Frosh-cessities: Stretching your comfort zone


You’re all moved in, you’ve met your roommates, you may have even gone to a few parties where you felt like a fish out of water. Now what?

We’ve all been there. The beginning of college can be exhilarating, awkward, and confusing all at the same time. It’s easy to get bogged down by how your experiences are matching up to your expectations.  You may meet people with whom you click right away and with whom you may not. You even may change friend groups six times in the next month – and that is more than okay. What you’re soon going to learn is that a lot is going to be thrown at you in the coming weeks and a lot may feel unfamiliar or even uncomfortable. The best way you can adjust to college is by embracing this discomfort with open arms.

Before I got to college, I did everything to plan how my entire experience would pan out. I took it upon myself to map out every detail of my Brown experience so that when I got there, all of my ducks would be in a row – I’d be completely comfortable and ready to have the best time. Before receiving my roommate assignment, I had already put classes in my Banner shopping cart for first and second semester,  I had planned out what clubs to join, and had even memorized the campus map so that I wouldn’t look like a doofus stumbling across campus. Fortunately, I knew that I couldn’t also expect to find my friends on Banner, so that saved me one step in my planning.

Besides memorizing the map, which I later learned can be found on the Brown University App, none of my planning really helped me. I took vastly different classes, I threw myself into student organizations I hadn’t dreamt of joining (sup, Blog), and I met people who I could not have anticipated meeting. I hadn’t considered all of the variables that extended beyond my control and became increasingly overwhelmed during my first  few weeks at Brown. Although you can certainly plan ahead certain aspects of your academic life at Brown, the passionate, vibrant, thoughtful, and bizarre people at this school truly paint the Brown experience and make this unbelievably special place what it is.

The most helpful piece of advice I received about getting settled in at college was to find the perfect balance of comfort and discomfort in your academic and social life. Seek out things that feel comfortable to you so that you can establish a foundation for yourself among the chaos that is orientation, shopping period, and a large part of first semester. Whether that be writing in a journal, finding the time to go for a run in Providence, or choosing your favorite place on campus to get breakfast, having some sense of a routine in your new home will allow you to feel increasingly comfortable in your own skin.

While creating familiarity with the things that you know is crucial, one of the most special things about Brown is the culture that supports its students to explore the less familiar. Allow your routine to provide you with the comfort to try new things and be open to new experiences. Shop everything and leave the class that you thought you were going to love but bores you to sleep in the middle of the lecture. Go to that club orientation that starts in ten minutes because your friend is going there after your Ratty dinner. Join the beard appreciation society if that’s what you’re feeling! The more you begin to stretch what is in your comfort zone, the more you’ll see how many other people are also doing the same.

What I’m trying to say is that the best way to get settled here is to stop planning the things that you think you were meant to do here, and experiment with the things you think you may want to do here. You are the only person who knows your boundaries, while also recognizing your incredible potential. Don’t take yourself too seriously — you know never what you’re going to stumble upon during your four years here.

Spring Weekend for dummies: A Q&A with our upperclassmen


Incoming first years are instructed to be excited for two things: Halloween and Spring Weekend. They are also told that even though it’s called “Spring Weekend,” it’s really “Spring Week,” and a man named Binder will jump around with an acoustic guitar and change our lives forever.

Wait, what?

Spring Week is in full swing. It’s hard to imagine the Main Green, which has recently resembled the kingdom of Arendelle, flooded with students in frat star tanks and this season’s Coachella-est denim. Believe it or not, it’s about to begin, and Blog wants to help you prepare.

We put out a survey where first years (and other noobs) could ask any and all questions they had about Spring Week(end) anonymously, and then had our most weathered finest upperclassmen on staff answer them. Before we begin the Q&A, just remember—take it all in, because this may well be the best weekend of your entire life. No pressure, though.

Q: I am going to have to miss Spring Weekend. How do I cope with this loss?

A: By going to Spring Weekend.

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Frosh-cessities: The joys of your second semester

First semester freshman year is an odd time. You’re finally at Brown after a summer of waiting, but it’s not your home yet. Since you’re not living at home for the first time, you’re basically unleashing your repressed self around people you don’t really know. It’s a recipe for delicious disaster.

However, your second semester is a completely different world. With a heightened sense of stability and less of a deer-in-headlights look on your face, Brown feels more manageable, a place you really understand. Sort of.

There are some key differences between first and second semester that seem small but make a world of difference. Here they are:

The signature deer-in-headlights freshman look.

“This is college?”

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Frosh-cessities: Meiks in the Unit and tips for pre-registration

It’s that time of year again: registration. For me, a first-semester freshman, registration brings back memories of the following: frantically—and unsuccessfully—trying to log in to Banner, coming to the sad realization that the classes I wanted were full after I had finally connected to the Internet, and sending out pathetic, desperate emails to professors that I had never spoken to before. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t worry. This semester, Meiklejohns are here to hold our hands throughout the process.


Tonight, the Meiklejohns are holding a special pre-registration event called “Meiks in the Unit” to answer any last minute questions we freshmen might have. The Meiks will be set up in the Arnold and Mo-Champ lounges from 7-9 p.m. to help you handle the imminent doom of pre-registration. It’s a great opportunity to talk to people who have gone through the hellish experience of registration before. The Meiks who will be present are also well-versed in a wide range of subjects, so don’t think you won’t find any help if you have a unique concentration!

Huge bonus: they are serving free KABOB AND CURRY. If any freshman (or human) is unaware of this fine establishment, know that Kabob and Curry is a delicious restaurant Thayer. Yelp gives it 4 out of 5 stars. Need I say more? (Tips for pre-reg after the jump.) Continue Reading


Frosh-cessities: 18 things I learned from my first Halloweek

See? She's not wearing heels

Curious about the photo? Click here.

Halloweek flew by faster than Marnie and her grandma on a high-powered broom (see below). It was a long four days, but a sick four days — literally “sick,” as my voice was shot by the end of night one. Yet, it was without a doubt the most fun I’ve had at Brown thus far. As we say goodbye to October and all of its quiet (and not-so-quiet) graces — perfect weather, hellish midterms, a Red Sox win, an excuse to go out four nights in a row, campus protests, and another Fox News shoutout — I wanted to reflect upon what I learned over the past week. Halloweek, you were a hella-week, for sure. Here are 18 things I learned from my first Halloweek:

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Frosh-cessities: 8 dorm essentials for winter


It seems that at some point last week, we woke up and realized it suddenly became winter. While you may have thought a Bob Marley poster and a bulletin board that proves you have friends at home constituted adequate dorm accessories, think again. Cold weather brings about a whole other list of dorm essentials you didn’t even think about when you were packing for school back in August.

1. Christmas lights 

While we aren’t promoting a specific religion with this suggestion, Christmas lights are essential for multiple reasons. For one, everyone is sick of that fluorescent lighting. It hurts your eyes, kills the ambience and definitely doesn’t set the mood. Plus, during the winter months there are approximately 0 hours of daylight and the warm lighting will be exactly what you need to conquer the February Blues. Continue Reading