Second Time Around: Family Weekend + Revelations

“She doesn’t even go here!” Join me as I transition to life at Brown, and learn more about our fantastic campus through the ramblings of a recent transfer student. I’m Veronica Fletcher, a junior concentrating in Psychology & Hispanic Studies, and this is my Second Time Around.

Last Friday marked the start of my first Family Weekend here at Brown, which means that my wonderful parents flew out from San Francisco to experience Providence with me for the very first time. [Side note: last weekend was also my 21st birthday, which means that a good portion of my Family Weekend consisted of getting drunk with my mom and dad.]

Here are five things I learned as a transfer student over Family Weekend:

1. What Christina Paxson looks like. Although I’ve been receiving emails from our President on the daily for almost a year, this was the first time I was actually able to put a face to the name. As spring transfers, our arrival to Brown wasn’t celebrated with a ~star-studded~ Commencement Ceremony on the Main Green. Actually, our commencement was about as far removed from that as possible – bundled in our cold weather gear, the 40 of us marched excitedly through the Van Wickle gates as the Brown Band played the most stirring rendition of “Stacy’s Mom” I’ve ever heard. It was epic, but significantly lacking in Paxson. The point being: I finally got to hear Christina Paxson speak last weekend. And as she welcomed us all to Brown and gave a beautifully-articulated speech about the culture of the Open Curriculum, my long-awaited Commencement dreams were fulfilled. Props to you, C-Pax.

2. How insanely talented our student body is. Let me start this one off by saying that a cappella has turned my mother into a monster. After just one performance by the Brown Derbies, she was hooked, and we spent the rest of our weekend on a strict mission to attend as many concerts as possible. I figured the novelty of this “no-instruments-required” concept would quickly fizzle out, but no – every single concert was absolutely fantastic and sold-out to deafening applause. I’m still in shock.

3. Kabob and Curry tastes even more delicious after a 2-hour wait.
Seriously, get your dinner reservations in early, people!

4. Snow happens in New England. Sometimes it happens in October.
No explanation necessary for this one.

5. How much I’ve already accomplished at Brown. The original tagline for this blog post was going to read something like: “I can legally drink, but I still can’t find my way around campus.” Family Weekend proved to me how entirely wrong that statement is. So maybe I don’t know the name of every single building on College Hill, but really, how many students could identify Marston Hall? And what’s more, I had an anecdote or positive memory to share about almost every location we visited on our self-guided tour. As a transfer, I spend a lot of my time worrying about lack of time. I have a year and a half of missed experiences to make up for, and one of my biggest fears is that I will never be able to accomplish anything meaningful here before graduation. Family Weekend gave me the chance to appreciate my school from an outsider’s perspective, and reminded me of all the incredible people and experiences I’ve already encountered in my first few months at Brown. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Thanks for reading! If you have thoughts or questions about this blog post, or any other aspect of the transfer experience, please feel free to email me at, or leave a comment in the box below!


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