Freshman year, where did you go? As reading period continues, I’ve
procrastinated taken some time to reflect upon the past few months. Here are a few things I’ve learned as I tearfully bid adieu to my first year at Brown. A special shoutout to my predecessors Slev and Neil Armstrong Jason for writing previous years’ incarnations of this post; some of the items on their lists were just too real to avoid in this year’s version (see asterisks). Good to see the freshman experience remains (mostly) unchanged.
1. The right hand door of Jo’s does not open, despite my persistence both before and after midnight.
2. Wednesday nights are a thing. So are Thursday morning classes. (Mornin’, City Politics).
3. I am not part of the FishCo generation.
4. Rock, not Scili.
7. Hillel is arguably the nicest building on campus.
8. Wandering around Keeney on a Friday or Saturday after 1 a.m. is great fun. If you sit in a hallway long enough, you are guaranteed to meet new friends.
10. Talk to your roommate. He/she has much more friend potential than it seems–and even if you don’t become inseparable, they’ll always be there for you.*
11. The RISD Museum is on Waterman and Benefit. You should go.
12. Make “class friends.”
13. At Brown University, all opinions are appreciated…as long as they’re liberal.*
14. Taking a class S/NC does not (necessarily) mean you’re a slacker. Do it.
15. Reading period is not an excuse to do nothing for a week and a half.*
16. High school friends are always just a phone call away.
17. Only sit on the steps of Faunce if you want to be seen (i.e are wearing a trendy outfit).
18. Get off the Hill sometimes. Providence is actually pretty cool.
19. There’s a beautiful oasis behind the Watson Institute–that’s one good thing about International Relations…*
20. Meet a lot of people during orientation.
21. Binder is a legend, and the Sunday of SW will never disappoint.
22. Chicago Style: Learn it. Use it. Embrace it. Because once you’ve had to cite something in ASR, you’ll realize that the History department’s preferred citation method is the least of several evils.*
23. Trying to explain Brown’s dining system to non-Brunonians is impossible.
24. Take advantage of shopping period, and don’t be afraid to walk out of classes. Professors won’t be offended.
25. Talk to your Meikeljohn about anything and everything.
26. All freshmen get sick after the first week of school, but the marathon that is orientation is worth it.
27. After winter break, FOMO slowly goes away. Slowly.
28. Group dinners at Sakura are a classic.
29. I never learned how to balance my meal plan. As of April 28th, I had zero points and over 100 meal credits.
30. The reading room at The Hay is underrated. So are the librarians and archivists that help you out!
31. Getting Spring Weekend tickets is like registering for a capped class.
32. The Naked Donut Run is not a myth.
33. Don’t be intimidated by your professors. Take advantage of their office hours.
34. Don’t wait around to get involved in extracurriculars. Being involved will heighten your freshman experience and allow you to meet new people.
35. Ask upperclassmen for advice.
36. Spend as much time as possible outdoors during the four months (give or take) of bearable weather.*
37. Critical Review makes for productive procrastination.
39. You will instantaneously become less competitive and realize how absurd high school was.
40. Although Bagel Gourmet may not be as good as Zabar’s, it’s one of best hangover cures on College Hill.
41. By May, you’re still listening to the same shit you listened to during senior spring out of nostalgia for simpler times.*
42. You will probably make great new friends up until the last week of classes.
43. DPS is your friend.
44. Brown doesn’t give +’s or –‘s on your transcript. Okay, seriously, how did I not know this?
45. Nelson (the big gym, the Nelly, whatever you call it) is worth the trek when you compare it to Keeney gym.
46. Darwin’s gives freebies on your birthday, but don’t tell anybody about it.
47. You don’t need to know where the Gate is if you live in Keeney. (I live in Keeney and still don’t know where it is…)
49. Brown-Secure works until it doesn’t. Then it always becomes a toss-up between Brown-EZ and -Guest.
50. When things get rough, look around, see the happiest (and smartest/sexiest!) students in the country and put a smile on.
*These are things I learned this year, but are also things my two predecessors learned during their freshman years/are from past years’ lists.