Senior Send-off: Brown is a place of love and work


Then + Now

I have this notion that our actions fall in one of two categories: they’re either rooted in the actions of “love” or “work.”[1] Think of your daily routine: you study in the library to work; you relax with your friends because you love them. It seems pretty basic now, but over time it gets a little more complicated. Love and work may start to compete with each other: tribulations of long distance relationships or the decision to go on vacation or finish a business project occur because of the ongoing tension between love and work.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that Brown is a place where love and work can flourish in harmony. It took me a long time to realize this. Continue Reading

Senior Send-off: Regrets are OK

Then + Now

Then + Now

As seniors, we hear a lot about the “bucket list:” The SciLi challenge, 5 a.m. Louis, WaterFire, etc. Throughout this year, my friends and I kept putting various parts of the list off until later. But then, all of a sudden, it was May and I started to feel anxious about not having enough time to complete the list in my limited days left on the Hill.

At first, the realization caused an uneasy feeling—something reminiscent of the FOMO (fear of missing out) you feel during your first semester freshman year when you’re sick or busy and you miss a frat party that all your friends are talking about the next morning in the Ratty. I never went to Sex Power God. I never snuck onto the roof of any Brown buildings. I never took Mande. Does that mean I haven’t made the most of my college years? As an eager freshman, I told myself I would do all these random “must do before you graduate” things one day.

This quarter-life crisis caused me to wonder what it really means to make the most of your college experience. Obviously, this answer is going to be different for each person. But, I do know that it actually doesn’t have anything to do with an arbitrary list of activities. Continue Reading

Senior Send-off: On growing up

Then + Now... yeah, I'm one of those "same face in every picture" people

Then + Now… yeah, I’m one of those “same face in every picture” people

When I first got to Brown in September 2009, I was lacking all kinds of life experience. Never been kissed. Never been drunk. Never gotten anything less than a B+ in a class (screw you too, AP Euro). I can say with confidence that none of those statements apply to me anymore (screw you too, Math 35). Milestones aside, though, it’s kind of astonishing to look back and see just how far I’ve come. At the start of my freshman year, I may as well have been thirteen years old for my lack of maturity. Now, well, I probably don’t always fit my parents’ definition of how a 22-year-old should act, but I’m pretty sure I at least match Taylor Swift’s.

The thought of graduating and entering the “real world” is terrifying. I’m one of the lucky ones with a cushion under me, what with my moving back home and going to grad school and all, and it’s still scary. I’m not going to have to deal with broken appliances in some crappy apartment and I’m not futilely searching for jobs, yet I’m still fighting the urge to look at May 26th like the Mayans were off by five months and the world as I know it will end. Continue Reading

Senior Send-off: My time at Brown, in GIF form

I’ve been webmaster for BlogDailyHerald since midway through my freshman year. In all that time I’ve written a grand total of zero posts, preferring instead to focus on behind the scenes technology work. Now, as a soon-to-graduate senior, I’m lucky enough to have a kick-ass successor who has taken on all of my Blog related responsibilities and somehow still finds time to write fantastic posts. But through a combination of peer pressure and procrastination I’ve been given one last job to do: write my first and only post for Blog.

In keeping with my love of the Internet and all things technological, I’m going to leave the eloquent, well-written posts for the other seniors to write. This post chronicles my time at Brown in the best way I know how: with animated GIFs and photos of cats.

Freshman Year

Meeting people in Keeney (Unit 3!) for the first time:


Writing my first essays in college:
937 Continue Reading

Senior Send-off: Being OK with being confused

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Then + Now

“What are you doing after you graduate?”

Those terrible, terrible words. I give the curious friend / acquaintance a passable answer. I try to change the subject. What am I doing after I graduate? The jobs I casually applied for rejected me. Living with my mom in NYC is much cheaper than finding my own apartment, (evidence: this tumblr is terrifying). What do you even do with a history degree? Were those econ majors and math majors right all along!?!?? But then I calm down. I remember the most valuable thing I’ve learned at Brown: Uncertainty should be embraced. Uncertainty is natural.

I used to have it all wrong. When I was in high school I kept my head down and powered through SATs to gain entrance to my *perfect* school. After a year I hated it, so I agonized over my almost-perfect-but-not GPA and sent off a flurry of transfer applications. I almost went to Columbia since I didn’t think Brown was “academic enough,” or so I posted on College Confidential. (My friends found this post two years ago and have never stopped making fun of me since, for very very good reason. No, I won’t post the link.) My main motivation was moving up that next rung on the meritocracy ladder. Even as I told myself that these artificial markers, like grades and enrollment at an Ivy League school, didn’t matter — I deeply cared. I really believed there was only one way to be successful. I was very unhappy. Continue Reading

(Guest) Senior Send-off: How I ended up taking all my classes S/NC

Guest post written by Lilly Mirviss ’12 

1. Embrace Your Learning Style

I am a senior geology-biology concentrator, but I’ve never considered myself to be someone who does science. Don’t get me wrong, I love science. Geeking out about the ferrous wheel in limnology is one of my favorite pastimes. But I find details excruciating. I can never remember the carbon cycle. Or the nitrogen cycle. Or any cycle. I would much rather write a paper than take a test. Problem sets are not my friends. And to top it all off, I hate research.

This final realization led me away from science and instead towards the world of energy policy. While interning at the California Energy Commission last summer, I fell in love with the world of beautiful battery charger standards and sexy solar siting cases, and I saw a clear niche where I could apply my interest in science on a larger scale than a fume hood and soil samples. By understanding both the science and policy perspectives, I could function as a translator between policy makers and engineers, bridging the gap between two worlds that excited, motivated, and challenged me.

By taking all of my classes pass/fail, I have been able to apply my science-policy intersection brain to my hard science classes, embracing my learning strengths no matter how much they differ from the traditional science learning style. Pass/fail encourages me to learn how I learn best.

2. Discover What Motivates You

Though I wish I could take credit, the 100% Pass/Fail idea was actually my parents’.

When I first arrived at Brown, I joined the crowd of passionate students who continued intellectual debates even after class was over. Coming to Brown was about expanding my academic horizons as I endlessly explored new subjects like modern culture and media. My love of learning pushed me to do well, overcoming my focus on percentages. However, as exams and papers took over my semesters, I began learning material solely for the purpose of doing well on the test.

Of course I thought my parents were crazy. Sure, I go to Brown, but come on. My parents pointed out how I had lost track of my ideals since I first arrived here, how my love of learning had been replaced by stress and frustration, and how I had lost touch with my main reason for choosing Brown in the first place: to learn for the sake of learning.

It was my junior year at Brown, and with that, I decided to take the rest of my classes in college pass/fail. Continue Reading