By this point in the day, you’ve long since moved in, and met your roommates. What better way to conclude your first day at Brown than by awkwardly introducing yourself to some fellow first-years while enjoying a quintessential social lubricant: ice cream?
In all seriousness, the Meet and Greet is genuinely worth attending for more than one reason. There’s ice cream, if you’re ruthless enough to get to it before the lines end up stretching across the Main Green (the lack of ice cream for all but a few first-years is probably why the event has been re-titled the ‘Meet and Greet’ rather than the criminally misleading former title, the ‘Ice Cream Social’). And the Main Green on a warm summer night is a pretty place to spend an hour, regardless of whether an event is going on there.
But, most importantly, the Meet and Greet gives you a rare chance to meet those you probably otherwise wouldn’t in your later activities around campus. That rumored free pass to randomly introduce oneself to strangers that every freshman receives throughout the fall? Its validity is multiplied exponentially during the Meet and Greet, making it socially acceptable to walk up to a random gaggle of first-years and introduce yourself. Introductions may not go deeper than the standard ‘name-home-anticipated concentration’ trifecta, but that’s okay. Whether or not you end up speaking to these people ever again, your initial social approach to Brown should be much like your educational approach: explore, experiment, and experience viewpoints that are often diametrically opposite to yours. Some will stick, and some won’t. That’s the point.
And non-freshmen? Just because the event wasn’t designed with you in mind doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. Steal some ice cream, lie and play mind games with the first-years, or actually introduce yourself and provide useful advice to guide them through their initial year at Brown. The choice is yours.