Frosh-cessities: The joys of your second semester

First semester freshman year is an odd time. You’re finally at Brown after a summer of waiting, but it’s not your home yet. Since you’re not living at home for the first time, you’re basically unleashing your repressed self around people you don’t really know. It’s a recipe for delicious disaster.

However, your second semester is a completely different world. With a heightened sense of stability and less of a deer-in-headlights look on your face, Brown feels more manageable, a place you really understand. Sort of.

There are some key differences between first and second semester that seem small but make a world of difference. Here they are:

The signature deer-in-headlights freshman look.

“This is college?”

1. You don’t read every assigned page of every assigned reading.

As a vestige from your overachieving high school days, you spent far too much time last semester reading every page your professor listed on the syllabus. By the time finals rolled around, you realized reading was more of a suggestion. Cue the fireworks.

2. You’re beginning to gain the same level of intimacy with college friends as high school friends. 

At this point, you’ve puked, changed (your clothes and yourself), cried, tried a new drug (or gender), and peed somewhere other than a bathroom in front of your friends. They’ve only known you for a few months, but that doesn’t make them second fiddle anymore.

3. You know where some of the buildings listed on your schedule are. 

“Some” being the operative word.

4. You know how to shop. 

First semester freshman year, shopping period is unlike any other. You’re still not sure where you fit at Brown, you’re hanging out with kids who you’ve now seen twice since the first week, and on top of that, you’re trying to figure out what college classes to take for the first time. But by second semester, you realize that shopping period, though slightly stressful, is the greatest two weeks of your semester; you’re not responsible for schoolwork because you’ve figured out how to abuse shopping period so you can go out every night you don’t even know what classes you’re taking. Shopping period should be all the time, am I right?

5. You know how to use your meal plan. 

No, points are not used for a meal. A meal swipe is used for a meal. Points are not unlimited. That took us all far too long to figure out.

6. You’ve found your study spot. 

First semester’s vibe of aimlessness was made worse by lack of a personal study spot. By second semester, you’ve figured out if you’re a Scili or Rock guy/gal (thanks, finals), and maybe even found an obscure room somewhere on campus (how artsy of you, Brown student).

7. You recognize people at parties besides those with which you came. 

Parties were odd first semester because you showed up with the people you pregamed with and then… only hung out with the people you pregamed with. But by second semester, parties at Brown are starting to look a lot like… high school? Well, a better version of it. You recognize distinct groups of friends forming, but you’re also friends with kids in each little clan! Suddenly Brown parties feel less like clubs far over capacity with a surplus of cheap beer and more like somewhere you actually want to be.

8. You’ve realized there is more than one party every Friday and Saturday (and Wednesday). 

The party you got invited to on Facebook is actually not the only party occurring that night. And Whisko isn’t actually a weekly event. God help us if it was.

9. You are (less) afraid to talk in class. 

First semester has every freshman questioning his or her intelligence daily. But now you’ve passed (most) of your classes, survived your first batch of college finals, and finally think what you have to say might be relevant. Go for gold, grasshopper.

10. Your phone finally autocorrects to Jos. 

And Ratty. And whatever slang you’ve picked up from your friends.

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