Hi there! I’m Eimi (pronounced ‘Amy’) and I’m your correspondent for Student Highlight this year, a column dedicated to highlighting the scholars who attend this institution. While I’ve deduced that there’s no ‘typical’ Brown student, I hope to share a small glimpse into the wonderful and diverse individuals of this community.
I had this graduation photo taken back in March, blissfully ignorant of how limited my time at Brown was becoming. Luckily, small steps have facilitated my transition to reality as a graduating senior/soon-to-be alumna, like this blog post. In perhaps what was a vain move, my first post on Student Highlight featured myself; I’m happy to announce that I’ll be continuing this cycle of vanity by ending my stint on Student Highlight and the Bruin Club Blog similarly.
As a columnist for this blog, a tour guide, and an information session leader, I’m most frequently asked the ‘Why Brown?’ question with which I have always ended my posts. It’s a misleading question, and I’m never sure of the angle from which I should answer. Most answers from current students and alumni speak to experiences that they’re having or have already had during their Brown careers, and that’s all well. But I’ve found that prospective students’ ‘Why Brown’ isn’t necessarily asking for what life at Brown is like as a current student. It’s asking for that current student to relate to the prospective students’ situations of life pre-Brown: how the current student decided on Brown amidst the myriad of universities from which they could have selected. How did I know to choose Brown with the knowledge and resources I had as a high school student, not as a current college student?
Sure, I could answer all I want about how the Open Curriculum has allowed me to take classes in 15 different disciplines throughout my 4 years or how the expansive undergraduate research opportunities have led to my becoming a published author and that’s why Brown is great. But did my 17-year old self know any of this as May 1st, 2013 approached? Absolutely not. We all have good ideas of what we might encounter in college, but truthfully no one will ever know the full story behind the college life they’re going to immerse themselves in.
So why Brown, Eimi? Brown, because I believed as a high school student that the University would best scaffold me to tackle the many unknowns of college. Brown, because I thought the environment would best allow me to develop my identity in all facets and unapologetically own it. Brown, because the school didn’t try to pretend it was something it wasn’t or aggressively push me to enroll but just let me be (you’ll find admission officers here tell prospective students and families that Brown isn’t for everyone. It’s true). I’m happy to say that 4 years later, my hopes and beliefs as reflected by these statements became realities.
No one ever told me what I needed to do at Brown: what classes I needed to take, what clubs I needed to join, what I needed to do to ‘succeed’ and be happy. Scary and tricky perhaps, but that lack of direction was also the best part of it all. The unknown is not a blackhole, but rather a dimly lit pathway rewarding only the bravest of travelers who take multiple leaps of faith.
It’s been an honor and a privilege to inhabit this space for the past 2 years. Thank you for reading along.