A Fresh View: Navigating Brown Part II (A Closer Look)

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.

Because pre-registration for next semester’s classes is around the corner, it’s about time I share the classes I’m taking this semester versus next semester’s.

If you’ve read my first post, I mentioned that I came to Brown thinking I would do engineering. So this semester, my schedule looks (kind of) what an engineering student would take (prefroshies, I’m disclosing my personal schedule for you at the risk of potential stalkers.):

Fall Schedule

So if you’re interested in engineering at Brown, the introductory course is denoted as ENGN0030 (“Introduction to Engineering”) and you must have prerequisite math credit under your belt or take one of the prerequisite courses simultaneously – I’m taking MATH0190 which covers second-semester calculus and physics/engineering applications.

My other two courses:

  • BIOL0170—Biotechnology in Medicine: a laidback lecture class in which you learn neat things about the pharmaceutical industry, drugs from Paxil to cocaine, current treatments for diseases like diabetes to heart disease, organ transplants, personalized medicines, cloning, stem cells. You know—all the things we should be aware for our well-being and the potential future. One of the fun things about the class is we get to watch Gattaca!
  • ENGL0130—Critical Reading and Writing II: The Research Essay: a S/NC writing workshop in which you hone your research techniques and writing skills for the college level. We write four essays throughout the semester, each of which go through an extensive editing and peer review process. It’s satisfying and rewarding when you have a polished piece in the end. Plus, you get to write about any topic you wish—for all four essays! This also satisfies my writing requirement (Brown requires you take at least two writing-intensive courses in the first and second half of your time here. Writing is an important means of communication—no matter what the engineering students have been telling me here.)

However, it’s not uncommon if my spring scheduling cart looks something more like this:

Spring Schedule '14

If you didn’t know, Brown has a 2-week “shopping period” during which you can sit in classes you’re not registered for but might be interested in and add or drop classes as many times as you want if, say, you find a math class that is more suitable for you, or you really like this professor and the material being taught (which happens often, what can I say, it’s Brown) and prefer it over another course you’ve already registered for.

So that’s why I have more classes than I’m allotted to take. Although shopping period stresses me out (“I love all these classes! I can’t choose four!”), I take full advantage of it because I don’t want to miss out on a possibly life-changing course or professor or a class that is offered a certain semester every year.

So prefroshies: if you’re excited about learning, if you’re not beset by the idea of having the freedom to choose from the countless classes offered here, if you enjoy this process of self-discovery, then Brown might be the place for you.

Pre-registration, here I come.

Any questions or suggestions for my next post? Please send them my way at kimberly_truong@brown.edu and I’m happy to answer and heed to all of them!

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