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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What to do this week: October 5 – 11

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Tuesday, October 6

Event: Mid Term Prep Workshop
Location: JWW 203
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Unfortunately, midterm season is indeed upon us. Whether these will be your first collegiate exams or you’re just still in a summer mindset and want a refresher, come learn some new study strategies to help you ace that test.

Wednesday, October 7

Event: The IFJ Present: Demystifying Summer Internships
Location: Wilson 102
Time: 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Students who have interned at financial and consulting firms will be answering your questions about what actually went down for them over the summer.

Friday, October 9

Event: Intimate embodiments: a solo exhibition by Elisabeth Walden
Location: Sarah Doyle Gallery
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

“‘Intimate Embodiments’ is the result of my struggle to construct a positive identity for myself in spite of tremendous social pressure to hate my fat body. The paintings and prints in this exhibition are the result of a sustained engagement with my flesh, as a subject, object and tool to make art.” — Elisabeth Walden

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Tips on how not to study

Student-Studying

A Brown student studying hard.

Midterm season has arrived in full-force these past few weeks. This has motivated countless students to settle down among the stacks, open their books and laptops, and revisit their old classroom notes and problem sets in an effort to succeed at all the challenges that Brown offers to them. Filled with personal discipline, an ability to delay gratification, and above all else a striving passion to perform, these devoted students will approach their exams and essays with a deep confidence in their abilities, a focused and prepared mind, and several nights of undisturbed sleep.

Here are some tips that might help you and other students avoid their looming work for the next cycle of midterms.

1. Think About How Much You Work You Have

There’s nothing better to distract you from studying than to think about how much work you have. I mean, really try to ponder it—all of the material that you’re responsible for in each class, how many words you’ll have to write in total for your essays—whatever it is, just make sure you’re very aware of how much you’ll need to accomplish in the next week. For the next step in not working, try to imagine the worst possible consequences that could happen if you screwed up. Linger on all of this for a few hours, and you’ll be well on your way to not getting anything done.

This pretty much identical to the one before it.

Identical to the one before, except this guy seems more stressed.

2. Talk to Other People About How Much Work You Have

Closely related to number one, a great way to be unproductive is to complain to others about how much you have to do in the upcoming weeks. Parents, friends, acquaintances, random people in line at the Ratty, all can be effectively used as tools to avoid finishing work. Try to distract them from their own work as you complain, so they become more anxious about what they have to do as well. The less industrious the people are around you, the better you’ll be at not studying.

But remember: always make sure that they know that you, ultimately, have it much harder than them, and are worthy of their sympathy.

Does anyone study with all these books?

Has anyone ever studied with that many books?

3. Wait to Talk to a TA or go to Office Hours

If you really want to make sure you that you feel unaccomplished by the weekend, never start work on anything until you’re fully sure that you have the approval and understanding of your professor and/or TA. Go during peak hours of their schedule so you’ll have to wait in a long line, and never ask them direct questions related to your work, because remember,  you haven’t started that. Instead, focus on broad, generic ideas that they have already mentioned in class, or ideally would be answered either on the syllabus or prompt—things that will bring you no closer to sitting down and working. But be careful, you might accidentally leave feeling productive, so try to remain skeptical of whatever advice they have to offer.

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PSA: Drop everything. The courses are coming!

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 11.46.07 AMQuick! Stop doing work and start procrastinating by planning the work you (won’t) do in the future! That’s right: courses for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 are now available on Banner. Start making that hypothetical schedule that you will inevitably deviate from in the trauma of the coming pre-registration and shopping period. Go here ASAP (unless you’re a senior, in which case you should probably just work on filling out this bucket list), and take a midterm break. Fall will be here before you know it, if Winter ever goes away.


Where to cry at Brown

Because your tears probably aren't this beautiful.

Because your tears probably aren’t this beautiful.

There are those days when you get out of bed with 5 minutes to spare for your first class and make a mad scramble to get there, only to realize you forgot to bring your homework. Those days when you get back a midterm on which you thought you did well and you would have too… if the numbers had been reversed. Those days, when you feel as if you’re drowning in a bottom-less ocean full of work and all your friends are out having fun without you (they probably are, even now). In case you are extremely thick-skulled and have not yet gotten the picture, there are those day when you need to burst out crying.

Recently, someone started a Tumblr that reviews places to cry in New York City. We understand how crying can be difficult in a city with over 8 million people in it, but it’s hard to have emotional meltdowns here at Brown too. A lot of times you’re in a double, and you don’t want to start a fuss with your roommate, but you’re really in the mood to weep. Or, on the contrary, you live in a single and are dying for the attention of crying in front of people. Tears are catharsis and a means of getting bodily toxins out. For those of you who need a good cry and don’t know where to go, here is a selection of places for, you know, one of those days:

The Scili basement at 4 a.m. If you’re still working on your paper at this hour, the struggle has found you. Make sure to move to the 15 decibel area so that you don’t disturb anyone with your muffled sobs. The upper levels of the Scili work too. More privacy, but also more gravity to make your tears come out faster. That’s how science works, right?

One of the tiny rooms in the lower floors of Faunce. If you have a roommate and really want to be alone, lock yourself in one of these closet spaces and let it all out.

CareerLAB. Because you do not have your shit together, and we are never, ever, ever getting jobs.

The Philosophy Department (Corliss House). When your existential crisis really hits, not even Plato or Socrates can save you… But just in case they can, might as well hang out in good company.

STOP JUDGING ME

STOP JUDGING ME

Screaming very quietly in the Leung Gallery. One of the most inhumane places to have a meltdown, this is a surefire way to terrify your study neighbors. It may even have some effect on the battle between silence or no silence! If the faces in the Leung family portrait start mocking you, you have been there for too long and it’s time to get some fresh air. Continue Reading


Which social media site should you drop?

It seems like there is a new social media craze every month, and with so many options, it has gotten impossible to keep up. Unless you have a team of publicists, there is no way you can maintain an active presence on all the various social media platforms and still write that daunting midterm paper. And no, linking your Instagram to your Facebook and Twitter will never be enough.

Friends, it’s time for some spring late winter cleaning. But which site isn’t right for you? The following somewhat Mean Girls-themed forecast — complete with percentages! — will help:

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Twitter: Unless you are a Real Housewife, Lady Gaga circa 2010, or 257 Thayer,  you don’t need to be on Twitter.

80% chance of dropping, 20% chance your favorite comedian just has suuuuuch clever thoughts throughout the day that you can’t bare the idea of not reading them while you’re on the toilet.

 

 

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Instagram: “I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me, but I can’t help it that I’m popular.” – Instagram

Insta may be the easiest social media app to make fun of, but it doesn’t matter. It’s fun, it’s a low time commitment, it’s colorful, and it makes you feel artistic. It’s one of the few social media outlets that allow you to express your creativity. Yes, in reality, Insta provides less in the way of art and more in the way of “someone you went to high school with is about to eat a fancy sandwich at a popular lunch spot in San Francisco.” But it’s the thought that counts, and with Facebook already on the decline, what else are you supposed to do with all your photos? Printing them out and framing them so that your memories will be preserved for years to come isn’t going to give your friends FOMO.

15% chance of dropping, 85% chance that you can’t because “think of the spring weekend pics!”

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Snapchat: This isn’t a question. Snapchat is a college essential.

100% chance of not dropping, 100% chance that if you don’t already have one you need to get one.

 

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