My 17th birthday was unlike any other birthday I've ever had. I usually spend it at home with a bunch of family and eat cake or go out, but today I spent it in school. It may not sound ideal, but Brown University is actually not a bad place to spend your special day.
I was still in bed half asleep when my roommate Sara finally arrived, so I didn't get to meet her right away. I just got up my bed with the sight of luggage bags and a faint memory of hearing someone entering and chattering. After procrastinating for a while to get up, I finally started getting ready around 10:00 AM. I really wanted to meet my roommate then but she had already left the room. My cohort wasn't planning on meeting up until 1:50 PM to attend the Orientation, so I decided to go get some food at the dining hall. On my way there, I saw and met up with Komal and Krystal, so we went together to the Sharpe Refectory, also known as the Ratty.
We were pretty excited to go check out what foods they had and if anyone else was eating in there too. When we got inside, we swiped our Brown ID cards at the entrance of the dining then walked around taking in the whole environment. There were many tables and chairs around the whole place and all the foods were in the center. There was a lot of different type of food, like salads, bread, cereal and meat. I took a croissant, a pizza, some pasta and some cereal. There were also a lot of free drinks like tea, coffee, soda and water.
I sat down at these tables with Krystal, Komal, Bailey, Lynda and Ariel. Bailey and Lynda met Ariel from their dorm and introduced her to us. She is from Los Angeles, California. While we were all chatting, a funny thing we discovered was that people near UC Berkeley want to go to UCLA while people near UCLA want to go to UC Berkeley. I think this trend happens because a lot of students want to go out there and experience an independent college life away from home. Going to Brown is definitely helping a lot by giving us a sneak peak on living in a college campus away from home.
|Komal and I at the Ratty|
After brunch, we returned to our dorms to do a little bit of work with our pictures. I was in Komal's room with Krystal. Komal's roommate had arrived by then hence the belongings on their side of the room, but she wasn't present inside the room. She was also excited to meet her roommate. I'm very sure all of us that got one were happy to meet them. Later on in the day when I went to my room with Krystal to get my Brown jacket so we could take creative group pictures with out cohort, my roommate Sara came inside with her brother. Apparently, she's Colombian and just came back from Spain. Both Krystal and I were very excited to meet them. I'm really starting to see how diverse this university is.
|Brown is pretty.|
|Girls just want to have fun|
Before our orientation which started at 3:00 PM, I cooled down under a tree with Komal, Krystal and Camila. Soon, my cohort met up and we took some interesting photos at the Van Wickle Gates. The final product is not finished yet, but it will be pretty interesting and funny.
The orientation soon finally started in Salomon Hall and we sat near the front together. It was very crowded in there but we went through all the rules at Brown, introductions of the RA's and safety. I loved the guys who presented the orientation because they were very lively and energetic. The people at Brown really make you feel like you belong and are important.
When the orientation ended, I went out to look for my RA Sidney's group. Many girls from my floor were there and we got the opportunity to play icebreakers and name games in the Main Green. The first game required us to say our name and do a movement, then repeat other introductions of people in the group. It was a little awkward at first because almost all of us literally just met and forgot a lot of people's names after the first round, but it was really funny and helped with learning each other's names. The next game had half of the girls in an inner circle and the other half in the outer circle. I was in the inner circle and we had to talk to the person in front of us about a selected topic by the RA. These were topics such as favorite foods, movies and traveling. After every minute, the inner circle would rotate and talk to the next person. I really enjoyed this game because I got to know the girls more. I met girls from places like Germany, New York, Hong Kong and Boston. They were all very friendly and had nice senses of humor, so I had a lot of fun and I'm definitely looking forward to meeting more people and getting to know more about them.
We then got a tour around Brown. We passed by the dorms, the art tree with a rock in it, the libraries, the bookstore and many more buildings. It was nice seeing everything, but I honestly still feel like I would get lost because it seems like almost every building looks like it's made out of bricks here. I know I'll be fine though because I have people I can go around the university with.
At around 5:00 PM, we went to the Ratty to eat dinner. While we were walking there, I met two girls named Fern and Sachi. They are from Michigan and New York, respectively. They are also taking Women and Leadership.
|The ice cream at the Ratty is great.|
I got to talk to them more about our time here at Brown inside the Ratty while eating our food. More girls from our floor joined our tables together so we had one big table of us. I got to know Fern, Sachi and Jacqueline really well. I told them about the Ivy League Connection and how ILCers have almost everything paid for, and they were impressed because they either have to pay or use different scholarships. They are fun people to talk to and we even exchanged social media info. I really can't wait to meet more people tomorrow in my Women and Leadership class or just anywhere in Brown.
|Fern, me, Sachi, Jacqueline|
At 7:00 PM, I went with my new friends to the activity fair to check out all the different organizations and clubs they have. They have things from Running Club to Critical Thinking, which I thought was awesome. I signed up for an East Asian organization because I haven't been in one since middle school. I'm definitely going to check more activities out with the guidebook later on.
|The lively activity fair|
We all sat down together and chatted more while I also introduced Komal to them. Sachi told us that her school has eight floors, escalators, and a bridge, which I thought was incredible. Why don't we have that? I said jokingly. Fern from Michigan also told us about how her school was in a rural area with mostly white people. It really is something else getting to learn about all these different areas in the world and how different it is from home.
The girls in my cohort and I met to rent our box fans in Wayland House. While we were waiting for it to open up, we met a guy named Ryan from Atlanta who was also renting a fan. He was pretty interesting and went to Brown alone and he seems to be doing quite well.
The mandatory floor meeting started at 9:00 PM with all the girls in my floor at the lounge. The RAs, Sidney and Skenda, told us more things about dorm rules and safety. We also played another more serious game in which we paired up with someone we haven't met before and take turns answering three questions one minute each. The questions were: Who do you think you are? Who do you want to be? and Who do you pretend to be? I was paired up with Linda from China and it was actually somewhat difficult talking about ourselves for a few minutes because I feel like sometimes we don't really know ourselves. This exercise however helped us to step out of our comfort zones and I enjoyed digging deep into my conscious and extracting things about my personality then learning about my partner as well.
Overall, today was a very long day packed with information and meeting new people. Tomorrow in the first day of class, I hope we'll all have fun and learn a lot of new things and become closer with all the other friendly people we are experiencing Summer at Brown with.