A Fresh View: A Freshman in Extracurriculars?

Hey! 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!

Every Tuesday evening, I take a quick two-minute walk down busy Thayer Street to the office of the Brown Daily Herald, where I work as a copy editor. When I first started working for the Herald, I was shocked that I, as a freshman, could hold any staff position, especially considering that I had no experience whatsoever in journalism. How could I ever get the chance to play a major role? Much to my surprise, I quickly realized that, even as a first-year student, I’m able to be a copy editor like any other. And, copy editors aren’t the only students at the Herald who could have major roles – even many of the journalists are freshmen.

My experience with the Herald is just one example of the many extracurricular opportunities for freshmen at Brown. Before coming to college, I worried that it would be difficult for me to get immediately involved in clubs and activities. I had been in a few clubs in high school, but none of them gave me the “serious” experience that I thought I would need for college extracurriculars. I hadn’t been the editor of my school’s newspaper, student council president, or the captain of a varsity sports team. My limited role on my school’s math team and my occasional attendance at Scrabble club were all I could claim as school-related extracurricular activities. I had no idea what kind of extracurricular opportunities would even exist at Brown and – if I somehow did find a club that interested me – I was concerned that I wouldn’t have the experience required to play a major role.

However, I had absolutely no reason to worry. Brown offers lots of opportunities for freshmen like me to participate right away in extracurricular activities. And, a lot of clubs here require no previous experience. I was able to start copy editing without having ever worked for a school newspaper. The same is true for some clubs that, on the outside, may look like they require a lot of special talent. For instance, my roommate competes for Brown’s ballroom dance team even though she had never done ballroom dance before college.

Whenever I set up shop at the copy edit desk at The Herald, I can’t believe that I am actually helping with the production of a university newspaper. Back in high school, I never would have guessed that I would get this kind of opportunity as a freshman. I’d always heard that extracurricular activities are a huge part of college, so I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to experience them during my first year at Brown.

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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