Monday, June 18, 2012

Checking in Brown

What an exciting day! As I woke up on Sunday morning, my tiredness was erased when I remembered that we would finally be heading to Brown—the main event.

Home sweet home for the next three weeks
Brown was only about five minutes from the hotel and the rest of downtown Providence. Looking at my map, the campus looks sprawled out but open and accessible. Upon arriving we unloaded our bags and entered the spacious Lincoln Field receiving a warm welcome from the  Summer@Brown staff. We checked in our luggage and checked in ourselves at Sayles Hall, receiving a much-needed map, Brown ID, and dorm keys. Then we grabbed our bags back and proceeded towards the dorms. Nick, Taylor, David, Kelly, and I are all situated in the Graduate Centers, while Emily is the only one in Olney House.

I’m glad that they provided exact directions to the dorms, because with my terrible sense of direction I probably would’ve been scrambling around for forever. Inside, much to my dismay I found out that my room was on the 6th (the highest) floor in the building—with no elevator, and that I had to wrestle my 50-pounder up all the way. I was greeted by my RA, Donald, who assisted me in checking into my room. I was somewhat let down to see that I wouldn’t be sharing with a roommate. After all, I always thought of it as one of the unique and necessary things of college life. Of course, both options have their own advantages and disadvantages. The way it is, all I have to worry about is myself, but it does start to feel isolated after a while, although we still interact a lot among floor-mates. I’m glad I can get a taste of what dorm life is like before college.

Leaving my stuff still in its packed form, I quickly met up with the rest of my cohort, and we walked back to Lincoln Field, where we caught one of the ongoing campus tours. We learned a lot of what we needed to know about campus—study hotspots, where to find information, and some fun facts about traditions such as the curse of the Van Wickle Gates.  The tour was followed by the parent-student orientation in the Stephen Roberts Campus Center.
Our first tour of Brown
The cursed Van Wickle Gate: walking through more than twice means no graduation for males and no marriage for females
Brown Bookstore: one-stop shop for anything
We had some free time after that. We took a group photo and went to the renowned Thayer Street. After hearing how popular it was, I could hardly wait to check it out. Thayer spans the whole campus, and is home to various and ethnically diverse shops and restaurants, similar in a way to downtown Berkeley. We visited the Brown Bookshop, which stocks virtually everything a college student might need, from clothing to dorm and school supplies, and of course, books! Our purpose there was to purchase textbooks, located downstairs. The Macroeconomics book was thin and colorful with plenty of pictures compared to the thick, heavy DNA Science book with plenty of complex diagrams and black-and-white photographs. So obviously, I chose the latter. With that order of business complete, we found a burger restaurant close by to spend our final meal with the whole cohort together. Unfortunately, Mr. Crosby had to leave later that afternoon for his flight back home. I’d like to thank him for being a great driver and chaperone for the past week and putting up with us. We will miss his travel tips.  

I'm a star!
Once the chaperones departed, we were truly on our own. Everyone returned to their separate dorms, and I began to unpack. Only a short while later I remembered with a jolt that student orientation was at 3 PM. I rushed back to the same auditorium where the earlier orientation had been held. This time, only students were at the meeting, with all parents having left now. It was basically a review of what the earlier tours and session had covered, but ended with a gathering between each dorm floor and its respective RA. The 6th floor of Grad Center A turned out to be significantly smaller than most others with only about ten members. To break the ice in the new group, we participated in some fun and silly group activities before departing on another tour, this time led by our RA Donald, a current undergraduate from Sierra Leone. He gave more in-depth commentary on campus life and also answered any questions we might’ve had. We ended by checking into the Verney-Wooley (VDubb) Dining Hall. The food in the hall was… just average, nothing special, like the Brown alums had told me. After dinner we had some time to unwind before the ice cream social, where I got to meet a huge and diverse population of students and everyone got to mingle and interact, although it was too bad I wasn’t able to meet any of my classmates for the DNA/Biotech course.

Ever since I’ve been accepted to the ILC, I’ve been told that I would be faced with greater levels of freedom and responsibility than ever. Now I’m starting to realize just what that means as there isn’t anybody here to guide or tell me what to do and when to do it—I only have myself for that from now on. Right now I feel just a bit cautious about this strange new sense of freedom, but as I acclimate to the new life here I will begin to reach out to the abundance of opportunities around me.

I can't wait to spend the summer here!
My mood at the moment
In conclusion, I’m truly grateful and overjoyed that we’ve finally made it to Brown. With so much to explore on campus I can only wonder at what the next three weeks might hold. I’m ready to find my own path here at Brown and transition into a whole new chapter of the journey. In the past few days I’ve learned so much about Ivy League schools and college life and I’m prepared to apply all of it into the next three weeks—the challenge that awaits us. Now we are back in school and Summer@Brown is officially in session!

1 comment:

  1. Why does your room looked like it’s been lived in? Stuff strewn about and an unmade bed? All you need is a bunch of junk on the floor and a messy desk and it would resemble my own house.

    It’s too bad that you don’t have a rommie. As you mentioned, there are pros and cons to this. At least you have plenty of room to spread out but sharing things with others is always nice. The nice thing about dormitory living is that you have an opportunity to mingle and hang out with others in a much more collegiate fashion. It’s not like living in an apartment where everyone’s apartment is a separate domicile. In a dorm it’s like you all live in the same apartment but different rooms.

    Keep up the commentary about dorm life and how things go in the dining commons.