Frosh-cessities: What to bring to Brown

boxes

So, you’re going to college. Maybe you’re excited or #nervous, or a combination of the two. Don’t worry – BlogDH has you covered with some packing tips and advice for the terrifying/exciting/overwhelming prospect that is moving to college. After you gather all the essentials (twin XL bedding, shower shoes, a can-do attitude, etc.), here are some other things to consider bringing to campus (or leaving at home):

Things you will definitely need

  • A fan is pretty essential for orientation and the first few weeks of the year, as it is still hot AF in Providence for the first half of September. Dorms do not have air conditioning, and the feeble, still-warm ‘breeze’ coming from your open window will be inadequate to keep you from waking up in an unfortunate you-shaped puddle of sweat every morning. Don’t worry – it cools down pretty quickly at the end of September into October, and you probably won’t need your fan again until maybe the final couple weeks of the year.
  • Command hooks and mounting strips are super helpful for hanging decorations, towels, bulletin boards, and other items on your walls. With enough command strips and blind optimism, you can keep pretty much anything up, even a full-length mirror on a slightly sticky cinderblock wall.
  • bank card is useful for monthly expenses, shopping at the largest carpeted mall in America (has this tour fact ever been actually verified?), and when you run out of points and Bear Bucks because of too many before-4 p.m. Blue Room muffins. Make sure to check your bank has a convenient location in Providence. There will also be a banking fair during orientation where you can check out these options in greater depth.
  • Cleaning supplies. Custodial Services cares for shared spaces, but not individual rooms. Please get and use them, for the sake of your roommate, or at least the night before Family Weekend. (Though you can probably wait until you get to campus to get these.) Odor-canceling spray is also great to have for spraying your comforter that you will probably never wash all year, and for the “Febreze walk-through” – spray mist in the air in front of you and glide on in. It’s a perfect ‘almost shower,’ a lazy, personal car-wash of sorts.
  • Rain gear, including a rain jacket, boots, and loyal and iron-willed umbrella, are pretty essential for Lil Rhody weather. Despite how scenic and lovely the Main Green looks come Spring, it will rain this year, and water will seep into your clothes, body, and spirit. Also, while many people wait until Thanksgiving Break to bring up their winter clothes, Providence weather can also be fairly unpredictable, and there can be the occasional rogue snowstorm in October.

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Manuel Contreras ’16 speaks at White House in “Beating the Odds” summit

 

Beating the Odds

Manuel Contreras ’16 with First Lady Michelle Obama at the Beating the Odds summit this past Thursday.

On Thursday, July 23th,  Manuel Contreras ’16 took to the White House as a panelist at this year’s “Beating the Odds” summit. Contreras — along with rapper Wale, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and E! Entertainment anchor Terrence Jenkins — spoke to an audience of over 130 college-bound students about their stories of and strategies for successfully transitioning to life at college. This conference marks the latest chapter of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, which encourages America’s youth to pursue higher education.

Contreras is one of the co-founders of 1vyG, an inter-Ivy first-generation college student organization that launched last year. The group focuses on providing a community for first-generation students to share their stories and “leverage their experience and education to better the world.” In February, 1vyG hosted a three-day conference — the first of its kind — with over 250 students from across the country at Brown.

The summit can be viewed here. For more about Contreras’s story, check out this post published by the First Lady on Medium.

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BREAKING: RISD divests from coal

April 2013 Rally

April 2013 Rally

After a two year study, RISD’s Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to “divest their endowments direct investments in fossil-fuel extraction company stocks and bonds.” The RISD community got an email sharing the news this morning, once more affirming that our artsy cousins down the hill are always one step ahead. The full email, sent by Michael Spalter, chair of the Board of Trustees and shared by the Divest RISD campaign Facebook page, is posted below. Congratulations to everyone who worked on the Divest RISD campaign!

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A new Provost: Richard M. Locke

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This afternoon, President Christina Paxson P’19 sent out an email announcing our new provost, effective July 1st. Richard M. Locke, current Director of the Watson Institute, will be stepping up to the job, which belonged to Vicki Colvin this past school year. Locke teaches Political Science to undergraduate and graduate students, has  served on the Deficit Reduction Working Group, and worked on the meld of the Taubman and Watson centers.

Locke is an author, a seasoned faculty member and alumnus of MIT, and the receiver of a nearly perfect rating on The Critical Review, to name just a few of his achievements. His research focuses on “improving labor and and environmental conditions in global supply chains”, meaning producing a reality where you don’t need to violate the Earth and basic human rights in order to run a big, profitable business. Locke works with companies like Coca Cola, Apple, and Nike. We look forward to seeing how Professor Locke will integrate these values into his new position.

Until further notice, Locke will continue to serve as Director of the Watson Institute. You can read more about Locke and the announcement here.

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Senior Send-off: Asking for help

then-now

At the end of my sophomore year, I found myself sobbing into a cup of pudding at the Ratty.

Of course, by then, I had cried plenty of times. But this was the first time in college I’d ugly cried in public. I didn’t have the privacy of my room, or the drunken mutual understanding of a Keeney stairwell on a Saturday night: I was sitting immediately next to the apples and bananas, and I was crying. Audibly. Anyone trying to refill their coffee would have definitely heard my stifled sobs. They maybe would have even noticed the tears streaming down my face, splashing into vanilla custard.

This send-off isn’t about defining success or embracing uncertainty or taking active control of your happiness. Many bloggers have written about these topics—far better than I could. This send-off is about the low points of college.

Graduation is all too often a time when smiling is mandatory, and nostalgia overshadows reflection. The story of the past few years isn’t so neat, though. Success was not always inevitable, or expected. Not every pain became a teachable moment.

I want to talk about the low points, though, because they taught me that it’s okay to ask for help. As I was sitting in the Ratty, all I could worry about at the time was all the different ways I had already failed. I didn’t know what I was doing that summer, or where I was living. Switching majors was a terrible idea, and I’d never catch up to everyone else. My classes were tanking, and I was so behind in lecture that I didn’t even know how to be wrong anymore.

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Last Call: Hannah Estlund

Then + Now

Then + Now

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2015 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chain here and our RISD “Last Call” chain here.

People might know me as… that horseback rider who loves to bake and has a really cute puppy.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… well, it’s still a couple of weeks away, but May 24th baby!

On Friday night, I might find myself… at my apartment drinking wine with the roomies, or stealing my dog from my mom’s house nearby.

Three things I wish I had known freshman year…

  1. Don’t be scared! This is one of the hardest universities in the country, but you can succeed. And you will!
  2. It’s never too late! People here always want to meet more people and make more friends. Embrace it.
  3. Don’t save your bucket list until senior year! Start ASAP.

Ratty vs. V-Dub… Neither. I’ve been off meal plan since sophomore year. Even freshman year, I only went in to a dining hall to get Lucky Charms. I’m a vegan and mostly I cook for myself, or spend all my money at Wildflour in Pawtucket.….

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