Freshmen: by now, you’ve been at Brown for at least three whole days, and you probably feel like you already own the place. You’ve figured out how to navigate your way through the Ratty, made lifelong friends at various orientation events, and maybe even learned how to throw a ping pong ball into a red solo cup. Now there’s just one little thing left to do to become a real college freshman: actually go to class. On Wednesday at 9 a.m. (don’t ask why school starts on a Wednesday, or why 9 a.m. classes exist at all), fall semester classes begin.
Every other time you’ve attended a first day of school, you’ve most likely gotten your predetermined schedule and gone to the classes listed without thinking twice. But Brown likes making us think, so the first day of classes here is unlike any other. You can go to ten different classes based on whatever strikes your fancy, or grab the syllabus in a couple classes for your concentration and then dip out, or anything in between.
Whichever shopping strategy you go for, the first day of classes can be one of the most overwhelming days at Brown. Last year the day was a blur, not just because I shopped a class every hour, but also thanks to the Providence rain gods’ sick sense of humor. Even if they decide to give us a break this year, the first day is bound to be crazy. Here are a few tips to get through the mayhem:
- Plan out the classes you want to go to in advance. If you’ve spent all summer on Banner finding the coolest-sounding classes, great; if not, this is what your advisor and Meiklejohn are for. It’s tough to browse the course scheduler on your phone while looking up concentration requirements and checking out The Critical Review at the same time, so try to do all that before you’re rushing between classes. You don’t want to miss the first meeting of a class you know you have to take–you might miss something important or even jeopardize your spot. Continue Reading