Welcome, Class of 2018! Allow us to introduce ourselves…

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Dear Class of 2018,

Congratulations! Many of you have traveled long distances, both academically and geographically, to arrive at Brown. Before you walk through those Van Wickle Gates, we at BlogDailyHerald wanted to extend our warmest welcome.

Who are we, you may ask? BlogDailyHerald is Brown’s daily campus lifestyle blog, in other words, your guide to any and all things Brunonian. In the next few weeks – and the next four years, for that matter – turn to us when you’re left wondering: “Meikle-what?” or “Why are there people dressed up as pirates singing outside my window?” or even “It’s 1:50a.m., where in the world should I track down food in the next 10 minutes?” Allow us to help you seek out The 15 Hottest Freshman, find out what to do this week, or learn what Professor Wendy Schiller really thinks about Frank Underwood’s presidential regime. We work hard to have you covered on everything from breaking campus news, to restaurant reviews, to features on students, professors, and alumni.

Freshman year is a crazy amalgamation of “huh?s” and “oooh!s,” and flies by quicker than you can say “Brunonia” ten times fast. But in the meantime, enjoy the blur, and, in honor of our beloved past Dean of the College, we insist that you Keep Calm and Bergeron.

With much BlogLove,

BlogDailyHerald

P.S. Want to write for us? Email us at blog@browndailyherald.com or visit us at the Activities Fair to apply!


10 things I would tell myself if I were starting college again

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Bonus advice: Skip Chicken Finger Friday’s long lines and hit up the Ratty’s sporadic chicken finger days instead

This post is anonymous to make everything a little more comfortable. 

Often, around this time of year, you’ll see a whole batch of articles and listicles and other such forms of printed-word media that provide advice on how to start college (or how to start sophomore year, senior year, etc.) from people who have already been through it. I never got that much out of those articles, because it was hard for me to trust that the experience was universal enough to apply to a general audience of readers. I wanted to make my own contribution to the genre, but I knew I would bore myself to death if I didn’t put at least a little twist on it. So I decided to do what I was really doing in my head anyway, which is write advice specifically to my past self. Because, man, my first semester was not as good as it could have been. It was still fun, and I have plenty of fond memories looking back. But there’s no doubt in my mind that it was easily the worst of the four I’ve had at Brown so far and, barring my contraction of a serious mono-like illness this year, likely should be the worst of my first six semesters as well. There are a number of things I wish I’d heard from future me before I got started. Here they are, in no particular order. I doubt all, or even most, will apply to you, but I suspect that there are some people out there who will be able to relate to each one. Which would be cool. Here we go:

1. Don’t be a douche to your roommate. I’ve never been very good at first impressions, but I suspect that the one I made on my roommate was one of the worst. Even the messages I sent him in the Facebook exchange before school started were douchey, and then things got even worse when we met in person. I had an incredibly immature argument with my mom within a minute of entering our room, where he was waiting to meet me. Once we were alone, I bombarded him with inane, incredibly un-self-aware comments about my background and my views on college social life. I don’t know whether he remembers these interactions quite as vividly as I do–I hope not–but I would bet pretty confidently that they contributed a great deal to our near total lack of communication first semester.

2. But also don’t stress about whether you’ll be best friends. Even if I had been some sort of angelic incarnation of myself for the first month of my relationship with my roommate, I’m nearly 100% sure we wouldn’t have been more than friendly acquaintances anyway. He’s an incredibly nice and talented guy, but we just didn’t have that much in common. No matter what transpired between us, we would have found our ways to very different social groups pretty quickly. Contrary to what I thought when I showed up at college, however, becoming BFFs with your roommate just isn’t that important. Nearly guaranteed, everyone makes a few friends in their unit within the first week or two, and if they don’t, it’s usually because they’ve already formed a group around some other interest outside of the unit. A few people I know took a little longer to find their crew, but they found it eventually. There are so many cool people at Brown that it’s more or less irrelevant whether you hit it off with your roommate or your neighbors or even your hallmates. There are plenty of people to meet and opportunities to befriend them.

