A Fresh View: Feeling Small?

Don't let yourself feel like you're one of those tiny people out there!
Don’t let yourself feel like you’re one of those tiny people out there!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Emily Schell, and I’m the 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!

It’s that time of year again for us Brown students – MIDTERMS! That means libraries full of stressed out kids, studying furiously for that exam that they probably really should have read the textbook for. Also, for many of you, it’s the third quarter, and as someone who just got out of high school, I know for many of you that means the impending doom of AP tests, and for you seniors, an epic fight against senioritis that by now you are probably losing. Sounds bad for everyone all around, right? Not so much! Here at Brown, you’ll be happy to know that when you’re feeling stressed out as a freshman, there are many different outlets you can seek out to get the physical, emotional, or mental help that you may need. I’m just going to go over a few of them today so that you know that WHENEVER you are feeling small or just not like yourself that day, you can go to any of these resources to get that little pep talk that you need.

(1) RPL System: Here at Brown we have a group of Residential Peer Leaders, often called by other schools “RAs” (Resident Advisors), who actually live in the same dorms as you do, so they are available at all times for your convenience! Each dorm is split into “units,” and each “unit” is assigned each kind of RPL – a WPC (Woman Peer Counselor), a MPC (Minority Peer Counselor), and a RC (Residential Counselor). Fun fact: I actually am going to be a WPC next year, so fingers crossed that I’ll get some of you beautiful people as my residents in my unit! ☺ While the different names for each role (WPC, MPC, and RC) may make the roles seem binary (i.e. Woman Peer Counselors only cover women’s issues, Minority Peer Counselors only cover minority issues, etc.) that really is not true. While I, as a WPC, may have specific training in regards to gender and sexuality issues plaguing both men and women in college, I am available for all of your needs! If you become closer to your MPC than the RC or WPC on your floor, then go to him or her with your problems – it is all about what makes you comfortable. RPLs are there to help you make that tough transition into college – we are happy when YOU are happy (cheesy but true!)

(2) Meiklejohn Peer Advisor: Here at Brown, freshmen also have access to a really great academic resource – your Meiklejohn. Many other schools have instituted systems of advising that involve a professor being paired up with a group of students. That professor will help students get academically acclimated to the rigor of college courses, because that is also a tough transition from high school to college that many students may not expect. Brown also has that system of faculty advising, where you are paired with a professor based on your “declared” academic interests (don’t worry – we know those are not set in stone yet!) However, we also have a Meiklejohn Peer Advisor to help supplement your academic advising freshman year. Meiklejohns are students who have gone through some of the exact same thing as you will be – the first semester registration woes, the “OHMYGOSH WHAT IS THIS ESSAY I CANT EVEN?!?” freak out moment, and the myriad of professors and courses you will find yourself sifting through, many of which you will actually want to take. They are a great resource to use because they are students too and they can help you understand which courses are actually good, which professors might just kill you with reading, and other similar academic matters.

Last, but not least is…

(3) CareerLab: I will be the first to admit that I have not used CareerLab’s resources nearly as much as I should. Every few weeks, CareerLab will hold seminars with faculty about some of the basic aspects of college life that you will learn to use, such as “Visiting a Professor’s Office Hours,” “Conquering the College Essay,” “Time Management.” For example, last weeks CareerLab seminar was on “Getting Through College Reading,” a skill that I especially have found very useful, considering that I am a humanities major and yes, the rumor really is true, we do read a book a week in many classes. BUT FEAR NOT – that’s why this kind of academic support exists.

I just want to reiterate – all of these resources are here to help YOU! If you feel like you don’t need to use any of them, don’t worry about it, we will not force them upon you. These different resources are just there in the occasion that you do need that perk me up. At Brown, I promise we won’t ever let your work make you feel small.

As always, if you all have any questions, want me to cover a specific topic, or just want to rant about the college application process, feel free to shoot me an email at emily_schell@brown.edu.

Ever true to Brown,

Emily Schell

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