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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How to cope with the post-Family Weekend feels

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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


BlogDH Explains: Course Registration

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As registration kicks into gear, many freshmen wonder, “Why is there a specific time for registration? Don’t I just sign up for whatever I want to take whenever I want to take it?”

Well… kind of. That’s the beauty of the New Curriculum, but there’s still some more structure to course selection than what meets the eye. Navigating Banner is similar to the art of surviving the Fantasy Football draft. We’re here to step in as your very own MeikleBlog; put on your lifejacket because BlogDH is here to help you stay afloat during the registration process. Here are some of the key nuggets of registration wisdom:

Know your capped courses. Plenty of awesome courses have caps (a.k.a. a limit to how many students can take the course). This becomes a problem when 100 students want to take Intro to Creative Nonfiction with Michael Stewart and there are only 17 seats in the class. Caps vary, and plenty of great courses are lectures without caps. A lot of the time, though, a course you may want to take will be capped; this is why you need to take a look at the courses that interest you and how many people students can be in each of those classes.

Make sure you get your pin. This is everything. You won’t be able to register without it, and you can definitely wave goodbye to a seat in a capped seat if you’re pin-less. You need this ahead of time—if your first-year advisor doesn’t give this to you before you leave his/her office, you’re going to have to beg for it before registration begins at 7 p.m. on September 3rd, and that’s probably the last thing you’re going to want to do.

Have a game plan. You can talk to your Meik about this, but here’s our advice: Make sure your capped courses in your cart first. You can always register for courses without caps after you ensure that you’ve gotten into your capped classes. You should register for five classes, even though you don’t intend to take five. (The courses you register for are likely to change during Shopping Period, but that’s a whole other shindig. Just know that you’re not absolutely bound to the courses you choose in this go-around.) Continue Reading


Freshmen through the years

As much as our parents can relate to our freshmen experience– we have all tasted questionable cafeteria food, burned the midnight oil at the library, and attended sketchy frat parties– our experiences also diverge. The NYT recently opened an online debate about changing nature of freshmen year.

Join in the conversation!