Frosh-cessities: How to spend your free time during Orientation

Dear Freshmen,

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:

john hay library

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.

quiet green

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.

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How Not to be a Freshman: The one with Family Weekend

As a girl who considers herself to be close with her family, I was actually very excited for this past weekend.  I had cleaned my room, looked up some good restaurants, and even called my parents to tell them how excited I was for their impending arrival. I was probably over-prepared for Family Weekend, but I soon realized I was extremely underprepared for my actual family.

The weekend started off well enough and was marked by an exchange of hugs, questions, and a plethora of winter clothes. Then, to my surprise, my mother revealed the Saturday she had planned: a trip to Newport that included a historic tour and play. The a capella concert I thought we could see was going to have to wait. My family piled into our Honda and soon began the journey to Newport. I knew the weekend was heading in a bad direction when my brother began to lecture us on the benefits of wrestling and my dad lost three parking spots to the more aggressive Rhode Island drivers. Tensions were running high and my mom’s overzealous attempts at keeping us all on schedule weren’t helping.

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The Newport Boat Show

Sunday was a big day for the small state of Rhode Island. While the streets of Providence were packed with runners hoping to get sweet CVS t-shirts, the somewhat self-proclaimed jewel of the Narragansett — Newport — was inundated with seafarers and T-Pain enthusiasts alike for the 42nd Newport Boat Show. Yes, the freakin’ NEWPORT BOAT SHOW.

Though I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect on my visit, the Boat Show blew my preconceived notions out of the proverbial water. Not only did the event show off some incredible vessels, but it also offered an experience that can only be explained by this. And this. But more through this. The show actually shattered the record for the highest concentration of red pants in a square mile area; the record was last held by the 41st Newport Boat Show.

The Boat Show, which ran from Thursday to Sunday, brought thousands of visitors to Bowen’s Wharf and attracted buyers, sellers, and those who just enjoy a good ole’ recreational look. I did wonder, however, how many sales were actually made at the showcase. It seemed as though the chances were higher of someone stealing a boat than walking away with a casual 52-foot yacht.  For many, the Newport Boat Show was the closest thing to Yacht week.

While we will have to wait a whole year for the return of the legendary Newport Boat Show, its legacy will burn bright and inspire all in the Ocean State. In the words of the equally legendary band Styx, “Come sail away, Newport Boat Show, come sail away with me.” Ra Ra Brunonia!

Newport Folk Festival lineup announced

Disappointed by the Coachella-drained Spring Weekend lineup this year?  Consider giving the Newport Folk Festival on July 30-31 a try.  Held every summer in Newport, RI, the Newport Folk Festival plays host to various modern and progressive folk and rock groups.  This year, the lineup will include some up-and-coming acts alongside some big (real big, not, like, Spring Weekend big) names, including The Decemberists, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, and Tegan & Sara.  For a full list of performers, check out

It’s an eclectic program, to be sure, but we certainly appreciate the festival organizers’ apparent effort to secure a diverse, but relatively well known set of acts this year.  Tickets go on sale today, March 31, at 10:00 am on the festival’s website.

What to do right now: 7/31

Newport Folk Festival

all day and evening, today and tomorrow

If you’re in the Rhode Island area, get in your car right now and drive down to the Newport Folk Festival, our local annual music festival. Artists are playing all day today and tomorrow. You can check you more info on the schedule here! And here’s how to get there.

Check out NPR’s ‘All Songs Considered’ preview of the festival to get acquainted with some of the bands! You might have even heard of a couple of them.

And be sure to enjoy a lobster roll while you’re at the coast.