From Albania to Zimbabwe: On The Bench

March 20

No matter where you are in the world, From Albania to Zimbabwe is the right place to find out about international happenings at Brown University! Hi, I’m Celina Stewart, a sophomore concentrating in International Relations here at Brown, and this is my space to give you updates and info about all things international at Brown, including international student life, international speakers, and different clubs and activities with an international focus. Read along and explore everything international at Brown! 

This morning, I spent significant time sitting on a bench in front of Sayles on the Main Green, just reading and watching people walk by in front of me. It reminded me a little bit of Adele’s “Hometown,” that feeling of being so relaxed, yet engaged in a place that you seem lost.

Taking time to sit and enjoy time on the Main Green helped me to calm down. This week has been full of anxiety inducing stressors, including internship interviews and application deadlines, discussion of housing for next semester, study abroad applications, a rough week grading for my Teaching Assistant position, and several midterm exams and papers due as we move in to Spring Break next week. Having a chance to sit and breathe (albeit while frantically cramming a book before my final midterm section) was a great way of calming down. I eventually gave up reading and spent time catching up with a friend, which was such a welcome break to the hectic nature of my day today.

This moment, just sitting on a park bench talking with friends, took me back to my experience abroad last summer in Berlin. My friends all spent an afternoon doing a walking tour of Berlin, and ended up in front of the beautiful Cathedral pictured above. Instead of continuing our tour and trying to see as much as possible, we took the time to sit and join the group of people also enjoying the weather in Berlin’s beautiful July.

Finding time to spend on friends and even just to sit quietly and appreciate good weather is something I find myself forgetting to do. Often at Brown, groups of students will sit on the Green or spend time outside studying- I just haven’t been one of them. Although it was windy and a little chilly, today’s brief pause on a bench made me appreciate the idea that no matter how busy I am, I can always remove myself for ten minutes and catch my breath.

Here’s to spring, even if it isn’t quite here yet. Here’s to friends, and the time spent making those people a bigger part of our lives. Here’s to having an academic experience that seems overwhelming, but that can easily be managed with the right strategy. And finally, here’s to Spring Break- I can’t wait to tell you guys about my experience and give you tips on how to enjoy Spring Break when I get back.

Have  questions or comments? Feel free to email me at and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Or, if you’d rather, just comment on the blog! 


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