On the Brown Low: It’s the People You Meet

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Breakthrough Providence, Summer 2014.

Ever wonder what there is to do once you step off Brown’s campus? Curious about what Providence has to offer? On the Brown Low will be your faithful guide! Be sure to check in every week with us, Lily Hartmann and Brianna Lambert, to find out about the best spots around Providence and Rhode Island!

Throughout last semester and the beginning of this one, Brianna and I have talked a lot about best places to eat, where to see great comedy, cool art exhibits, and special events in Providence all with the hopes of helping you and (ourselves) learn more about the place Brown calls home. But for me, the best way I have learned about this city is through its people. Those we have met by venturing around, tutoring within a family for the last two years, working within Providence schools, and engaging in the work of local organizations. The people I have met have truly been the ones to give me a better understanding of Providence and what it means to live in this place.

For many Brown students, the idea of “getting off the hill” seems like something to check of your Brown to-do list. It’s described to us as a way to put our studies into practice or an opportunity to connect with the city, but for me, being off campus has come to mean much more than that. Through my work with BRYTE, I have begun to find a home away from home with the refugee family I’ve tutored in and have gotten to know over the last two years. At Breakthrough Providence, the middle school students I have taught and spent at least a small portion of my week with since last July have brought so much energy to my time here at Brown. And through the people that I have been given the chance to know, I have come to see the city in a new light. I’ve built relationships based on love, laughter, and a mutual care for each other, and this has made my time at college much more meaningful.

My biggest recommendation for new students at Brown isn’t to think of our campus and the city of Providence as separate. Integrate them into one. Be willing to leave your comfort zones. Talk to those who have grown up in Rhode Island and know this place so well. Build relationships with more than Brown students and try to see the city through their eyes. It will not just inform what you do at Brown, but also change the way you see this place.

Until next time,

Lily

Curious about something in Providence that we haven’t covered? Shoot either Brianna or me an email (lily_hartmann@brown.edu or brianna_lambert@brown.edu) and let us know what we should explore in our next post.

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