Pre-Registration for Dummies

A How-To for Those who Have No Clue What They’re Doing

Step 1: Put off doing actual homework by scouring the hundreds of course offerings on C@B for way longer than necessary.

Step 2: Get so over-excited about every class you read about that you consider changing your concentration.

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You > Your Grades

First-years (actually everyone): A bad midterm mark doesn’t mean you won’t get a job.

In your senior year of high school, you apply to approximately 20 colleges. Get rejected by approximately 15 of them. Then you go to Brown, thinking you achieved something, just something. But then you get here and you miss your family and your friends. You attend your first day of classes, and you think, ‘that was easy.’ You finish your first homework. You sign up for a ton of club listservs and apply to the few ones that interest you. But then you get your first grades back and you get rejected by those clubs and it all falls down.

Sometimes you just start thinking to yourself, ‘I don’t think I can survive here’ or ‘I think that Brown Admissions made a mistake.’ That’s how I felt in my first month here.

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(Campus)Lifehacker: Auditing classes

Science lecture

With a week and a half of shopping period done, you’ve probably figured out your classes… at least for the most part. However, you may have found yourself with a dilemma: What do you do if there’s a fifth class you really want to take, but just don’t have the time for? Consider auditing it!

The requirements for an audit are at a professor’s discretion, but for most courses, auditing consists of coming to all the lectures but not doing the homework or taking exams. You won’t get course credit towards graduation or concentration requirements, but the class will show up on your external transcript as an ‘Audit’ in order to acknowledge the time you devoted to the course. You’ll also have access to the course’s Canvas page, in case you want to check out the readings.

If you’re interested in auditing a class, talk to the professor to find out what they require of auditors. Don’t be afraid that the professor will think you’re lazy — on the contrary, most professors are pretty impressed that you are willing to show up every day even though you’re not getting a real course credit. If you proceed into the semester with five (or four) courses and then find yourself overwhelmed, rather than dropping a course, consider the possibility of changing your registration from credit to an audit. The deadline for switching to an audit is March 7.

Auditing can be a great way to get the most out of the courses Brown has to offer without overwhelming yourself. I am currently taking four courses and auditing a fifth, something I’ve done for the past five semesters. Without a doubt, several of my audits have been among the most educational class experiences I’ve had at Brown. You should definitely think about taking advantage of this unique opportunity.

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Maybe grades don’t matter after all…

Perhaps there is hope for all of us after all. James Franco, of Milk and Spiderman fame, recently admitted to getting a D (wait, what are those again?) in acting class.

However, it doesn’t seem to have negatively affected his opinion of higher education. A New York magazine profile revealed:

This fall, at 32, before he’s even done with all of these, he’ll be starting at Yale, for a Ph.D. in English, and also at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Has he been spotted yet?


Want an A? Don’t talk to Steve Jobs.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs

No, he won't help you with your homework.

Long Island University student Chelsea Kate Isaacs was writing a story for her journalism class about a project offering half-price iPads for students at her university. After having no luck with Apple’s PR team, she decided to kick it up a notch–and emailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who essentially told her to piss off. So Isaacs, pissed off that she “probably won’t get an A” now, got back at him by posting their email exchange on Gawker. Our favorite parts?

Isaacs:

Because I have had such good experiences as a college student using Apple products, I was incredibly surprised to find Apple’s Media Relations Department to be absolutely unresponsive to my questions, which (as I had repeatedly told them in voicemail after voicemail) are vital to my academic grade as a student journalist.

Jobs:

Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry.

Then, one email later, he ended the conversation for good:

Please leave us alone.

Note to Isaacs: if you want to make the Apple CEO happy, you probably shouldn’t tag all of your emails “Sent via Blackberry.”