3. And remember, the friends you do make don’t have to be your friends for the rest of collegeI recall that I put a lot of pressure on myself to essentially identify my senior year housing group by the end of orientation, i.e. I really wanted to solidify my close friend circle as quickly as possible. But that’s not how it works at all. Friendships in college are way more fluid (at least they have been for me) than friendships in high school, and you’ll make more friends as you try different things or take different classes. Some of them will stick around longer than others, and that’s not a good or bad thing–just a sign of with whom you really have a connection and with whom you don’t. I met my sophomore-year roommate (who was my next-door neighbor) and a handful of other friends who I see fairly often during first semester shopping period, but I didn’t even know a majority of the people with whom I’m in close contact until second semester or even sophomore year.

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(BlogDH) Orientation2013

BlogDH(Panel) Explains Orientation

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.

Paxson’s Welcome
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.
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In memory of Stephen Rodrigues

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In memoriam of  their son Stephen, the Rodrigues family will be holding a casual-dress “Celebration of Life” service tomorrow, Thursday, July 31st at 6 p.m. in India Point Park. All guests are welcome. 

On Saturday, August 9th at noon, a service will also be held to honor his passing in Rodrigues’ hometown of Encintas, California at Swami’s Beach.

We send our best wishes to Stephen’s friends and family, and will continue to update the community about the charity to which donations can be made in his name. 

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Photos provided by Tom Rodrigues.


Campus laments the passing of student Stephen Rodrigues

Today, the Brown community received news from President Paxson that student Stephen Rodrigues has passed away. Rodrigues, who was on leave from the University and living in Providence, was dedicating his studies to the geological and biological sciences.

BlogDailyHerald extends our deepest sympathies to Rodrigues’ friends and family. We encourage the submission of remembrances and photos of Rodrigues to blog@browndailyherald.com so that we may publish a memorial in his honor.

In her email, President Paxson reminded the student body that the offices of Counseling and Psychological Services (401-863-3476) and Chaplains and Religious Life (401-863-2344) are always available to provide support to the Brown community. 


In memoriam: Mark St. Louis ’15

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In memory of Mark St. Louis ’15, BlogDailyHerald collected memories and reflections from his peers at Brown. See below for the kind remembrances they left.

I first met Mark the fall of 2012 at Friday Sob Opt when I was a new freshman on campus. I have this vivid memory of his teammates making fun of him for playing hard defense against me, even though that’s something I appreciated as a woman playing in a mixed-gender Ultimate game. I didn’t get the chance to know Mark personally after that, and when we met again during finals this past Spring for a game of hotbox, he introduced himself again to me as if we were meeting for the first time. But I noticed him all the time around campus riding his bike, tossing on the green with his teammates, always barefoot. It feels like it was just last week that I was struggling to keep up with Mark on Lincoln Field during our hotbox game. Playing frisbee with Mark was always incredibly fun and exhilarating because of his energy, and I imagine he kept everyone close to him on their toes. Everything about him seemed so bright. I bleed for his teammates, his friends, and of course, his family. I can’t imagine your loss and I hope you heal quickly. I’ll be thinking of you and Mark. 

Ileana Wu 


 

Mark St. Louis, I’ll never forget the first time we met on December 1st 2011, at an art closing in List – you were wearing a beautiful brown leather jacket and were jaw dropping handsome so when your beautiful soulful eyes walked my way and started speaking to me, I looked around confused for what seemed like a minute because I couldn’t believe that the hottest guy in the room, no most handsome guy I’d ever seen in my 2 years at Brown was talking to me. I immediately fell in love with your name, wit, sincerity, our African and UWC connection and came to cherish those brief awkward but honest, deep/ personal and really caring conversations we had in passing until I graduated. You were a truly sweet sweet boy with a good heart who always brightened up my day and gave me the butterflies without fail, the world is going to miss you, I miss you and deeply regret not taking more time with you. Rest in peace beautiful one- you were cherished. 

- Gladys Ndagire

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