He, She, and Phe: Dorm Life at Brown: Beware of the Pembroke Plague

Blog4Hi there! I’m Seunglee Lee, a first year blogger for He, She, and Phe: Dorm Life at Brown. For nervous freshmen, including myself, nothing is more exiting yet intimidating than prospects of dorm life. As I navigate through all the fun, hectic and hilarious experiences dorm life at Brown has to offer, I hope to share them with you and hopefully convince you that Brown is the place to be. 

It’s that time of the year: of sneezes, coughs and stuffy noses. It is not difficult to spot a miserable-looking freshman with puffed-up eyes and a pile of tissues nearby in Andrews Commons. At least for me, since almost all of my friends are sick (thank goodness I’m not).

At home, a hot bowl of soup and a cup of cocoa delivered to your room (and missing school, of course) make up for being sick. Here, not so much. You still have to go to classes since it’s much harder to catch up in college, leave your room to get food, and let’s be honest — it doesn’t feel like home quite yet.

So many people in Pembroke have fallen sick that we have named the phenomenon, and rightfully so, the “Pembroke Plague.” It’s not too surprising if you think about it. If you have 30+ people living next to each other in the same floor, something is bound to go around. If you add to that a lot of them have never experienced cold weather and are sleep-deprived, now that’s a recipe for an epidemic.

That doesn’t mean everyone is suffering. A good number of students have never gotten sick or have recovered very quickly. With some basic precaution, you don’t have to be a victim of the Pembroke Plague:

Eat Healthy 

I don’t want to sound like a parent here, but it is so easy to eat unhealthy in college. I’m struggling with the same problem myself. Believe it or not, you feel so much better mentally and physically when you know you ate balanced, healthy meals that day. Try not to have pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your body will thank you later.

Get a Flu Shot

Brown Health Services offers free flu shots around early October. It’s worth it to get one. Besides, they give you candy and a cute “I got my flu shot” sticker. Who wouldn’t want that?

Be Prepared 

You always have to expect the worst. Have some cough drops and cold medicine in your room, and maybe even pre-made soup and tea if you want to feel extra-prepared. No one wants to drag themselves to CVS when they are sneezing every ten seconds, especially if you live south of Main Green.

Get Some Sleep

A majority of my friends who are sick are either sleep-deprived or have a really skewed sleep schedule. There are times when your body just shuts down and tells you it needs sleep. Listen and get some rest.

I hope this post was not too depressing. But trust me, dorm life has much more perks than the downsides.

See you next week!


Do you have any questions or comments? Shoot me an email at seung_lee_lee@brown.edu and I’ll get back to you!


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