Frosh-cessities: Stretching your comfort zone

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You’re all moved in, you’ve met your roommates, you may have even gone to a few parties where you felt like a fish out of water. Now what?

We’ve all been there. The beginning of college can be exhilarating, awkward, and confusing all at the same time. It’s easy to get bogged down by how your experiences are matching up to your expectations.  You may meet people with whom you click right away and with whom you may not. You even may change friend groups six times in the next month – and that is more than okay. What you’re soon going to learn is that a lot is going to be thrown at you in the coming weeks and a lot may feel unfamiliar or even uncomfortable. The best way you can adjust to college is by embracing this discomfort with open arms.

Before I got to college, I did everything to plan how my entire experience would pan out. I took it upon myself to map out every detail of my Brown experience so that when I got there, all of my ducks would be in a row – I’d be completely comfortable and ready to have the best time. Before receiving my roommate assignment, I had already put classes in my Banner shopping cart for first and second semester,  I had planned out what clubs to join, and had even memorized the campus map so that I wouldn’t look like a doofus stumbling across campus. Fortunately, I knew that I couldn’t also expect to find my friends on Banner, so that saved me one step in my planning.

Besides memorizing the map, which I later learned can be found on the Brown University App, none of my planning really helped me. I took vastly different classes, I threw myself into student organizations I hadn’t dreamt of joining (sup, Blog), and I met people who I could not have anticipated meeting. I hadn’t considered all of the variables that extended beyond my control and became increasingly overwhelmed during my first  few weeks at Brown. Although you can certainly plan ahead certain aspects of your academic life at Brown, the passionate, vibrant, thoughtful, and bizarre people at this school truly paint the Brown experience and make this unbelievably special place what it is.

The most helpful piece of advice I received about getting settled in at college was to find the perfect balance of comfort and discomfort in your academic and social life. Seek out things that feel comfortable to you so that you can establish a foundation for yourself among the chaos that is orientation, shopping period, and a large part of first semester. Whether that be writing in a journal, finding the time to go for a run in Providence, or choosing your favorite place on campus to get breakfast, having some sense of a routine in your new home will allow you to feel increasingly comfortable in your own skin.

While creating familiarity with the things that you know is crucial, one of the most special things about Brown is the culture that supports its students to explore the less familiar. Allow your routine to provide you with the comfort to try new things and be open to new experiences. Shop everything and leave the class that you thought you were going to love but bores you to sleep in the middle of the lecture. Go to that club orientation that starts in ten minutes because your friend is going there after your Ratty dinner. Join the beard appreciation society if that’s what you’re feeling! The more you begin to stretch what is in your comfort zone, the more you’ll see how many other people are also doing the same.

What I’m trying to say is that the best way to get settled here is to stop planning the things that you think you were meant to do here, and experiment with the things you think you may want to do here. You are the only person who knows your boundaries, while also recognizing your incredible potential. Don’t take yourself too seriously — you know never what you’re going to stumble upon during your four years here.


Welcome, Class of 2018! Allow us to introduce ourselves…

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Dear Class of 2018,

Congratulations! Many of you have traveled long distances, both academically and geographically, to arrive at Brown. Before you walk through those Van Wickle Gates, we at BlogDailyHerald wanted to extend our warmest welcome.

Who are we, you may ask? BlogDailyHerald is Brown’s daily campus lifestyle blog, in other words, your guide to any and all things Brunonian. In the next few weeks – and the next four years, for that matter – turn to us when you’re left wondering: “Meikle-what?” or “Why are there people dressed up as pirates singing outside my window?” or even “It’s 1:50a.m., where in the world should I track down food in the next 10 minutes?” Allow us to help you seek out The 15 Hottest Freshman, find out what to do this week, or learn what Professor Wendy Schiller really thinks about Frank Underwood’s presidential regime. We work hard to have you covered on everything from breaking campus news, to restaurant reviews, to features on students, professors, and alumni.

Freshman year is a crazy amalgamation of “huh?s” and “oooh!s,” and flies by quicker than you can say “Brunonia” ten times fast. But in the meantime, enjoy the blur, and, in honor of our beloved past Dean of the College, we insist that you Keep Calm and Bergeron.

With much BlogLove,

BlogDailyHerald

P.S. Want to write for us? Email us at blog@browndailyherald.com or visit us at the Activities Fair to apply!


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BlogDailyHerald Presents: Brunonia’s first episode, “Orientation”

Celebrating Orientation in all of its confused and awkward glory, the first episode of Brunonia, our spin-off of Carrie Brownstein’s and Fred Armisen’s Portlandia, is a must watch.  Remember Freshmen Orientation? Remember being confused 99.99% of the time? So do we.

Freshman, we feel you.


10 things I would tell myself if I were starting college again

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Bonus advice: Skip Chicken Finger Friday’s long lines and hit up the Ratty’s sporadic chicken finger days instead

This post is anonymous to make everything a little more comfortable. 

