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,
P.S. Want to write for us? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at the Activities Fair to apply!
Mary Kate and Ashley circa 1999, my Parisian spirit animals.
I remember the first time I saw Paris. I was 7 years old and, like any girl born in the early ’90s, a huge Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen fan (before New York Minute came out and ruined their straight-to-VHS career definitively.) I had just gotten my hands on their latest VHS, Passport to Paris. 7-year-old me longed to have a baguette fight on the Champ-de-Mars on the back of Ethan Peck‘s scooter. Needless to say, I’ve grown a bit since 1999, but I still had some dreamy ideas about what my semester in Europe would be like (baguettes and Ethan Peck on a scooter included). However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that
most some of my fantasies would never come to be. But it’s okay, baguettes are great consolation food.
Expectation: Immerse myself in the culture, act like a local.
Reality: Conform to buying 2€ wine and calling it a day.
I had a very specific image of what my semester abroad was going to be like: sit in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant (because sidewalk cafés are sooo overrated!), drink house wine, and converse with my neighbor in their native language. Maybe I watched Amélie one too many times before boarding the plane, but the idea of becoming unrecognizable as a foreigner in this country seemed both romantic and plausible. However, I forgot the very obvious fact that I lack basic social skills, and freeze every time someone speaks to me in a language other than English. My “immersion” has consisted of putting on my headphones on the metro to pass as any other angsty 20-year-old, and picking up a bottle of supermarket-brand wine on the way home, speaking to no one throughout the commute.
Expectation: Make local friends.
Reality: … Working on it.
I’m cross-registered at two universities, each with its own different vibe. One is made up of predominantly rich, white Parisians who are too busy chain-smoking to talk to me. The other is made up of every other kind of person who still is too busy chain-smoking to talk to me. I don’t smoke, and have no interest in starting. However, going out for a cigarette during the mid-class pause is where people go to mingle. So I’m at a moral crossroads: to smoke and make friends, or to preserve my lungs and spend the next four months all by my lonesome, Anglophone self? Le sigh. Continue Reading