- Class: Sophomore
- Major: International Relations
- Gender: M
- High School: Elizabeth High School: Upper Academy
- Transfer Student: N
Brown has been noted to be the more "liberal Ivy" out of the other higher profile Ivy League schools, and I find that to be true! While there are always people with more conservative leanings, the general consensus tends to revolve around having a liberal outlook. Even with this, both outlooks exist together in harmony, seeing as the vast majority of Brown students tend to be very relaxed and tolerant when it comes to such ideas. Brown is also a nice-sized university in a large town, while paradoxically having a "bubble-like" feel. It becomes very obvious once you leave the bubble of the Brown campus, but having the mall, the train station, and other amenities and pros around you makes it difficult, not that you'd always want to leave! There are a couple other universities in the Providence area, most notably RISD (a high profile art university) which lies RIGHT next door to the Brown campus (in fact, Brown and RISD have cross-registration, where students are able to take some classes irrespective of their universitiy). There's always something to do at Brown - on the weekends, there's always a party one can attend to. On the weekdays, a myriad of lectures and movies screenings, among other activities also take place. One can never truly get bored on the Brown campus! Although Brown isn't a Harvard or a Princeton (meaning it's not as immediately recognizable), it's still very widely known and even more so respected. After getting accepted there, my favorite reactions have come from doctors (especially!) and even some store clerks. However, there's always that weird reaction once can get, asking you if Brown is in New York City (no! It's in RI!). Brown's administration is highly praised. If anything, Brown's current president, Ruth Simmons, is an icon! A vast majority of students approve of her decisions and she holds a very high popularity rating. Likewise, her administration are equally loved, but are less heard of than "Ruth" ("That's so Ruth!" is a Brown inside joke). The most frequent student complaints, however, are probably the student dorms and the cafeteria food. Personally, I'm not a picky person, but others might not particularly find the dorm buildings themselves and the food the greatest thing at Brown. Most students complain about some (not all) of the old buildings, such as Keeney, and some of the more cramped residential halls like Grad Center, but all in all, it's not as bad as they say. The rooms are ample and sufficient, and the facilities are kept clean regularly. It all depends on the people you live with, really. As for the food, don't expect five star ratings. The main cafeteria, the Sharpe Refectory, holds several different lines of food (vegetarian, meat, etc.) and there's a large variety of thing to choose from. The other one, the Verney-Woolley Dining Hall, has more of a specialized meal choice. People complain, but it can get repetitive, boring, and even bland.
Being an Ivy League college, Brown's academics are one of the highest in the country. Although there's always a boring class or an "uninteresting topic" everywhere, Brown does have a lot of popular professors. The neuroscience professors, in particular, I've learned, have been really popular amongst their students, as is a political science teacher for City Politics and an economics professor (who is blind, but, I hear, quite effective and funny!). Students are always very active in class and are rarely afraid to ask questions or make funny remarks or interesting statements. In the larger classes, it's difficult for teachers to really form a relationship with their students, but in smaller classes, that rarely exists. Students are not competitive in the sense that they try to outdo each other. It's hard to get in, and getting in is obviously an accomplishment - no easy feat. Students understand that and respect each other. Brown has NO core curriculum, which it emphasizes by letting its student body choose the classes and follow the interests that one wants to pursue. Academic requirements all differ across the array of concentrations, but most are possible if starting in the second or even third year, giving you a chance to explore your interests and try out new things the first year or so. It's a liberating feeling!
Like mentioned before, the student body at Brown is very into community service and causes. It's never rare to see people joining several clubs, attending multiple meetings, and helping around the community tutoring, teaching, and fund-raising, among other things. Brown students are also very tolerant. Race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, socio-economic statuses, and disabilities aside, Brown students come first as Brown students. Everyone is committed to something, but discrimination due to any affiliation or status is not one of them. Because of that, Brown's student body is extremely diverse; in my class, besides the United States, some 60+ countries are represented internationally.
The Best Things
The Worst Things
The housing lottery for second-year and above dorming is REALLY stressful! The food and the dorm buildings themselves might go second and third...