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.
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!
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. 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
Now that Orientation is under way, you’re probably becoming well-acquainted with its trade-mark surplus of downtime between mandatory events. For the over-bored or especially-overwhelmed, here are a few pro tips for how to spend all of that free time during your first few days on campus:
Hang out in the libraries. Especially during those brutally hot first few days of Orientation and classes (have you seen the weather forecast?!), your disgustingly muggy dorm rooms are gonna get super gross, super fast. During the heat of the day, grab a book and head to the Rock, John Hay, or SciLi – there’s AIR CONDITIONING and it’s the perfect place to get some quiet alone time on campus outside of your room.
GO OUTSIDE! As you’re probably aware, Brown’s campus is beautiful. So, when you’ve got a free hour or two, grab a blanket and some light reading or your computer (PSA: our lampposts have built-in outlets) and pop a squat on one of the greens.
As summer comes to an end, first-year college students around America will be pumped through the exciting yet cringe-inducing process of college orientation. The event somehow walks the line between purgatory and platonic speed dating. Students spend excruciating hours sitting down for awkward seminars and icebreaker sessions. The three questions: “What’s your name?”, “Where are you from?” and “Where are you living?” will be repeated millions of times until responses start sounding like they’re coming out of Siri. For some, orientation means newfound independence; for others, it is the gift of a blank canvas and a chance to start over. However, all feel the constant pressure to give off the right first impression to the right people.
Despite the superficial nature of the first days on campus, freshman orientation shouldn’t be something you float through. This is the only time in college where everyone is in the same social boat; everyone is looking for friends. The shared experience makes it easy to meet loads of people from different backgrounds and possibly make connections to last the next four years and beyond.
To get the most out of orientation, I recommend avoiding the following seven mentalities:
1. “This is so stupid.”
You’ve had nightmares based on posts on the accepted students Facebook page and now believe everyone is dorky, snobbish, and/or overexcited to a level that would make even Michael Scott cringe. You’re the only normal one here. Maybe it’s best to skip orientation altogether and lay low for a while.
Please. Not everyone will be straight outta Cringefest 2015. If you shut yourself out of orientation, you will miss opportunities to both find friends and learn how to navigate the complicated and often confusing Brown system. Although some events wont hurt to skip [Ed. Not that we’re condoning this], make sure you at least go to convocation, and learn the names of everyone on your floor.
2. “No parents! No rules!”
You’re free from the parents!!! Now is your time to GET WASTED!
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.
- A 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.