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.
As you’re getting ready to submit your college applications and I prepare for finals in the weeks ahead (a notorious time of hardcore studying and apparently, social isolation), I thought reflecting on what I’ve learned this semester will be helpful for the next four years of your college experience. (Prefroshies: Get excited! Continue trying your best at whatever you do but also have fun your senior year. That is what it’s for. Parts of high school may not have been as fun, but I promise you’ll miss it in the end :). I tried to keep this as general as possible; I’m sorry if some of them are specific to Brown. I also asked some of my friends to add to the list so I’m not only offering my perspective.)
- High school friends are always a phone call or text away. You never wished them “goodbye”—only “see you later.”
- Call your parents once in a while, even for a few minutes. They want to know if everything is okay.
- Naps are refreshing.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day when you’re on the go.
- Stay hydrated if you do choose to party (which is not a choice you should feel pressured to make!)
- There is no rush to have sex, drugs, and alcohol if you don’t want to. Pace yourself.
- Exercise regularly. Even if you are in pain the next day and have to walk to a class across campus.
- You don’t have to pull all-nighters in college.
- A bit of planning ahead is always worth it.
- Have an hour carved out of your day to be alone. For me, I like to have early breakfast at the Ratty and read a book.
- Halloween lasts a week here. Plan your costumes accordingly.
- Go to random events — hear important speakers, info sessions, walk-in hours at the CareerLAB. Who knows, you might learn something and/or establish a new connection.
- Be kind to yourself. Your health and well-being always come first. Have ways to de-stress.
- B’s are not necessarily bad. You’ll become less competitive with others and be more competitive with yourself, striving for self-improvement.
- Become friends with upperclassmen. It makes the transition a bit easier.
- Know what times and what incentives make you the most productive. Work your schedule around those.
- Don’t think too much about the future. Stay in the present and make decisions that will make you happy now.
- It is okay to end up hating something after trying it out. At least you learn something about yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help—from TAs, your professors, upperclassmen, faculty members, academic deans, friends, etc. Go to office hours!
- Check your email on a regular basis. The most efficient, effective way to get in contact with a professor is email.
- Don’t stare at people when they’re dancing — the whole experience becomes awkward for both parties.
- Decorate your room. Make it feel like home, not just a place you happen to live.
- Do your laundry – don’t rewear your clothes. Ew.
- Have friends to study with.
- Have solo dance parties when your roommate isn’t home. But also communicate with your roommate. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but they will always be there for you.
- Remind yourself how lucky you are every day.
Some of the best years of your lives await you. Best of luck!
Any questions or suggestions for my next post? Please send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to answer and heed to all of them!