to reign in the variety of answers I received down to these few things: the open curriculum, the happy, passionate people, Brown not being as pretentious (compared to other similar caliber schools), and Brown’s unique choices for majors.

Also, a few answers that were not as common but equally important and/or humorous include, “[t]he tour guide/girls at Brown are hot,” “PLME,” and “[t]here is not a typical Brown student.”

Now the answers that were the majority in that “answer pile” were the reputation of Brown students being incredibly happy and Brown’s famous open curriculum.

I’m not going to force you to read yet another informational snippet on the open curriculum. I’m sure if you have been on any other Brown University related shenanigans, you are well aware of the open curriculum and what it does.

However, I am going to break down a few of ideas that I just threw at you, such as the happy, passionate people and Brown’s unique choice of majors. You can look at any ranking system for “happiness” and they’ll generally find some strange formula to plug into a computer to get a “ranking” for “happiness.” But lets be real — happiness can’t be put into a number. Happiness is a feeling. And I can guarantee that Brown has it. Brown is one of the best schools in the nation in terms of students who attend the University as well as the caliber of the education. Despite this, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to peg how stressed the students are at this institution because they all are so happy. Walking around the Main Green doesn’t make you want to go hit the books some more, like it did at other schools I visited for college tours. Rather, it makes you want to go out and talk to people, do your work in the sunshine, and other actually healthy, happy things! In terms of Brown’s unique choices of majors, although I am only a lowly East Asian Studies and International Relations Double Concentrator (just kidding, I love both my prospective majors and would recommend them to anyone if they are interested!) A few majors that I know my friends are considering and really enjoying are Brown’s Egyptology major and Archaeology major. How does Modern Culture and Media sound? Or BEO, Browns Program in Business and Entrepreneurship? Those are a few very interesting and awesome options for majors (or, in Brown speak, concentrations) that Brown can offer you!

Hopefully these answers from friends of mine helped you decide whether or not you want to apply to Brown or finish up those last few essays on the application (which by the way, you should :P) Want to find out why I chose to apply and GO to Brown (aka. Disney World. Aka. the best place on Earth)?! You’ll just have to wait till next week to find out! Until then…

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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