Prospective students: It gets better after ADOCH

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I had a weird time at ADOCH. I spent most of it getting lost and making excruciating small talk with all the other overly excited pre-frosh (just for the record, I also felt that the term “pre-frosh” was remarkably pejorative).

I stuck with a couple other prospective students, and together we shuffled around campus, clutching our little Brown folders that contained a map, a schedule, and the contact info of our hosts. We ran into about a thousand a cappella concerts during the three days of ADOCH. Seriously, we couldn’t go anywhere without having our path blocked by a horde of jauntily-dressed students swaying, singing, and snapping like their lives depended on it.

Yeah, it was kinda bizarre. But for all the pre-frosh who felt weirdly about ADOCH, take heart. Being a student at Brown is a lot better than being a pre-frosh.

You might get lost sometimes at the beginning of freshman year, and for the first couple weeks of school conversations with other first years can feel repetitive — “Where are you from? What do you plan to study? Where are you living?”

But it gets better. And it starts to feel normal as you meet and learn about other people, get into the rhythm of your classes, and figure out the nuances of the dining room schedules (Pro tip: Sweet potato fries are in the Ratty on Wednesday).

I’m a first-year, and I didn’t realize how comfortable I felt at Brown until ADOCH rolled around again. Campus was flooded with prospective students, some of them undoubtedly having a weird time as they bustled around, mostly lost. It’s probably worth coming to Brown just for the feeling of smugness you get from witnessing ADOCH at the end of your first-year.

That’s not the only reason to come, obviously. Experiencing Spring Weekend right before ADOCH reminded me of how far I’ve come. Spring Weekend was like a better version of ADOCH, mostly because I felt more comfortable being here. I wasn’t lost, I actually knew people, and there was a lot less a cappella. One year after I was stumbling around campus moving from one awkward conversation to the next, I found myself surrounded by good folks, jamming to Waka Flocka Flame on Main Green.

Here’s a little-known fact for all you prospective students: Brown’s original motto was not “In God We Trust,” but rather, “Good Lord I Hope This School is More Relaxed/Less Awkward than ADOCH is Leading Me to Believe.”

Trust me, it is.

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