The wise sage Jason Mraz once said, “The sophomore slump is an uphill battle.” Sure, it may seem that way, but we’re here to make that hill a little less daunting. Introducing The Anti-Slump, a new series that gives you the motivation to win that uphill battle. So flock to us whenever you feel the slump creeping up on you — we’ll be here every other week with another helpful piece of guidance or generally inspirational tid-bits to help you shake up your sophomore year.
The myth of the sophomore slump is real. But it doesn’t have to be. Sophomore year is a time when academics get more serious, things get familiar enough for you to breathe, and a lowly second-year realizes how much of Brown there is left to discover. But sophomore year is all about motivating yourself — and that’s where we come in — because there’s no one else that’s going to force you to. At this stage in the game there are no Meikeljohns, First-Year Seminars or unit meetings, but there are still so many questions left unanswered.
To start you off, here is a lil bucket list that we have compiled, which will help us motivate ourselves, too. We’re setting the bar high and so should you! It’s all about keeping up the ambition. Check it out after the jump.
1. Bike the East Bay Bike Path: Though we don’t know anything about it beyond the entrance way tunnel (which is roughly somewhere in India Point Park), there’s something enchanting about this little-known path to adventure in our own backyard. This 14-mile ride will take you all the way from India Point Park, which is just down Hope St., to Independence Park in Bristol. Sure, we may only make it a mile into the ride or so, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t give it the good ole college try. If you don’t know what any of this is, just open Instagram and type in #providence #sunset #nofilter and you’ll definitely find a visual aid. Bonus points if you can rope in enough friends to have a picnic at the end of your wild ride, wherever your end may be. Other activities like this: visiting the RISD beach, driving down to Newport and gawking at the mansions, going on a bolt trip (you don’t have to have participated in the summer program).
2. Go to a RISD party: We feel as though we’ve neglected our College Hill companion. Our campuses literally touch, so good excuses are limited. To get some inspiration for your upcoming Fiction I assignment, go spend some time around creative energy and hope that some of it rubs off on you. Bonus points if you bring one of the RISD students you
take home meet to a Brown party. Other activities like this: go to Providence College night at Whiskey Republic (Thursdays), Visit a friend in Boston to be surrounded by the most college students ever.
3. Go to a naked party: This doesn’t just include SexPowerGod. Believe it or not, there are plenty of other (and more tame) outlets in which you can explore nudity. Naked parties exist outside of Andrews Dining Hall and in a more residential setting. So keep calm and carry on…naked. Bonus points if you stay longer than 10 minutes. Other activities like this: go to a silent party, attend a silent rave, go to a varsity sports party that isn’t soccer, lacrosse, or crew.
4. Swim in the Nelson Natatorium: It’s new. It’s shiny. It’s Olympic-sized. Don’t be intimidated by the
men with washboard abs old men in Speedos. It’ll all be okay after a couple of lengths. You may not always be able to find an open elliptical, but at this point you can usually find a free lane. Bonus points if you can start a giant game of Marco Polo. Other activities like this: take a class at a local fitness studio (there are at least three in Wayland Square!) or at the OMAC, run Blackstone Boulevard, attend 305 Fitness at the Hillel.
5. Go to AS220: This Providence gem has been getting a lot of attention lately. AS220 is an artists’ co-op that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration. This forum for the arts of all kinds has galleries, performances, classes, and, of course, Foo(d) — the in-house organic, local, and delicious eatery that has consistently made our mouths water since we read about it here. Bonus points if you can manage to have one vegan, one vegetarian, and one meat eater present at the meal. Other activities like this: shop at the used bookstore on Westminster St., eat on Federal Hill, draw at the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab.
6. Be in a play: Ever hear of Production Workshop? If you haven’t, you should check it out. PW puts on student-run/directed/casted plays and musicals every couple of months. You can be anything from an actor to a set designer to a costume designer if you put yourself out there. Auditions may be scary, but it’s only good for you, kid. Bonus points if you score a monologue or a solo. Other activities like this: audition for an acapella/comedy/dance group in the Spring, attend a Storytellers meeting, submit for an art journal (like Clerestory or Post-), work for BuDS.
7. Declare a concentration: Maybe the most dreaded sophomore activity, but also the most important. Don’t forget! You have to do this by the end of second semester. We know you’re freaking out because we are too. But you still have lots of time. And remember, you can always change your mind. Bonus points if you talk to a potential concentration advisor sometime this semester. Other activities like this: deciding to study abroad, applying for off-campus housing, taking a class that scares you, embracing S/NC, do research with a professor, going to office hours just to get to know your professors.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s okay to allow yourself — and those around you — to step outside of your comfort zone, even if you’re not a freshman anymore. ‘Cause its all about defining the anti-slump. We’ve done our part, now go out and do yours.