8 Tips Before Coming to College Hill

Coming to college, a new school in a new place, can feel daunting. But, starting the college journey is one of the most exciting parts of the process. Now that you’re here, it’s time to reap all of the benefits that Brown and Providence have to offer. Here are some tips to help navigate this seemingly intimidating transition so that you can take full advantage of the incredible decision to come to Brown. 

  1. It’s okay if shopping period seems stressful. By nature it is chaotic, which allows students to pretty much ‘shop’ any class they want within the first two weeks of a semester. You can shop as many classes as you want per day, and given the abundance of exciting classes, it can feel overwhelming to stay on top of each class’s workload. When the semester starts you’ll only be taking around four classes, so everything slows down. And, if you know which classes you plan to take, you don’t have to shop extemporary ones (though those are often the most compelling). 

  2. Take a first year seminar–even if the subject matter isn’t your first choice. The comfortable and intimate environment is unparalleled, enabling one on one attention from professors and the opportunity to meet new freshmen students. Taking a class S/NC (pass/fail) is also always an option if the FYS or any other class seems intimidating. 

  3. Attend the activities fair, sign up for clubs and attend at least two club meetings. It’s a great opportunity to meet people, even if you ultimately decide that the clubs aren’t for you.

  4. It’s okay to not be best friends with your roommate; it’s better to live happily together than to force a friendship.

  5. Take advantage of RISD. Go to the RISD museum, study and get an espresso or matcha tonic or avocado or fruit toast at the RISD cafe called Bolt. Also be sure to take a trip to the RISD beach in Barrington, Rhode Island at least once before graduating.

  6. Go beyond College Hill. From walking around Wickenden square, eating Italian food in downtown Providence and Lime scootering to PVDonuts, Providence has so much to offer. Though Providence is known for it’s delicious food, watching the water fire or Jump biking through East Bay Bike path are also fun activities. 

  7. Find your favorite study spot. Each library has a different persona and if libraries aren’t your thing, there are plenty of lounges and alternative work spaces. Generally speaking, the John Hay Library is the most beautiful and quiet, the Rock is the most social and typical library, and the Sci Li has STEM vibes but a variety of study spaces within. Besides libraries, Emwool and grad center lounges are great in the winter given their warm fireplaces and typically quiet atmospheres. And, Watson is a beautiful, open quiet space with tables and rooms to get work done.

  8. Do something different. That can manifest in a number of ways for everyone, but college is probably the best place and time to try a new language, sport, subject or club to discover real interests and new passions.