Frosh-cessities: A guide to summer opportunities

“So… what are you doing this summer?” — maybe the worst question since that dreaded “Where are you heading next year?” you might have gotten from relatives, your dentist, or strangers your senior year of high school.

Have no idea where to start your search? Have no idea people did things over the summer? Blog has you covered with an overview of some different options, especially for you precocious but overwhelmed first-years.

Taking Classes

Some students stay at Brown to take classes over the summer. It’s a great opportunity to take a class you might not have time for in your normal schedule during the year, or to get a concentration requirement out of the way. Despite the shorter term, each class counts as a full course credit because they meet more frequently. You can take up to two courses a summer, and up to four summer classes can count towards your degree. Classes are paid à la carteHere’s the current course catalogue for Summer 2016. Pre registration for summer courses runs from April 1 – 21.

You can also take classes at another university and petition for transfer credit. This needs to be arranged through the Dean of the College, because Brown’s course hours might not match up with the other school. If you’d like to get credit counted towards your concentration, you should double check with the department, because often departments are strict on what courses can fulfill a Brown equivalent.

RISD classes are also offered during the summer. Note that while RISD classes are included in Brown tuition for the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms, Summer classes are not included. More information hereUp to four RISD classes can count towards your Brown degree.

If you’re sticking around Brown for the summer, whether for classes, research, an internship, or something else, you can pay for Brown summer housing, or get a sublet in the neighborhood (there are always many options available, as juniors and seniors who live off campus desperately want to find subletters). You can also apply to be a Summer@Brown residential assistant (for high school students) and live in dorms over the summer for free. Many students enjoy spending the summer in Providence, for the free concerts and events, the warm weather, or for the change in pace and community from during the year.

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Frosh-cessities: Calling your parents, guardians, and loved ones


Many of you use your cell phones for Facebook, texting, and essentially connecting with people you care about. Often times, though, you’ll forget to connect with the people who are the reason you’re here reading this article now: your folks back home. Here’s Blog’s guide to calling your loved ones.

The occasion: Aced a test? Entered a relationship? Tried the breakfast burrito at Andrews? Whenever you experience a moment of bliss, big or small, don’t be shy to report back home. You have no idea how overjoyed they will be to live through it with you. When you applied to Brown, they were just as stressed out as you were. Then, when you got in, they were just as friggin’ happy as you were, screaming, jumping, and running around the neighborhood. On the flip-side, if you bombed that one midterm, called it quits with that kid down the hall, or bit into a moldy apple from the Ratty, don’t be afraid to share those moments either. Obviously, some parents will be more receptive or sensitive to certain issues, so gauge yours and determine what topics are discussible and which are verboten.

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Frosh-cessities: How to navigate your first Halloweek

If it’s your first Halloweek at Brown, it’s a bit intimidating to deal with finishing midterms on time, reassuring your parents you’ll be careful going out, and deciding on multiple costumes. Testing season is finally coming to an end, and the festivities are beginning just before the real cold weather hits. So, enjoy yourself while you can! Halloween is one of Brown’s highlights of the year socially, and one of the only times that it’s (more) socially acceptable to go to bars and clubs more than two or three times a week. So, with so many things happening at once, and your friends seemingly hearing of another party every other hour, it’s important to stay composed. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you make the most out of your first Halloweek!


  1. Make sure to get your academics and/or extracurriculars in order before going out. You’ll have a much better time if you feel on top of things.
  2. Decide on what you’re wearing. Now. The earlier, the better.
  3. You don’t need to go to every party, event, or pregame. Go with the flow, rather than worrying about where you’re heading next, because focusing on the next place will only detract from enjoying the one you’re currently at. And yes, FOMO will be very real, but there’s no way you’ll get to every gathering, so focus on a few and try make the most of them.
  4. Stick with your friends! Especially toward the beginning of the night, the last place you want to find yourself is wandering somewhere alone.
  5. It’s okay to leave with someone you just met. Just make sure your friends know where you’re going and that that you and your partner are both capable of engaging in safe and consensual sexual activities. [Ed. For more information, check out this important article.]
  6. Above all, be safe! Whether you’re moving from place to place, wandering with friends, or getting ready to go out, just make sure to be careful — and always remember that you never need to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.

