if you could do one thing over at brown, what would it be?
I would have changed my freshman advisor much sooner. I tried to stick with my advisor—I stuck with him all year—and he was horrible. He stood me up to meetings that I would plan. I’d be like, “Can you meet me at this time, in your office, during your office hours?” and he would just not be there. He sucked. I didn’t know how easy it was to change, I guess. I would say if you don’t like your freshman advisor, switch to someone you do like. Also, I would go off meal plan early.
– Emma Illick-Frank ‘18
I guess I regret taking that class pass/fail last semester because I was afraid of a B.
– L.B. ‘19
I would say to be careful about living with your friends just because they’re your friends doesn’t mean you have the same living habits. And then if you get mad at them, then you’re both mad at your friends and mad at your roommates.
– Catherine Willet ‘16
I would say I would really just take classes in what I was interested in. For so long I was trying to do this concentration because I needed to get this job, and that was silly because I really wasn’t that interested in it.
– Carol Medina, ‘18
I feel like mine’s very similar to hers. I’m just trying to think of how to phrase it. Okay, so if I could do something over, it would be not to be intimidated to take classes that I wasn’t good at at first, because I think that happens a lot with, like, computer science classes. So I wish I would have taken more earlier on.
– Rafael Reyes, ‘18
I would ask for help and support more often.There were many times when I badly needed advice, but I was too busy, too scared, too stubborn, or too distracted to seek it out. There were times when I didn’t even know I needed help, times when I assumed I knew best. If I could do Brown again, I would make time to check in regularly with an advisor, and despite the everyday chaos, make sure I sought support from someone who had more experience with the big picture.
– E.J. ‘16
If I could go back and redo something, I would think more long-term about my academic plan for choosing my courses, you know, like freshman year.
– Abraar Chaudry ‘19
I think if I could change one thing I would have worked harder in my classes. The thing is, it’s when classes seem really easy that I don’t do any work for them.
– Kari Malkki ‘16
I just would have started a language freshman year … Chinese. Starting sophomore year there’s a limit to how far you can go.
– Tyler Hakomori ‘18
Definitely get to know some of my earlier professors sooner.
– Zach Ricca ‘18
The times I regret the most are the ones I spent stressing about the future—I remember doing that a lot during my first few semesters. Brown is an incredible place and we’re only here for a short time. If I could do over one thing, I would try to be more cognizant of that early on.
– S.T. ‘16
It would probably be to just, I don’t know, sort of explore the different opportunities on campus more often and maybe get involved with more extracurriculars to form longer lasting relationships. I’m in the process of doing that now, but just starting it earlier in the game, you know what I mean?
– Amanda ‘18
I would have really evaluated the extracurriculars I became involved in initially and determined whether or not they really helped me grow as a person. And then dropped any of them that weren’t contributing to that. Which is most of them.
– Kiera Peltz ‘16
If I could have one do-over at Brown, I would spend more time getting to know my first year roommate.
– Anonymous ‘16
I’d tell my freshman self to fully engage in the social life at Brown instead of trying to go home as often as possible.
– David Armanious ‘19
I was very naive coming into Brown. I was naive about physics, research, academia, and what to prioritize. In high school, nothing was particularly difficult and my schedule was defined by my school and [cross country or track] practices. I knew exactly what to do to succeed in high school. At Brown, many things were uncertain and I didn’t know how to start off succeeding in what I wanted to do, let alone figure out if there was something I wanted to do. I didn’t know how to properly study for physics, research was intimidating, I had no idea how important computer science was for the sciences, and I didn’t know what to prioritize … Back then, I wish I had reached out to more professors and to my peers to get the help I needed earlier on. However, I am now actively pursuing everything I wish I had done earlier on to set myself up for success in the future including reaching out to professors and peers and learning more about what to do to succeed and what types of research are available at Brown and beyond.
– Joseph Fichera ‘17