Hello, Brown!

There are two types of students in the world: those who are excited about the start of fall semester and those who are not. Luckily, we go to a school full of the former category, and most of the time the actual excuse for this is the love we have for Brown and our fellow Brunonians. But as the semester gets going and we begin to slowly drown in papers and exams, we need something to keep us going, and I'm not talking about coffee. Here are some of the things we are most looking forward to about fall semester.

His holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet lecture: I would call us a fortunate student body for various reasons, this being one of them. No speaker could be more appropriate for visiting Providence than the Dalai Lama himself. We have a student body that is constantly fighting for the rights of others, constantly manifesting their opinions on what is wrong with our planet, be it through green initiatives or projects and demonstrations to protect animals and workers. As a Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Dalai Lama represents a desire that seems to be engrained in the Brown community, the desire for a better world. Those lucky enough to have gotten a ticket know that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not only do we get to attend at no cost, but also we were given the opportunity to get tickets before the greater Providence community did. Most people would give everything for the chance to hear him speak in person, not to mention the Tibetans, who have seen their great leader exiled and are constantly fighting for his return.

Fall: If you look outside your window, you might notice that the trees have begun changing their colors. Although some of us might not be looking forward for the moment when the trees have lost their leaves, which is the inevitable next step, there is something peaceful about the different shades of orange and red that are coloring our campus. We are at that point before the real cold begins, when we get to pull out our sweaters and scarves without having to hide them under huge jackets. There is soon to be an outbreak of pumpkin flavored foods, from pumpkin lattes to cheesecakes, muffins, and soups. And we are at that point where it is not unbearably hot, but neither unbearably cold, and afternoons on the green are still a possibility. But more than that, the leaves that have already fallen are beginning to pile up on the sidewalks, in that perfectly crunchy state that makes it so satisfying to step on.

Halloween: We all know that Brown students like to "go big or go home", and nothing makes that motto truer than Halloween, or as we like to call it Hallo-week. The list of parties and events that will begin happening on the weekend before Wednesday October 31, is beginning to grow. The elaborate plans for costumes for the different on and off campus parties have begun in most people's minds. Some have even begun collecting various articles of clothing to put together in one fantastic outfit. This week is not only an excuse for students to get drunk and party like there is no tomorrow, but it also an excuse to get creative. I have seen everything from Avatars to animals to weird hats and gory makeup. Halloween is the perfect excuse to 1) wear a too revealing outfit and it be ok and 2) let that inner child come out once again and dress up as your favorite Disney character and get a round of high fives. During this week, there is not outfit that is too crazy, too childish, or too ridiculous, unless you go to a Halloween party dressed as yourself.

A real winter: Last year's winter was out of the ordinary. Call it good luck or an unfortunate turn of events, it was definitely not the way winter was supposed to happen. A more-rain-than-snow snowfall on Halloween weekend and another snowfall that lasted a day during second semester should not count as an honest Northeastern winter. Although there were other moments of snow during winter break, for those of us who do not live in or near Providence, we didn’t get to experience the winter. But there is hope that this year will be different. Some people believe that because we had such a mild winter last year, this winter is going to come at us with full-fledged force. Although there is a little fear about how strong the winter will be, we are definitely looking forward to the nights of, hopefully, curling up in bed with a hot beverage or ridiculous amounts of cuddling, not to mention seeing our campus covered in fresh fluffy snow.

SPG: This seems like an over-talked topic, but there is always excitement about the upcoming party. Sure, this party might have given our school a questionable reputation, but we all know that when it comes down to it there is no way it is every going to stop happening. Most freshmen are looking forward to this party because of everything they have heard about it, the craziness and intenseness they think awaits. Most of them will go their first year and never go back. But there is always that group of people that look forward to it because they know what it is about and not because they want to prove all of the myths about SPG right. But SPG represents more than just a crazy party, it represents the Brown community in a sense. It proves that we are open-minded, that we don’t judge others because of their sexual orientation or their desires. SPG stands for what most students come to learn is unique about Brown, and it is for the freedom to be whoever you want to be and still fit in, even when all those around you are different.

More events will keep popping up as time passes. More impromptu parties and movie screenings, more interesting lectures and talks will be scheduled and we will keep being excited about dropping our homework and getting involved in campus events. But that is the beauty about studying at Brown, we always think we know what our plans are, and in the end, whatever we do just turns out to be better than what we thought.