I came into college with all sorts of grand ideas about what it would be like: the cool people I’d meet, the interesting classes I’d get to take, the Pinterest-worthy dorm rooms I would decorate. And of course, like any self-respecting hopeless romantic, I had dreams of finding everlasting love – I came to Brown looking for “the one.” There have been bumps and potholes in the road, but I’ve learned so much along the way about finding the fairytale ending we’re all hoping for. To my fellow Brunonians, the dreamers and believers, who are in search of “the one”—your one and only study spot—let me offer you these words of advice.
1. Don’t hide in your room all the time.
I totally understand the appeal of your room – there’s a comfortable bed, your favorite snacks, and, best of all, no one to bother you. But you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t get out and explore other options. Brown’s campus is filled with wonderful possibilities: library stacks, empty classrooms, sticky tables at the Ratty. You don’t want to get to the end of your four years here and realize you’ve never known more than white cinderblock walls and chairs that make you think you’re dying anytime you lean too far back. And just one expert’s opinion: you probably won’t find “the one” if you aren’t willing to put your pants on and step outside your comfort zone sometimes!
2. Go to lots of club meetings.
You likely won’t have time to join most of these clubs–finding love is a full time job, after all–but going to meetings will help you discover some hidden gems. This just might be how the chandelier room in JWW first catches your eye, and who can blame you! This room has a certain charm to it, the way its little winks seem to say “If you choose me, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” What this really means is you’ll never be able to get any work done because you’re too distracted by the sparkly ceiling. But maybe this is the study vibe you’ve been searching for, and you’ve got that first Model United Nations meeting to thank for helping you find it.
3. Go out without your friends.
It’s amazing how different a study carrel in the Rock basement looks when you’re on your own, unfettered by the judgement of your friends. Maybe you’re worried they’ll judge you for secretly being into desks that tilt anytime you put even slight pressure on them. Maybe you haven’t even realized yet that a seesaw-esque study session is just what you’ve been looking for to get those creative juices flowing. And what if you never realize it because you never sit there because your BFFs Gretel and Angela always want to study in a booth at the Blue Room. Whatever works for them, I guess. But get out there on your own and discover what combination of writing surface, artificial light, and noise level fills your heart with joy. There will be plenty of time to hang out with Gretel and Angela, so don’t let them get in the way of true love.
4. Don’t settle.
It’s essential to get to know all of your options. Perhaps some of you felt the pressure of committing to one spot right away – first week of freshman year, you went to the 7th floor of the SciLi and sat at a desk overlooking the city. You were dazzled by the view. You were dazzled by nothing else. But you were desperate for comfort and so you just kept going back. This is not the way to do it. Exploration is key if you’re really committed to finding “the one.” Leave that gum-crusted, scribble-covered desk on the 7th floor wanting more, while you introduce yourself to the luxurious tables at the John Hay, spend the afternoon with an armchair in Faunce, and grab coffee with the simultaneously-soft-yet-harshly lit Andrews study space.
I hope some of you will take this advice to heart and reclaim your journey to find the kind of love that will last you for the rest of your life. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with the corner desk in the Rock reading room.