Dorms Declassified: Get Out!


Hello! My name is Alejandra (Ali) Gatas Johnson and I am your Dorms Declassified: Brown Survival Guide blogger. Living in a dorm with a roommate was one of the things that I was most excited but also nervous about for college. This blog is to help ease the concern and provide insight on residential life at Brown.

The weather in Providence has been beautiful for the past week. I am from Colorado… so yes, I am used to the cold and the snow, but Colorado weather changes a lot. One day it snows and the next day it completely melts away. When I came to Providence my freshman spring, I was worried I would fall prey to the unbearable winters and the wet cold. Thankfully, I lucked out and the past few winters have been mild (probably from global warming – but I try not to think about that). Even with these mild winters, warm days are still invaluable to campus moral and personal well-being. With this week-long preview into spring, I spent more time outside and walking around. It made me realize how much I had hibernated myself into my room.

I absolutely love my room. It is a very chill and calming space, but staying in the same four walled room all of the time isn’t always great for emotional health and self-care. I had gotten to the point that the 20 feet walk from my dorm to the Ratty (cafeteria) was feeling like a lot. I had grown to be a homebody. I love my roommate, but we had been spending so much time together that we began to develop a mental umbilical cord linking us. We started dressing the same (maroon sweater, gray boots, black jeans) and answering questions at the same time and with the same phrase.We even started laying in bed in the same position. We had become hermits to our living space. Living in a small dorm room can make anyone feel claustrophobic pretty quickly. It pays to get out of your room and go study or hang out elsewhere. It’s more than just a change of scene, you will meet more people this way.

The warm weather coaxed us out of our room and out into the world. It was a breath of fresh air (both figuratively and literally). It made me realize the importance of getting out of your living space. Dorm rooms can get claustrophobic for many people and can also become a crutch for others (myself included). It pays to get out of your room and go study/hang out in other spaces (the lounge, the library, the eateries, the main green, etc.) There are tons of places to escape on campus. A change of scenery can do wonders. 

If you have comments or questions about this column or anything related to Brown, please email me at


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