Today, May 1st, marks the deadline when admitted students must decide whether or not they will matriculate at Brown. On this occasion, BlogDailyHerald has assembled a sampling of students and recent alumni who chose to take a “gap year,” or a year off in between high school and higher education. These Brunonians have offered their candid insights on why they opted to devise their own sixteen-month-long itinerary, rather than transitioning conventionally from high school to college. Whether Brown chooses to defer your acceptance or you are considering deferring your acceptance to Brown, this open panel can serve as a resource as you figure out what you will do over your gap year or if a gap year would be right for you.
Name: Andrew Linder
Graduation Year/Concentration: 2017, Slavic Studies
How did you spend your gap year?: The short answer is that I spent 9 months living in Kazan, Russia taking intensive daily language courses. The long answer is that I went with a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship, which is a program fully funded by the U.S. Department of State. I was with 14 other American students in Kazan. I lived with a host family who spoke no English but had two amazing pugs.
Why did you take a gap year?: I knew that I at least wanted to entertain the idea of a gap year because it sounded like a unique experience and something that I might benefit from. I applied to NSLI-Y at the same time as I was applying to schools. I was accepted to the program and to college in the same week and I had to make my decisions (about school and whether or not I would take a gap year) pretty quickly. I was nervous about taking a full year off but when I weighed the pros and cons I quickly realized that there were actually no cons. The stretch from first grade through high school is 12 years, which is a really long time. For most people this stretch then turns into 16 years and maybe even more with graduate school. Taking a break from the same schedule of schooling every year was intriguing and seemed pretty refreshing.
Why would you recommend a gap year to incoming students: There is absolutely no question in my mind that taking a gap year was a great choice. A year between high school and college, regardless of what you do with it, is a really awesome time to reflect on a lot of things. As tacky as it sounds, I learned so much about myself on my gap year. When I came back from my year off, I felt like I was recharged. I was excited to get back into the classroom and meet new people.
Monday, April 13:
Event: Unpacking the Takeout Box: The Americanization of Asian Food
Location: Salomon Hall 001
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Learn the history behind orange chicken, chow mein sandwiches, and California rolls, and how Asian food has become “Americanized.” The discussion will include Brown professors and representatives from local restaurants like Ken’s Ramen, Lotus Pepper, and India. The Hapa Club is hosting the event, and here’s the clincher: Mama Kim’s is catering the event.
Tuesday, April 14:
Event: Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s
Location: Thayer Street
Line up around the block with 500 of your closest friends in hot pursuit of a free cone. We recommend Phish Food.
Wednesday, April 15:
Event: Hillary 101: An Open Discussion
Location: Wilson 101
Time: 6 p.m.
Hosted by Brown Students for Hillary, this discussion about HRC’s history and her 2016 campaign platform is open to students across the political spectrum. The conversation will allow students to consider why they are #ReadyForHillary or perhaps #NotQuiteReadyForHillary.
Tomorrow, the Rhode Island School of Design technicians will go on strike after months of contract negotiations with the school’s administration.
The RISD technicians serve as an invaluable resource for the school: these men and women teach courses and maintain the studios and shops throughout campus. As they go on strike, most of the facilities on campus will be deemed unsafe and consequently shut down, including kilns, wood shops, metal shops, glass blowing furnaces, darkrooms, and cages where students check out various equipment like tripods, cameras and recording devices.
The RISD Technician Union has outlined its contractual requests on their website. In short, the techs would like a restoration of retirement contributions (which were cut significantly in 2009 due to the economic recession), annual wage increases similar to those of RISD faculty members, and external tuition remission (a reimbursement of employees’ children’s higher education tuition costs if their child attends a school other than RISD). Additionally, the techs object to a raise in their healthcare premiums. To read the union’s request in full, click here.
In an e-mail to the school’s student body, RISD’s chief operating officer Jean Eddy and interim provost Pradeep Sharma wrote:
By now, you’ve read the beginnings of this semester’s Last Call chains here and here. This year, BlogDailyHerald is adding another chain to the mix (or more than 2 chainz, if you will), featuring seniors from the RISD Class of 2015. Presenting RISD Last Call: making art school a little less confidential, one senior at a time.
Then + Now
People might know me as… The boy who loves and knows way too much about the Kennedy/Onassis family… (and is an owner of 11+ books on the subject…)
In my time at RISD, I am most proud of… The life-long friendships and experiences I have gained. I will miss being surrounded by such driven, ambitious, and talented peers.
On a Friday night, you might find yourself… In the studio or with friends. A bottle of red wine usually makes its way in there.
The best class/professor at RISD is… Image Bank taught by Lisa Young. She’s incredible.
Three things you wish you knew freshman year… The weather sucks for most of the academic year, being challenged is a good thing, and it’s okay to relax.
The Met vs. Portfolio… The Met.
One thing you wish you had done… Taken more classes at Brown.
Who or what are the major influences in your work? I am constantly inspired by nostalgia and history. I also look at street style for ideas. I love seeing the way people carry themselves with how they dress. Old photographs also influence my color palettes. I enjoy mixing modern styling with nostalgic, timeless pieces.
By now, you’ve read the first posts of this semester’s Last Call chains here and here. This year, BlogDailyHerald is adding another chain to the mix (or more than 2 chainz, if you will), featuring seniors from the RISD Class of 2015. Presenting RISD Last Call: making art school a little less confidential, one senior at a time.
Then + Now
People might know me as… The girl with curly hair who paints.
In my time at RISD, I am most proud of… The lifelong friendships I’ve made with a handful of incredible people.
On a Friday night, you might find yourself… In the studio painting or just hanging out with friends. Some 90s R&B/Hip Hop usually finds it’s way in there
The best class/professor at RISD is… I’ve had a lot of great teachers, but I’d say I probably gained the most from Craig Taylor’s painting class Junior year.
The Met vs. Portfolio… The Met! Always!