Frosh-cessities: How to prepare for family weekend

It is easy to lie to your family over the phone: “Oh yeah mom everything is going well, can I call you back in a minute? I’m just finishing up some homework,” you say, as you and your roommate and try frantically to put out a fire that you started when you tried to light each other’s farts. Or to make it seem like you have things under control over text.”Hey dad, I spent all my money on books. Can you send me some more?” you send, as your drug dealer holds you at gun-point in the Blue Room sandwich line. You’ve been living on the edge, taking no prisoners, and are definitely still overwhelmed and confused. That’s normal (right???), and having your parents around for a weekend may seem daunting, but there are some easy tips to staying ahead of your shifty, nosey, and overbearing parentals. The last thing you want is another lecture; you’re in college now and are way too cool/don’t have time for that.

Step 1: Be ready for an interrogation 

Here are two different hypothetical conversations, one not prepared, and one prepared, between my mom and me. Learn from me to avoid mistakes and your mom’s wrath.

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Brown’s novelty Facebook pages, ranked

Social networking LIKE The care-free haze of September is winding down and workloads are increasing; in other words, it’s time to procrastinate. Brimming with gossip, news, funny articles, and Buzzfeed quizzes, Facebook is obviously your best friend in the distraction department. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into the trap of liking pages—especially some of Brown’s many novelty accounts—that seem interesting at first, but eventually prove to be rather annoying. Some are underwhelming, others are outdated, and soon enough you’re left with a cluttered mess on your newsfeed.

Because of this, the art of pruning is integral to keeping a happy and healthy newsfeed. So, in order to help optimize your Brown-related Facebook content, I have rated and ranked five of Brown’s most popular novelty pages:

1. Brown University Confessions. My personal favorite, Brown University Confessions posts anonymous confessions by Brown students. Perhaps the greatest characteristic of the page is its wide range of tones; posts can be serious, vehementcandid, or just plain weird. The page is updated frequently on weekdays and almost all of its posts are highly relatable and/or funny. Confessions is Brown’s most liked novelty page, and with good reason — it’s extremely entertaining and great for your newsfeed. 9.5/10

2. Brown University Snaps. Brown University Snaps posts about 1-2 screenshots of students’ Snapchats each day. The page is light-hearted; while it lacks Confessions’s occasional serious post, it never fails to be engaging and entertaining. Not too invasive and almost always good for a quick laugh, Brown University Snaps is a solid page that’s definitely worth liking. 9/10

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Frosh-cessities: Stretching your comfort zone

BrownUniversity-OpeningConvocation

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

spring-weekend

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.

Windows-Issues

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