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.
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.
You guessed it. This orientation event will be the one that defines your college experience. Are you going to be one of the enthusiastic sober music-loving freshmen who lines up for the legendary organ concert, or will you think you’re too cool? Perhaps you’re a young whippersnapper who is looking to enjoy some main green and a nice summer drink a la Drake before heading over to Sayles Hall at midnight on Sunday. Tip: You’ll get there late. The doors will close. Regardless of your preconceived notions of the highly talked about, coolest thing Brown has to offer (i.e. the Hutchings-Votey organ), here’s why you should check it out:
- It’s the biggest organ of its kind in the world.
- It’s been at Brown for over a century.
- The organ concert is a tradition unique to Brown. Many of our traditions are mirrored at colleges across the country (e.g. not stepping on the Pembroke seal). It’s nice to know you can only find this one at Brown.
- It’s a uniquely freshman experience. Though University organist Mark Steinbach performs a concert on Halloween as well, this is one of the first times you’ll be together with your classmates. Don’t miss out on that opportunity.
- Who doesn’t like sprawling out with blankets, pillows, and the people you probably met an hour or two ago? If that doesn’t sound like a situation for making lifelong friends, well, then you’re going to have a lonely life.
You should make sure to head to Sayles Hall with blankets and pillows in hand (it’s a long event) for the Midnight Organ Concert. The line is usually pretty long, and the doors close once the hall fills up, so get there with time to spare. You definitely won’t regret going.
First Reading Discussion
Please don’t let all of the summer reading hype from the Class of 2018 Facebook page freak you out. Whether this book has become your new favorite read or your new favorite doorstop, your first reading discussion is nothing to stress about. You’ll have a low-key discussion with a professor who hopefully rocks and meet some new people. The first reading discussion is no Ice Cream Social, but it’s another excellent opportunity to meet new people who you might have not had the chance to meet otherwise. Also, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. You can use this time as a test-run for potential seminar or section discussions in your first semester. Have fun with it!
You are never too cool to dance. Another thing you’re never too cool for: black light. “Holy shittt dudee, all of my white clothes are glowiiingg.” Yeah, it’s freaking awesome. Don’t worry so much about the theme; worry about wearing a color that glows under the black light (white or neon).
There are other reasons you should go, of course. First of all, pizza. Not only free pizza, but poorly guarded free pizza. Last year, I walked out with a whole box. Second of all, y’all freshmen are the only people who can get in, because they check IDs. Go just for the sake that you will never be able to go again until Senior Week (i.e. the week before you graduate). Thirdly, the University is literally handing you the opportunity to have endless fun in the form of a dance party—a sweaty, strobe-light-y dance party with beach balls and games of “Keep It Up” that are happening around you. Life lesson: When life (read: Brown) gives you free fun, take it. Enjoy partying on a Monday while the opportunity lasts. Show up but don’t throw up, if you catch our drift.
If you’re like me, this night will be one of your only trips to the OMAC (Olney-Margolies Atheltic Center), where sports, exercise, and other (not) fun things occur. (Legend has it there is even a student eatery, “Poppies” located here. You will never go. [Ed.-Case in point, Deena doesn’t know how to spell “Poppy’s.” And the eatery is in the Nelly, not the OMAC. Whatever.]) Regardless of your level of familiarity with the OMAC, Activities Night will be overwhelming, and may even border on terrifying. There are those who walk the aisles and sign up for dozens and dozens of clubs, only to later have their inboxes flooded with LISTSERV emails from every organization. Some walk around the hall (which is GIANT by the way: 86,000 sq. feet) several times before signing up for the few clubs they truly want to be a part of. Whatever your style, there’s no way you can do it all, and there’s no pressure to actually follow through on anything you sign up for. Try to watch out for the karate and jujitsu and whatever else demonstrations are going on; they will be everywhere and someone will be kicked in the head. You also may be startled by the random gong that goes off every once. Final point: don’t worry about the aggressive upperclassmen throwing miscellaneous information at you. Totally fine to walk away… unless it’s reps from BlogDailyHerald. We hear those kids are way cool and you should definitely sign up.