Hi everyone, how are you all doing?
If you’ve been following this blog, you might recognize me from my blogposts months ago. After spending roughly 1.5 years at Green River, I finally transferred to my dream school: Brown University. I have been here for nearly a month now, and if I have to be completely honest, I miss Green River a lot! That’s not to say that I don’t like Brown—no, that’s definitely not the case. I love Brown to bits. It’s just that transferring is kind of like starting a new life in general: you have to make new friends and adjust to a completely different environment, and it all takes some time. I am having quite a good time here though, and I would love to share my experience at Brown with all of you guys.
A lot of people have been asking me, how’s life at Brown? Well, here’s some stuff I thought you should know about Brown:
1. Brown is really diverse. And by diverse, I mean like, really diverse. I can guarantee that you’ll meet people from different races, different countries, and different walks of life.
2. The Open Curriculum and focus on undergrads is legit guys.With the exception for the concentration requirements (for example, I need to take exactly 2 Math courses and 9 CS courses to get an AB degree in Computer Science), Brown students are literally in charge of their own education. I’ve heard some of my friends complain that they need to take classes they have no interest at all in, just to fulfill the general education requirement, but luckily, I won’t ever have that problem! Plus, even if I did need to take general education classes, I would have already taken them back at Green River.
3. Going off of number 2, there are no limits whatsoever as to how many classes you can take pass/fail. Brown students typically do not abuse this freedom, and students typically use the S/NC (stands for Satisfactory/No Credit; Brown’s term for pass/fail) option when they want to explore a whole new field that they’re interested in.
4. Brunonians are driven, smart, intellectually curious and happy individuals. About 50% of the students here were either valedictorians or salutatorians back at their high school, and the majority of students were very active in high school. As a consequence of the Open Curriculum, students here get the chance to explore a lot of different departments, and what I find is that Brunonians learn for the sake of learning—they are genuinely interested in the topic being taught, which is good, because it creates a very conducive learning environment. Oh, and also, Brown was rated as the Happiest College in the US!
5. The campus size is just right. The campus is not too big and not too small; it will take you around 5-10 minutes to get from one class to another. We have a total of 8,500 students at Brown, and 6,000 of them are undergrads. I’d say this number is not too big yet not too small—a lot of people have said that Brown is big enough that you can always make new friends, yet small enough that when you walk from one side of campus to another, you’ll always meet someone you know. Oh, not to mention the fact that the people here are incredibly nice.
6. There’s lots of stuff to do. Every morning I check my email and I get this thing called the ‘Brown Morning Mail’ and it lists all the different workshops and talks for the day, the different volunteer opportunities and of course club events. There’s always something going on during the week.
7. Awesome and famous professors. Have you ever watched Toy Story? The boy ‘Andy’ who owns the toys was named after Professor Andries van Dam, a CS professor at Brown. A lot of the CS graduates go on to work at well known companies like Pixar, and as a way of saying thank you, they named the character after him. The professors in general are really approachable. Last week I told my professor that I’m not confident enough with my programming skills, so he told me to come to his office and I ended up spending an hour discussing the programming language Python. Also, I just find it really cool that the textbook I’m using in class is written by the professor!
8. Brown has a pretty strategic location. It’s only an hour train ride to Boston, and a 3 hour drive to New York.
9. Classes are generally challenging. If you intend to transfer to Brown, be prepared to spend at least five hours studying each day. The library is nearly always filled with students working on assignments.
10. The greek life isn’t too big here.
I’d say that Brown’s number one strength or asset is its quirkiness. It’s a top-tier university, yet the experience you would get here is like no other.