So, to sum up, just go with the flow of the night and enjoy yourself. Each night is a bit different and has its own vibe. Choose a few events and try to really enjoy those rather than thinking about where you’re going next. Most importantly, though, remember to be safe, careful, informed, and cautious with whatever activities you choose to partake in. Good luck!

Image via.

Frosh-cessities: How to avoid getting sick


There are several facts of life that everyone must accept. For example, death is inevitable and college students can be–and are–gross. From the latter stems a great problem: the epidemic of flus and colds at Brown. For those of you who are specifically avoiding the post hook-up cold, Blog has you covered here. For those of you who refuse to get sick, or those who are refusing to believe you are actually sick, here are a few tips.

1. Get your flu shot.

Health Services will be offering free flu shots for students starting on October 14. They will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday in the lower level of Faunce.

2. Avoid Keeney at all costs.

Keeney is a swarming hub of germs. To be fair, it can’t be blamed. There are a lot of people in tight quarters and soap isn’t always stocked. So, to play it safe, avoid Keeney. Don’t worry if you live there, though! BlogDH has already listed the warmest places to hide. I strongly recommend the mysterious vents in front of Bio-Med.

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Frosh-cessities: How to stay in touch with friends from home

You’re a month into college already (it’s crazy, I know), and as everything (sort of) begins to calm down, you finally have the chance to catch up with your friends from home about all the crazy things you’ve done, people you’ve met, classes you’ve taken, hookups you’ve regretted, and so on. But suddenly, you sit down to talk, and you don’t know where to begin. So much has happened, and you almost don’t want to say anything. For the first time, your BFF doesn’t know who you’re talking about when you say “that guy down the hall with the weird laugh.” You’re starting to come to the realization that you live in distinct and separate worlds, and talking to people who don’t experience your little bubble every day can be hard. But don’t worry! Here are some steps you can take to make it a little bit easier to stay in touch with close friends from home:

1. Have shorter conversations more often. It might seem like a good idea to set up times once a week, or however often, when you can talk for hours about every single thing that’s happened to you. But that can be pretty exhausting and tough to maintain. Instead, try squeezing in shorter conversations, even if they’re only ten minutes, more often. The little details will start adding up so that you have a better sense of each other’s lives, and vice versa. When you have friend drama or ~love~ troubles, your friends will likely already know the people you’re talking about and be ready to jump in with quality advice.

2. Make time for your friends from home. These first few weeks, you’ve probably felt so overwhelmed that you barely have time to eat, let alone stop everything to FaceTime your friends. There’s always something you could or should be doing. Most often, however, you either have the time or are capable of making the time if you really want to. You would probably spend that half hour procrastinating, anyway, so stop with the excuses!

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Frosh-cessities: Your roommate could be worse

I know, I know. You wanted your roommate to be your best friend forever immediately upon meeting them. Disappointed? What? Those crazy high expectations weren’t met before mid-September rolled around? Tough it up. It could be worse. Your roommate could be a cult leader.

Never forget the Boy Meets World cult episode. Never.

Never forget the Boy Meets World cult episode. Ever.

Everything was going great. One week into college and things seem to be almost too perfect. Shopping period wasn’t as bad as everyone said, the lines at the Ratty have been under control, and your roommate… woah. In a word: divine. The most charismatic person you’ve ever met. Almost magnetic. I mean, never before have you seen people flock to a single personality with such fervor. It’s nuts. I guess that’s just the kind of place Brown is, you think. A place where 18-year-olds effortlessly attract the attention of scores of their peers. Did they come here with all these friends, or did they just really kill it at the ice cream social?

But, like, it’s a little weird though. Right? You have this feeling in the pit of your stomach. You message your friends from home. Nothing conspicuous, of course. Just the typical, “Yeah college is s00oooo fun. The usual stuff. Drinking, classes, nothing out of the norm. Do any of ur roommates host really large but pretty tame chanting sessions in your room? Random question, just asking, hope ur good lol.” Continue Reading