If you’re like me, you’re currently trapped in your living space, unable to explore Brown’s campus or live the full Brown experience. Well, fear not! I have some ideas that can help you recreate (or, for freshmen, create for the first time!) some favorite Brown memories and locations right at home using several low-budget options.
Josiah’s – Sad about not being able to dodge partygoers to get your fantastically greasy food at 1 a.m.? Solve this with a hearty helping of local takeout. You’ll only get the real experience if you never take out the trash in your room, so make sure to let the boxes pile up in your overflowing garbage bin.
The Ratty – Grab a bowl of cereal, send a Zoom link to a random group chat, and then just sit down and wait. Bonus points if someone you haven’t spoken to since Orientation Week shows up by accident.
Andrews – Two words, five syllables: breakfast burritos. While a homemade breakfast burrito certainly can’t match the magnificent Andrews classic, it can still help us get through these dark times. If you’ve lived in Andrews, make the process more authentic by reminiscing about how your room there was bigger than your current one. Missing the times when you had a better living space is a real Brown tradition (thanks, ResLife).
The Blue Room – Order Starbucks muffins. They’re the same product, just a little bit cheaper than their Blue Room counterparts, so, really, you’re winning here.
Blueno – Make a handy origami bear out of blue paper and stick it to your lamp. Honestly, you should take it to Brown to remember the bright light that was cruelly wrested from us in our time of need. Rest in peace, Blueno <3 (Brb, starting a petition to bring Blueno home.)
Brown Daily Herald – Ah, the Brown Daily Herald, truly a hallmark of the Brown experience. Clearly, the best way to honor it is to bookmark the front page—fully intending to check it sometime—but never actually returning to that bookmark again.
CIT – If you don’t shower for three days, any room you’re in becomes the CIT (please practice good hygiene).
The SciLi – The easiest way to replicate the SciLi is, of course, to make your room as dark and imposing as physically possible. The use of thick curtains is recommended. The next step is easy: Just sit there and procrastinate. Bonus points if you play Tetris.
Any Other Library – Replicating a library environment at home is also extremely easy. Do you have any books at home you meant to read but never did? Bingo! Stick them on your desk and continue to not touch them. Now you’ve perfectly recreated the Brown Library experience! Bonus points again if it’s something bulky like Anna Karenina or Moby Dick, because then you have the “large, heavy, classic book” cred without having to put in any of the work.
Any 9 a.m. Class – This is easiest of all, especially if you live in an earlier time zone! Don’t show up, just like any in-person 9 a.m. Lecture capture has your back.
The Main Green – Make a Zoom room to ostensibly do work with your friends but actually spend the entire time goofing around and reminiscing about when you could do that in person. Easy, emotionally fulfilling, and just what you needed to keep your chin up through this disaster of a semester!
While a remote semester is definitely hard, we can make it through. Remember, Brown isn’t just a building or a statue (or Blueno). Brown University is you, the student body, and together we can maintain the Brown community. Reach out to one another! Be kind! We can do it!