Often, around this time of year, you’ll see a whole batch of articles and listicles and other such forms of printed-word media that provide advice on how to start college (or how to start sophomore year, senior year, etc.) from people who have already been through it. I never got that much out of those articles, because it was hard for me to trust that the experience was universal enough to apply to a general audience of readers. I wanted to make my own contribution to the genre, but I knew I would bore myself to death if I didn’t put at least a little twist on it. So I decided to do what I was really doing in my head anyway, which is write advice specifically to my past self. Because, man, my first semester was not as good as it could have been. It was still fun, and I have plenty of fond memories looking back. But there’s no doubt in my mind that it was easily the worst of the four I’ve had at Brown so far and, barring my contraction of a serious mono-like illness this year, likely should be the worst of my first six semesters as well. There are a number of things I wish I’d heard from future me before I got started. Here they are, in no particular order. I doubt all, or even most, will apply to you, but I suspect that there are some people out there who will be able to relate to each one. Which would be cool. Here we go:

1. Don’t be a douche to your roommate. I’ve never been very good at first impressions, but I suspect that the one I made on my roommate was one of the worst. Even the messages I sent him in the Facebook exchange before school started were douchey, and then things got even worse when we met in person. I had an incredibly immature argument with my mom within a minute of entering our room, where he was waiting to meet me. Once we were alone, I bombarded him with inane, incredibly un-self-aware comments about my background and my views on college social life. I don’t know whether he remembers these interactions quite as vividly as I do–I hope not–but I would bet pretty confidently that they contributed a great deal to our near total lack of communication first semester.

2. But also don’t stress about whether you’ll be best friends. Even if I had been some sort of angelic incarnation of myself for the first month of my relationship with my roommate, I’m nearly 100% sure we wouldn’t have been more than friendly acquaintances anyway. He’s an incredibly nice and talented guy, but we just didn’t have that much in common. No matter what transpired between us, we would have found our ways to very different social groups pretty quickly. Contrary to what I thought when I showed up at college, however, becoming BFFs with your roommate just isn’t that important. Nearly guaranteed, everyone makes a few friends in their unit within the first week or two, and if they don’t, it’s usually because they’ve already formed a group around some other interest outside of the unit. A few people I know took a little longer to find their crew, but they found it eventually. There are so many cool people at Brown that it’s more or less irrelevant whether you hit it off with your roommate or your neighbors or even your hallmates. There are plenty of people to meet and opportunities to befriend them.

3. And remember, the friends you do make don’t have to be your friends for the rest of collegeI recall that I put a lot of pressure on myself to essentially identify my senior year housing group by the end of orientation, i.e. I really wanted to solidify my close friend circle as quickly as possible. But that’s not how it works at all. Friendships in college are way more fluid (at least they have been for me) than friendships in high school, and you’ll make more friends as you try different things or take different classes. Some of them will stick around longer than others, and that’s not a good or bad thing–just a sign of with whom you really have a connection and with whom you don’t. I met my sophomore-year roommate (who was my next-door neighbor) and a handful of other friends who I see fairly often during first semester shopping period, but I didn’t even know a majority of the people with whom I’m in close contact until second semester or even sophomore year.

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BlogDH(Panel) Explains Orientation

Ah, orientation—that week before your freshman year when you can attend an array events all built around the copious opportunities to awkwardly introduce yourself to hundreds of people and hope a few become your best friends. But those events are not all created equal. Here’s BlogDH’s preview of the Orientation calendar’s greatest hits.

Paxson’s Welcome
It might feel like you’ve already been welcomed by the entire Brown community, but the official welcome from President Christina Paxson is a must. The class of 2018 is only the second one to be treated to the Pax’s wisdom, so consider yourselves Paxsoneers. Get to the Main Green early to save seats in the shade for yourself, your parents, and maybe even your first-day-friends if you’re feeling the welcoming spirit. Cheers of “Pax on Pax on Pax!” are encouraged as the Prez steps up to the podium. Try to contain the excitement of being surrounded by your 1500 classmates for the first time and actually listen to the president’s words. Having just completed her own “freshman” year, she’s sure to give some valuable frosh advice. After the speech, don’t miss out on a photo-op behind the podium on the Faunce steps: it makes for a great (if slightly pretentious) first Brown mupload.
–Kate Storey-Fisher Continue Reading


Introducing: Poncho, the Northeast’s sassiest weather service, to Providence

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As of yesterday morning, the previously boutique NYC weather service Poncho has expanded to Lil’ Rhody.

Q: What is Poncho?

A: A simplified weather service customized to your daily morning routine, Poncho delivers only the hard facts via e-mail or text message every morning, complete with a sassy pop culture reference and a GIF to match. Poncho aims to prepare you for your day with the simplest impression of the forecast, rather than burdening you with a bevy of indecipherable statistics.

Take notes, incoming freshmen: Blog gets weak at the knees for all things Mean Girls.

Poncho has an endearing mascot to boot: phe is a domestic animal of ambiguous genus and species wearing a “poncho” that looks oddly similar to an American Apparel hoodie.

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Register for Providence-centric Poncho here and you’ll never have to worry about a (weather-inflicted) bad hair day again.  We’ll still have to live vicariously through New York to bookend our days with weather services, because it doesn’t look like anyone will be waxing poetic and scribing Providence weather reviews any time soon.

Images via and via and via.