How to interact with your freshman year unit after freshman year



If you were once a freshman, you are probably (hopefully) aware of the concept of a “unit.” By definition, a unit consists of everybody who lives on a floor together. In reality, it’s so much more than that…or at least for some of us. As you may have realized through comparisons with your friends, not everyone has quite the same unit experience.

Ultimately, every unit in Brown’s history fits into one of two categories. Type one unit members can be found in their floor’s makeshift lounge on a Saturday night, sitting in a circle around their RPL’s laptop watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. They’re all on the same episode because they coordinate times to watch in their unit GroupMe. They also won Unit Wars, and brag about it more than you might expect. If this describes your first-year experience, congratulations. Close this article and go message the GroupMe.

If this did not describe your unit experience, you were probably in a type two unit. If you walked down this hall, you’d find every door closed. Your RPLs almost certainly never knew your name, and while you were close with your roommate and a couple of girls down the hall, the majority of your unit relationships could best be described as “acquaintance you often brushed your teeth next to and would give a friendly nod to when you passed them in their towel at an awkwardly close proximity because damn the hallways in Keeney are narrow but then you’d quickly look down at the floor because they kind of had good abs and it made you uncomfortable.”

Flash forward to present day—you’re no longer a freshman (phew). You see your old tooth-brushing acquaintance enter your 300-person lecture and look right at you. Panic sets in. What are you supposed to do?!

Fear not—I’m here to guide you through this exact moment. Here are your options:

Option 1: The Extrovert – Put a huge smile on your face and give them an ecstatic wave. Pat the open seat next to you welcomingly. They’ll spend the next fifty minutes feeling the perfect mix of discomfort and guilt, racking their brain for the details of your deep friendship that they have apparently forgotten.

Option 2: The Intellectual – Furrow your brow and grimace at the wall behind them, becoming lost in thought about how to end global warming or mentally calculating how much money you’re losing on meal plan. They’ll think you’re sophisticated and won’t disturb you.

Option 3: The Party Animal – Last night was a late night (in The Rock…). Act like it! Use this opportunity to catch a moment of shut-eye. Be sure to remain asleep for the rest of the class in case they look at you again.

Option 4: The Flirt – Make intense eye contact (maybe even wink a couple times) until they either a) become really creeped out and never dare look at you again, or b) fall deeply in love with you.

Option 5: Reality – Immediately pack up your stuff and sprint straight out of class. You’ll watch the lecture-capture later.


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