Wise Fools: Neighbors

1415591_10200919888031412_1486573024_nHey I’m Lizzy Banta and this year I’m going to try to supply you with a sophomore perspective on life here at Brown! This column Wise Fools is a play on the etymology of “sophomore” coming from the Greek σωφοσ meaning ‘wise’ and μοροσ meaning ‘foolish’ (sorry for the vocabulary lesson, but I’m a Classics concentrator and couldn’t resist).

One of the main differences between freshman year and sophomore year are the people you live with. During your first year you are surrounded by thirty-odd smiling neighbors who are excited to meet you and to be your friend. Oftentimes you will become closest with the people who live in close proximity to you because they are always there to hang out or to stress about school with. In most freshman dorms you also have access to lounges where you can hang out with the people you live with and get to know one another better. Most of my best friends here are people who lived on my hall last year, and I feel so lucky that we all got placed together.
As a sophomore things are a little different. Obviously it’s nice because we can choose our roommates and the people in our housing groups so you know you can stick with your best friends, but the rest of your building is a little more of a mystery. There are far fewer smiling introductions with neighbors and definitely less hanging out with the people from your hall. The people you live next to might not be in your grade and they probably aren’t looking to have strangers come knock on their door to say hi.
I started out this year really missing my Andrews crew and the community we built on our floor. I wished that something along those lines would be possible in my new dorm, but quickly realized this would never happen. Now, I’ve completely accepted that I don’t have to be best friends with all my neighbors, we just politely acknowledge each other and keep going. To be honest its nice not to have people bursting in your door all the time because they live next to you and they can. All in all I am really happy to have been part of my floor freshman year, and I know we will all stay close, but living in a place where most of my neighbors are strangers is no problem at all.

If you have any questions, comments, or cool language facts please feel free to e-mail me at elizabeth_banta@brown.edu. Suggestions for what you want to hear about from a sophomore perspective are much appreciated!

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