A Fresh View: Navigating Brown III

Unit Wars
2013 Unit Wars Champion – Unit 9!

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.

Getting adjusted to Brown can be daunting. College is about change and as the environment around me changes, I also change with it. I can only imagine the different person I would be had I gone to a different school other than Brown.

That is not to say that I will submit to all the changes it has thrown at me, but Brown has a way of challenging my values, my perspective, and my skill set and how they change is the result of how I make of the experience—how I approach every problem set or essay assigned, what I contribute to class discussions versus hearing the dissenting opinions of my peers. More generally, my parents and family have settled on the conclusion that at this point, they can only encourage me as I grow and trust that I will make good decisions.

And as much I tend to focus on the distinct learning environment of Brown, which I think is an anomaly for prospective students who are trying to figure out if this is a place they’ll thrive in, after four years, I imagine it won’t be the essay that I pulled my hairs out writing, or the classes, or the math exam that I only scored average on that I will remember.

I will remember the conversations with my hallmates in the lounge, discussing our future plans late in the night. I will remember jamming with some friends to loud music with the lights out when we don’t feel like doing work. I will remember gathering in one room to do homework (even though none of us are taking the same classes, we are all there for moral support!) I will remember my friend who—regardless of how much work either of us have to do—we always talk to each other about our day at the end of every night. I will remember my professor’s encouraging emails that always ended with the line “Keep going” whenever I hit a road block in my writing. I will remember the people.

Because I am required to live on campus for at least four semesters, Iiving in close quarters, I get to know a lot of people. I have friends I see in class, the ones I do problem sets with. I have friends who I live on the same floor with and say hi to in the halls everyday – what Brown Residential Life calls a “unit.”

During orientation, there is an event called “Unit Wars” during which freshmen can bond with their hallmates and compete with other units in games that require teamwork. I’m proud to say, my unit, Unit 9, secured the title this year. More importantly, as the semester is coming to a close, as cliche as this sounds, I’m glad I got to know some of them as students and people.

Navigating Brown is a feat, but at least I know I have people to go through the journey with.

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

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