Hello! I’m Lulu, a member of the PLME class of 2018/2022, and I am the writer for Blogside Manner. In this column, I will talk about the ins and outs of PLME life at Brown and, of course, the dreaded application process. Whether or not you decide to ultimately apply for PLME, I hope to help provide you with a better sense of what Brown is all about!
It finally feels like spring at Brown, and the main green is in full bloom. To all of you who came to ADOCH, I hope you enjoyed your stay! To all the prospective PLMEs who attended the PLME event, I wish I had the time to stop by and meet you; perhaps we’ll see each other during fall semester (if you come to Brown, hint hint).
Today’s post is going to be on the shorter side with an organic chemistry exam and finals coming up. I will be talking mostly about personal epiphanies I’ve had over my first year at Brown.
First: don’t underestimate what you can do here. Like my advisor always said, don’t believe it’s impossible at Brown until someone has told you no at least three times. There is really a lot of flexibility, especially with academic scheduling; prerequisites are often just a suggestion and if you think you are up for it, no one will stop you from taking what you want because you haven’t taken some classes. This also applies to things like research, which extends beyond the sciences here (one of my friends does statistical work for a history professor, which I think is really cool).
Second: don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many resources here at Brown because everyone wants you to succeed. There are loads of mentoring and tutoring programs that are both for all Brown undergraduates and within the PLME circle. In addition, please remember to take care of yourselves, no matter where you go for college. Even though some people will have an easier transition than others, everyone goes through this transitioning phase, so capitalize on things like psychological services (CAPS, our psychological services, gives every student 7 free sessions per year) and the Deans of the college, who are all excellent listeners and can get you extension letters for when you feel like you are just struggling with everything.
Last: challenge yourself! I think this is especially true if you are a PLME because you do have more freedom with grade options. I am currently in linear algebra, which I am doing somewhat badly in from the grades standpoint, but I actually love this class. This is not because the professor is outstanding (though I certainly think he is a lot better than most people give him credit for) or because the material is super interesting. It is mainly because this class has made me work harder than I have in a long time, and I enjoy that. So if you come to Brown, please push your limits, because these are the four best years for you to do so!
For all of you rising seniors, keep in mind that you should probably start your college essays as soon as the topics are out, not when common app goes live. Trust me, it’ll save you a lot of pain when December comes around.
For all of you committed PLMEs: take some time to relax! Don’t worry about things like requirements and courses and stuff; enjoy your summer! You’ll get a packet sometime close to August explaining the basics about PLME, but until then, have fun!
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below! I’ll make sure to respond as soon as I can!