what have you changed your mind about?
Recall something that you’ve changed your mind about since coming to Brown. What brought that change about?
Let’s see. Plenty. What can I put into words … I changed my mind about the Ratty. I used to hate the Ratty but now I love the Ratty. It’s so much easier than cooking. Going abroad and having to cook for myself changed that. And I guess how I think about cultural appropriation. Coming from Brazil, I didn’t mind if I saw people using things about Brazil. I didn’t care if it was accurate or not—I was just sort of glad that it was being recognized. At Brown, I realized that it can be harmful to other people. It’s more about using someone else’s culture while still marginalizing them. I realized this through talking to other students, and through the heritage series that the BCSC organizes.
-Bruno Zuccolo ‘16
Before I came to Brown, I didn’t know any gay people. I had a lot of stigmas and bad perceptions about them based on where and how I grew up. I made a best friend freshman year, and he completely changed my worldview. My perceptions have changed by expanding my worldview, and I’ve learned to accept people for who they are. It sounds bad, what I thought while growing up, but I would have never known that it was bad before coming to college. And I think it’s good for me to admit. Now I try to share these perspectives with my family and people back home.
– Anonymous ‘16
I come from Mexico. One day I went to a talk on colorism. I realized then that that’s a very big problem in Latin America. It wasn’t until I came to Brown that I recognized that problem back home. I needed to step away from home to notice something that had been happening right in front of me.
-Natalia Moriel ‘18
I used to think that I was special, and that would be enough to get me a high station in life. Then I started taking pre-med classes and saw how hard all the other students worked and how successful they were, and realized that what matters is what you do with your innate aptitude. Then I started thinking I was faking it and didn’t belong here. But, in talking to others who shared the same experience as me, and recognizing their success, I sort of stumbled on this concept of imposter syndrome, which changed my belief about “faking it.”
– Eric Nguyen ‘16
I used to think it was so important—as far as academics go—to have it perfect. To know everything perfectly. But I think while being here I recognized that sometimes enough is enough, and that you can be successful without being the best. I’m not sure when I realized. I saw that the people who were happiest were the ones who were balancing it all, not sacrificing everything for the grade.
-Julia Dewey ‘16
I guess just the way I approach people. I’ve learned to be more patient when it comes to making friends. I came in thinking I would be really happy making just one really good friend but now I’ve broken out of the best friend mentality. I can just enjoy the friends I have and know that I’ll find a best friend eventually.
-Jo-ann Huynh ‘19
One thing I’ve changed my mind about while at Brown is how I feel about people who smoke weed every day. Because I think that it isn’t correlated with ambition, or aptitude for success, or intelligence, or being responsible. Well, maybe not the last one, but for the others, the correlation isn’t as strong as I thought it was. And if anything now, I’m just envious of people who do that every day. I don’t hate so hard.
-Daniel Smith ‘17
My opinions about LGBT issues have changed a lot, both because of Brown and because of the environment of the East Coast in general. Before coming to Brown, I wasn’t against the LGBT community, but it just wasn’t something I cared about. Some people were part of it, but I wasn’t part of it, so I didn’t care. But Brown students are really open-minded, and I’ve had more opportunities to learn about LGBT issues, and coming out of Brown, those are things I would fight for now.
-Amanda Tran ’15.5
I used to think it was a wonderful thing when it was snowing. No more. Snow is slippery, snow is wet, snow is dry. Snow gets everywhere, tracks mud into the dorm, into the carpet, onto my bed, through my shoes. I have to protect everything except my face. Even my face I have to protect from the wind, the snow, the gusts. It’s still a fairy wonderland when the first snow comes down, but after it builds up for more than one day, I’m done with it. My motto used to be: If it’s gonna be cold, it might as well snow. Now, it’s: If it’s gonna snow, school should be cancelled.
-Alicia DeVos ‘18
So I transferred here right after the Ray Kelly thing. When it first happened, I read the news coverage and I was like, “Oh yeah, that’s great, they’re anti-oppressors,” and then I came here and I totally changed my mind about that. The amount of times people have tried to stop other people from saying things they don’t like, just … I initially interpreted it as very anti-oppressor, but now it seems like those people are essentially pretty totalitarian. I don’t think they’re as liberal as I thought they were; these days I’m pretty vehemently opposed.
-Emma Starr ‘16