Wise Fools: Checking In

Hello prospective students, confused current students, and lost surfers of the web. Welcome to Wise Fools, where I address the ins and outs of being a sophomore at Brown University. My name is Justin Ferenzi, and I’m here to help shine some light on the intricacies of a student’s second year. 
Those of you who have read a few of my other posts know that I love asking my friends for their advice about being a sophomore to pass on to you. My experience is mine, and is not necessarily representative of sophomore year as a whole. That’s why I like to get input from a diverse array of friends. This post contains some new insights that I’ve gathered from my peers, classmates, and pals.
  1. Declare as soon as you know that you’re ready. The concentration declaration process can be quite laborious, and depending on how proactive your concentration advisor is, can take a few weeks to go through. One friend of mine has been in to see her advisor once a week, begging to have her concentration approved. So strike while the iron is hot! Of course, if you’re still unsure about your concentration, don’t feel rushed.
  2. The freshman 15 isn’t just for first-years. Make sure to keep eating right and practicing healthy life habits. It can be easy to get complacent, so keep taking care of yourself!
  3. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. A few friends of mine have continued choosing classes that are light in workload or tests. While this can be fine, many of them report feeling bored or unchallenged in these so-called ‘easy’ classes. Know your limits, and don’t stretch yourself too thin, but make sure to keep things stimulating.
  4. Destress. As important as your physical health is your mental health. Keep doing the things that you know are relaxing for you—read for fun, drink herbal tea, meditate, see a therapist, etc. Stay centered.
  5. Be proactive. Internships, jobs, and leadership positions don’t just fall into your lap. Apply, apply, apply! One friend of mine has a challenge set for herself to apply to one internship a day. This might be a bit much for some people, but another goal such as one per week, or three every Sunday, might work better.
When Justin Ferenzi isn’t blogging, he’s obsessively refreshing his email account for blogging-related correspondence. For any and all questions about life at Brown, don’t hesitate to send a message to justin_ferenzi@brown.edu
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