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.

risd beach

Get to know some of the more obscure parts of campus. Brown’s campus is a lot bigger and more nuanced than it seems. During those hours of downtime, it wouldn’t hurt to do some exploring of the further reaches of campus. For example, check out the Nelson or walk over to Orwig. You might even be able to sneak over to the RISD Beach (yes, it’s a literal beach owned by RISD and open to Brown students) if you can find it if you’ve got a ton of time on your hands!

providence skyline

Explore downtown Providence. Providence is an absolutely incredible (and quite underrated) city, so, when you’ve got nothing to do, take a walk down the Hill and check out what it’s got to offer! From Dave’s Coffee (my favorite spot on our side of the river) to the RISD Museum and Library (free for Brown students), downtown Providence is the perfect place to spend your chunks of free time. Also, WaterFire is approaching the end of its high season, so be sure to head down to catch a full lighting – it’s definitely worth checking out!

india point park

Run or enjoy a leisurely stroll to India Point Park. Situated right on the water and within running distance from campus, India Point Park is an excellent place to escape to. If you’re feeling even more ambitious, Blackstone Park is about a mile and a half away and even further from campus. Both are absolutely gorgeous and within a reasonable running distance from Keeney and Pembroke.


Take a day-trip to Newport. Speaking from personal experience, Newport is one of the best places to head to during Orientation. A mere hour away by RIPTA (and even closer if you can drive yourself), the waterfront town is the perfect oasis for any over-stressed, over-crowded, or over-bored freshmen. While you’re there, have lunch at one of the town’s amazing restaurants, walk by the oceanfront mansions, relax on a beach, or watch the boats from one of the wharfs/landings. It’s an idyllic and absolutely beautiful spot for anyone who needs a break from Providence during Orientation.

Happy Orientating (is that a word?)!

Images via, via, via, via, via, and via.

Leave a Reply