A Fresh View: Living with my Best Friends

IMG_6372Hey! I’m Nicole Fleming and I’m a blogger for A Fresh View. I’m here to share with you some of my experiences as a first-year student, the ups and downs of my transition to college, and why Brown is the best place to be a freshman!

I can still remember the first time I walked down my dorm hallway on move-in day. Dragging my oversized suitcase and juggling bags of random supplies, I glanced at the names on the doors on either side of me. I wondered if any of those people would end up being in my same classes, participating in my same activities, or, just maybe, becoming my new best friends.

Before coming to Brown, I had no idea what the social life in a dorm would be like. My only insights into college residential life came from the Hollywood-created sorority in Legally Blonde. What would it be like to be surrounded only by people of my own age? Would it be easy to make friends? Would the dorm be too full of crazy parties? Or so quiet that I would feel isolated, cooped up in my room studying?

Now, several months later, all my anxiety about the social life in my dorm has completely vanished. It’s no big deal to casually knock on the doors of my best friends to tell them what hilarious things happened to me each day. And on Friday and Saturday nights, I love hanging out in the dorm rooms of my friends on my floor, laughing, listening to music, and relaxing after a busy week. At the same time, I have no problem closing my door and using my dorm room as a quiet place for studying.

Basically, at Brown, dorm life can be anything you want it to be. The dorms are quiet during the day, which is perfect for studying. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that the people in each dorm aren’t social. Within the first few days of orientation, I had met everyone on my floor. I wasn’t afraid to knock on the doors of my neighbors and introduce myself, which definitely led to a lot of new friends. In fact, almost all of my best friends at Brown live on my floor. It’s great that all I have to do to see them is walk a few yards down the hall.

Having said that, it’s also totally fine to spend a lot of time outside my dorm. Once in a while, the smallness of my room gets to me and I find myself making the quick walk to one of Brown’s many libraries or study centers, just to get a change of scenery. Also, even though I’m lucky to have great people on my floor, it’s also easy to make friends through classes and activities. Therefore, there’s no need to worry if you don’t make instant friends with the people in your dorm.

I also love that Brown assigns housing randomly. Before receiving my housing assignment, I was a little nervous. What if I got a roommate or neighbor that didn’t like me? However, after arriving at Brown, I soon found out that everyone is so friendly and accepting that it’s rare to have a serious conflict within a dorm. Plus, there are enough people on each floor that there will always be lots of nice people. Also, because housing assignments are completely random, I’ve gotten to meet all kinds of people with all kinds of interests, not just people who I identified as similar to myself, through living with them in my dorm building.

In short, I was crazy to have even a shred of fear about the social part of living in a dorm. Brown’s housing system for freshmen makes it so easy to make new friends and meet loads of interesting people. When I first moved in, I had no idea what the people in my building, who at the time were just represented through names written on doors, would be like. Now, I see them as some of my best friends.

I would love to chat if you have questions or just want to talk about Brown! Please email me at nicole_fleming@brown.edu.

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