15 Things I Came to Know, In Order of Appearance



  1. What’s in a name? At Brown, nothing. Here, we refer to everything by a nickname (I’m looking at you, my beloved Ratty) or an acronym (the ubiquitous and oft-abused PLME is here called out). All visitors and newcomers be forewarned, this is where Google will fail you.
  2. My time is entirely my own and that is terrifying. Thanks to the open curriculum, literally everything I do in the course of a day is technically something I chose to do. This haunts me.
  3. Kung Fu Tea on Waterman Street has superior bubble tea. Tealuxe is 100% scamming you on this front.
  4. It will take some time to find where and how you work best – it did for me – and other peoples’ preferences should not pressure you. I personally need some ambient noise, so libraries freak me out.
  5. There are ways that loneliness can surprise you. Last semester I was in a show, and I realized suddenly that there was no one I felt comfortable asking to run lines with me. The sudden realizations of solitude that characterize first semester freshman year come along in strange moments.
  6. There are ways that love can surprise you. It can also appear in the strangest of places, strangest of ways.
  7. The main things to learn are qualitative and not quantitative, and that can make measuring progress more difficult than in the past.
  8. The Ivy Room is a gift and you should treat yourself to the quiet goodness that is Ivy Room lunch at least once a month, regardless of your worries about spending flex points.
  9. A good umbrella is a worthwhile investment.
  10. Everyone here is special. It sounds like such a cliché but it is so true. I have entirely lost count of the number of times I have seen a friend reveal yet another talent or interest. It can be overwhelming at times, and intimidating, but ultimately it’s the best thing about this place. And you are included in that “everyone,” which you can’t forget.
  11. Gala is really for upperclassmen. You can go if you want but it might be a little awkward.
  12. People can be shitty and entitled and messy, and just saying “thank you” to the people who keep this campus beautiful for us isn’t enough. Do your part. Clean up things you spill, and drop, and break; know that the security guard under Faunce Arch has been there since 3:45 p.m. and will stay until 1:45 a.m.
  13. Providence is a beautiful city and deserves to be wandered through. North of campus the streets thin; there are playgrounds and fields and prep schools. East there is a park, with real trails that snail through real woods. South there is a long walk through colorful historic homes to the lip of the city which is, at night, lit by lamps and passing cars. To the west there are buildings, a canal, a grid of empty spaces and impossible architecture, small but grand. Walk.
  14. Book buy-back will always leave you with a disappointing amount of money.
  15. Definitions widen for many words, but for these in particular: Family. Home.


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