- Class: Senior
- Major: Other
- Gender: F
- High School:
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about Brown is the people. Most of the learning here REALLY does take place outside the classroom. The first semester I came to Brown from Turkey, I was terribly sad to leave all my good friends behind. I counted the days left to go back and see them. Soon, the situation turned completely around. I now have a huge group of friends here and I prefer spending time with them than the ones back home. The time we are all at Brown is crucial in terms of becoming adults and maturing up, and the friends you make here are so different than the ones you make in high school. I have spent sleepless nights, having enlightening discussions with friends. One thing I would immediately change would be to bring need-blind financial aid for international students. The international student body is geographically very diverse but not so economically. I have even read articles claiming that Brown is the "mating ground" for Eurotrash jet-setters. The size is just right. Big enough that there is someone new to meet every day, and small enough that it's unavoidable to run into your drunken hookup the next day in the dining hall. When I'm walking to class, oftentimes I end up being late because I know so many people. And I'm not an exception. If you make a little bit of an effort, people are so open here that they will force their friendship on you. Well, most people in back home in Turkey only know "Harvirt","Yeyl" and "Prinstin." But people are starting to know Brown and more people seem impressed when I say I go to Brown every year. In the States, most people are impressed,but some think that Brown is a joke. Especially when they hear that I'm a History of Art major, they tend to roll their eyes and say, "Oh...". I spend most my time in Buxton International House, the dorm in which I live. It's pretty awesome, we have 60 people living here -half of them internationals, half of them Americans. Though people think we're all snobs - it is the friendliest dorm on campus if you're living in it. It's like my second home here. We throw parties, chill in each other's rooms, cook dinners in the kitchen, order wings and watch the Super Bowl together...It's awesome! College Town for sure. Even though there is Thayer Street which is amazing in the Spring and Summer, and there are a few clubs downtown, the city doesn't offer much. So people spend a lot of time on campus, and house parties are pretty popular. I'd say administration is pretty open-minded and care about our thoughts. Their biggest problem is that they don't have much money to do what we ask for - Brown has a tiny endowment compared to most Ivy Leagues. Gender neutral bathrooms were quite a huge deal recently. As far as I remember, "Sex Power God", when it was on The O'Reilly Factor" was the biggest public scandal. A reporter from Fox News sneaked into the Queer Alliance party with a camera and recorded semi- naked students dancing in a University Hall. Parents and administration freaked out, naturally. There is not a lot of school "pride" but there is a lot of school "love". Students here love their school, love president Ruth Simmons and love everything the school stands for. However, the school does not try to associate itself with its elitist ivy league background. Nobody knows the Alma Mater and we don't have special handshakes, but we all LOVE LOVE LOVE our school. One experience I'll always remember is one that I can't talk about in full detail, but it involved climbing a bell-tower on top of Andrews Hall. There's also the time when I was sitting with one of my closest girlfriends on her desk, our legs hanging down the window during summer. When we noticed that one of our professors was walking down the street below, we started shouting his name and shrieking like monkeys. We were hiding behind her curtains not to be seen - and we almost fell down the windows when we heard him reply back with a monkey sound! And the time when we had a Halloween Party in my dorm. Every single person dressed up and served a special drink with their roommate. We started drinking on the first floor, and by the time we reached the top floor suite, we were all drunk and dancing like crazy. And many more that I can't even remember right now. The most student complaints are about the food in the dining halls, namely the Ratty. It's not that bad really if you learn what's good and what's not. The food is always so deceptive - it looks amazing but most the time you don't even know what you're eating!
Depends on the type of classes you take. If it's a huge lecture class, the professor won't usually know your name unless you make the time to go to his/her office hours. Because I take a lot of small classes in Art History and Creative Nonfiction, almost all my professors know my name. I have pretty close relationships with all of them, and I will go to their office hours even years after I've taken a class with them just to chat. They are all so amazing, and they love talking with students. I have so many favorite professors - one of them is in the Art History department, he teaches introduction to Art History along with many other Art History classes. I decided to major in Art History after taking his class - I fell in love with the subject. I would always go and sit in the front row and forget about the outside world listening to him. His lectures would take me to another world where I forgot about all my worries. It was almost therapeutic. He is really funny, he makes these jokes that nobody really understands and he laughs by himself. He had these funny gestures and sometimes trips on the cords on the stage. He is the funniest person!!! He is also pretty awkward outside class, but that makes him a wonderful character. Another favorite professor is in the Creative Nonfiction department, he teaches a cultural criticism class. He is a book reviewer for the NY Times and he's won a Pulitzer. He's this really old, gentle and sweet guy - and he breathes out metaphors. My hands would ache after leaving his class because I couldn't stop writing down his beautiful sentences. It was a very challenging class, and it taught me a lot. My professor now invites me over to Boston to have lunch with him! My least favorite class was Experimental Psychology. I thought I was going to major in Psychology when I first came to Brown, and I fulfilled a lot of the requirements - and I loved most of them- until that class. The professor was very sweet, but we had to sit in lab with a rat for three hours and code every single thing the damn animal did. One day I walked out of that class and I knew that I was going to drop Psychology. I loved Social Psychology, but Neuro and Cognitive Psychology were not my thing. Brown students have nothing but intellectual conversations outside of class. Sometimes we sit in the Ratty literally for hours and discuss whether there should be trans gendered bathrooms on campus, or the Bush government, or the Kurds in Turkey, or cultural differences between France and the States... Sometimes we get so into arguments we end up staying up all night and forgetting about work. It is awesome..One thing that sucks is that because most students are liberal here, there is really not much tolerance for conservative ideas. People tend to get pretty hostile at times and most students know if the Republicans on campus by name. I don't think we are competitive here. We challenge ourselves, and do not weigh successes against others. However, because there are no pluses and minuses, getting a B is pretty much the worst you can do in most courses and obviously nobody wants to get a B. But it's not the end of the day when you get one, and by the end of your fourth year your transcript is pretty much sprinkled with them. The liberal arts education at Brown is geared mostly towards learning for its own sake, but it all depends on what major you choose.
People are pretty tolerant and there is a lot of importance placed on being politically correct at all times. You should expect to get an immediate negative response if you say something ignorant during class. The LGBQT society is pretty prominent, and they have some conflict going on with conservative students because of their sexually explicit Sex Power God posters posted all over campus. A conservative student newspaper wrote an article called "femsex sexually harassed me" because they put table slips on the tables at the ratty with pictures of female genitalia..! I think Republicans feel out of place at Brown, as I said before. Students wear anything from PJs to high heels to class. It really depends on the class and major. Most students in Art History take pretty good care of themselves and there is a joke on campus that the prettiest girls are in the Art History Department. However, a lot of people wear sweatpants and sneakers, too. When it gets rainy and snowy during winter, most students stop caring about their looks. However, in the summer, most students dress pretty nicely. I would certainly say students here look very, very good. "No wonder why Brown asks for a photograph in the application.." I don't think they ask for it anymore though. There are four tables in the dining hall: One of them is full of Jocks. They are eating loads of protein and they have loads of colorful drinks on their trays. The other one is a freshmen table, they are still excited about the food- they will learn very soon! They all go and get a bowl of soft serve after their meal, freshmen 15 is starting to take it's toll! On the third table a student is eating by herself and reading the Brown Daily Herald. It is considered very normal to eat breakfast/lunch by one's self. Especially if you go before 11 or after 2, the dining halls are very calm and it's relaxing to eat by yourself. Between 12 and 1, it's a real *** show.
The Best Things
The Worst Things
Weather gets pretty damn cold in the winter.