Hello friends! I am Yuzuka Akasaka, the ineffably ecstatic first-year blogger for A Fresh View. As I happily stumble through the beautiful hot mess that is the first chapter of my college life, I hope y’all will enjoy the Brown experience with me through the blog posts. I am sending love and good vibes to every single one of you from my new home, Providence, Rhode Island.
Friends are a significant part of my life for me, so I was anxious about being immersed in a completely novel environment with hundreds of students from around the world. Though this seemed exciting and frightening to me, I have found that my new peers are incredibly affable, and have proven my initial anxieties wrong.
In my experience, these are some of the ways that I made friends:
- Attending a pre-orientation program: the Third World Transition Program (TWTP)-I arrived three days earlier than most of my peers for this wonderful pre-orientation program. These three educational and fun days were extremely conducive to meeting and bonding with my new peers. I put in a lot of effort to meet many people, and though this was a little overwhelming at the time, I am thankful that I did this because I felt fairly confident and more secure when the rest of the class of 2018 moved in. I do not often see a majority of the friends I made during TWTP for various reasons (no classes together, not living near each other, etc), so running into them brings me a lot of joy. Also, when I recognize a TWTP participant, we discuss how fun TWTP was; the bond between the TWTP-ers is strong. Several of my closest friends now are students I met during this program.
- Inviting acquaintances/potential friends to hang out- At the beginning of the school year, many of us found ourselves with a significant amount of free time. Whenever there was an event I wanted to go to, I invited potential friends to attend them with me. My friend mentioned that he invited people to eat with him or walk to the Providence Place Mall.
- Joining a group of first-years-The other freshmen are in the same boat of rapidly meeting new people, so we often did so by sitting with people who were not necessarily our friends (yet), and meeting them in the dining halls or on the Main Green. This practice decreased on the Main Green as the temperatures became cooler.
- Attending unit events-During orientation, there are many unit (Brown terminology for a grouping of freshmen based on housing location) events, so I met and befriended many of my neighbors through them. My unit, Unit Five (a.k.a. BiKeeney Bottom) consists of the first and second floors of my dorm. I met many of my floormates through these events; we often spend time together at night having tea parties.
- Struggling together in a class- All of my courses this semester are large lecture classes, so they are not too conducive to making friends (though I have made some friends by sitting by them in class). I have become closer friends with other students in my class by having study sessions together.
- Staying open to making friends- As the semester progresses and we become busier, it is easy to become less inclined to actively meet people, but there are so many lovely people to befriend here, so I try to take every opportunity to meet new people.
The Brown community is filled with amazing people, and I’m so grateful for the friends I have made here.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for my next blog post, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a lovely day!