Frosh-cessities: What to bring to Brown


So, you’re going to college. Maybe you’re excited or #nervous, or a combination of the two. Don’t worry – BlogDH has you covered with some packing tips and advice for the terrifying/exciting/overwhelming prospect that is moving to college. After you gather all the essentials (twin XL bedding, shower shoes, a can-do attitude, etc.), here are some other things to consider bringing to campus (or leaving at home):

Things you will definitely need

  • A fan is pretty essential for orientation and the first few weeks of the year, as it is still hot AF in Providence for the first half of September. Dorms do not have air conditioning, and the feeble, still-warm ‘breeze’ coming from your open window will be inadequate to keep you from waking up in an unfortunate you-shaped puddle of sweat every morning. Don’t worry – it cools down pretty quickly at the end of September into October, and you probably won’t need your fan again until maybe the final couple weeks of the year.
  • Command hooks and mounting strips are super helpful for hanging decorations, towels, bulletin boards, and other items on your walls. With enough command strips and blind optimism, you can keep pretty much anything up, even a full-length mirror on a slightly sticky cinderblock wall.
  • bank card is useful for monthly expenses, shopping at the largest carpeted mall in America (has this tour fact ever been actually verified?), and when you run out of points and Bear Bucks because of too many before-4 p.m. Blue Room muffins. Make sure to check your bank has a convenient location in Providence. There will also be a banking fair during orientation where you can check out these options in greater depth.
  • Cleaning supplies. Custodial Services cares for shared spaces, but not individual rooms. Please get and use them, for the sake of your roommate, or at least the night before Family Weekend. (Though you can probably wait until you get to campus to get these.) Odor-canceling spray is also great to have for spraying your comforter that you will probably never wash all year, and for the “Febreze walk-through” – spray mist in the air in front of you and glide on in. It’s a perfect ‘almost shower,’ a lazy, personal car-wash of sorts.
  • Rain gear, including a rain jacket, boots, and loyal and iron-willed umbrella, are pretty essential for Lil Rhody weather. Despite how scenic and lovely the Main Green looks come Spring, it will rain this year, and water will seep into your clothes, body, and spirit. Also, while many people wait until Thanksgiving Break to bring up their winter clothes, Providence weather can also be fairly unpredictable, and there can be the occasional rogue snowstorm in October.

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How to cope with the post-Family Weekend feels

Family Weekend 2014 has come to a close, and at this point, you’ve probably got the feels. Whether your family came to Brown or stayed at home, saying goodbye to or being away from them has probably got you feeling some type of way. Loneliness/nostalgia/homesickness sucks, so here are some tips on how to start feeling better:

1. Adopt a pet. It’s tough to go from being surrounded by loved ones to being by yourself. In order to combat your feelings of loneliness, consider calling your local animal shelter and getting yourself a puppy, a kitten, or even a goldfish. Fill the hole in your life by creating a family of your own that will love you all the time! Just make sure your RPLs don’t know…

2. Get into a heated argument with your family. Nothing will make it easier to stop missing your family than wanting to never see their faces again. Give them a call after they leave, pick a hot topic–racism, classism, ableism, sexism, heteronormativity, sexuality, your social construct of choice, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or which Blue Room muffin is best–and get really offended by something your parents say. Maybe they’re so horribly insensitive that they’re not up to speed with your vocabulary, maybe they say something that might or might not be somewhat controversial, or maybe they’re just not passionate enough. Regardless, exercise no restraint and get really upset. Your anger and frustration will help you feel a lot better about saying goodbye. Continue Reading

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


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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