A Fresh View: The First Day(s)

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Hello, Brown enthusiasts! My name is Leah Goldman, and I’ll be your socially-awkward blogger for A Fresh View for the coming year. Join me as I attempt to make my way through this slightly terrifying yet extremely exciting experience known as The First Year of College.

Hello and welcome to all who are reading this! Thanks for deciding to check out A Fresh View, which will be run by me, Leah, for this year. A little bit about me: I’m a freshman (duh!) from West Hartford, Connecticut, which is where I have lived for the entirety of my life up until now. Right now I’m thinking about concentrating in Applied Mathematics, but I’m also an incredibly indecisive person and therefore very likely to change my mind about that at least once in the coming years. In my downtime I love to read (guess who brought 50+ books to college) and watch Netflix.

This year I’m living in Andrews, which is lovingly known as Hotel Andrews due to the rather spacious rooms with sinks, as well as a campus eatery in the basement and study lounge on the first floor. Stay tuned to learn more about my dorm in the coming weeks (pictures will be included–because who doesn’t want to imagine exactly where they might be living for the next four years?).

The information I covered above is probably the majority of what you’ll be asked about in the first few days of college, which is what I want to talk more about today!

The first few days of college are CRAZY. From the many trips up and down the stairs to drag in an outrageous amount of items from Bed, Bath and Beyond that will probably never get used, to the crazy swarm of freshmen that is the ice cream social, the first couple days are non-stop socializing. And for the less outgoing people, such as myself, it can be pretty overwhelming and stressful. I was constantly battling my introverted urge to hide in my room with Netflix and skip the socializing. In reality? It’s not that scary. Here’s a couple tips that I picked up:

  1. ‘Social event’ is not code for ‘prove your intelligence.’ Yes, this is Brown. But no, that doesn’t mean that your first conversations with people are going to be discussions of heteronormativity or politics. In my first few days, most of the conversations I had consisted of learning the other person’s name (which I often promptly forgot), learning where they’re from and where on campus they’re living, and learning what they’re studying. Even a socially awkward person like me can answer questions as simple as those.
  2. You’re going to meet a lot of people and never see them again. In general, if you go to one of the social events, you’ll probably meet people that you’ll never actually see again, unless they’re in your unit or your dorm. Whether it be because you’ll never ever have classes together or because you live on opposite sides of campus, not every meeting is going to turn into a permanent friendship. So don’t stress if you do something awkward (which I definitely did numerous times) or make a somewhat less-than-perfect first impression (because it’s pretty hard to look flawless after hauling suitcases around in 90+ degree weather).
  3. You don’t need to go to everything. The constant socializing can be crazy exhausting, and sometimes you just need to draw the line and skip something in favor of your mental health. And that’s totally okay! You don’t need to go to everything, and you’re not going to miss out on the college experience just because you skip something now and then. If you want to be out and in the thick of everything, go for it! But it’s not going to ruin the next four years if you don’t.

Anyway, those are just a few of the things that I quickly learned in my first days at Brown, which will hopefully be helpful to you as well when you start college (be it at Brown or somewhere else). Thanks for tuning in for my first blog post!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please feel free to send me an email at leah_goldman@brown.edu. Wherever in the world you are, I hope you’re having a great day!

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