Best things about this school
- The (in)famous Open Curriculum and undegraduate focus. It took me awhile to realize just how intellectually liberating and academically enriching Brown's take on a college education truly is. Because there are no university course requirements, except those of your concentration (major), you are essentially in charge of your own education. For instance, I've taken classes listed under the departments of engineering, economics, psychology, and biology, without filling out extra forms or going through a separate registration process like in other schools. I've also taken senior seminars as a freshman after talking to the professors, which shows just how flexible and undergraduate focused your academic experience can be at Brown.
People's reactions to "Brown"
- Unfortunately, Brown's perceived prestige is not tantamount to that of HYP. True, the number of people who would be immediately amazed if you tell them you went to harvard, yale, or princeton will probably exceed the number of those who recognize Brown. Nevertheless, many recognize Brown as an excellent institution with equally excellent students. Of course, when I tell people I go to Brown, there are those who will refer to Emma Watson.
On Campus Life
- Brown's campus is just a sight to behold, especially during the spring. The overall student size is in the goldilocks zone, not too big and not too small. On campus, there is always something to do, an activity to participate in, a workshop to attend, and a distinguished/famous person to see. Off campus, there are plenty of restaurants to explore (e.g. Thayer, Federal Hill). Downtown and the mall are just an 8-minute walk downhill. If you want to go farther, Newport beach, Boston, and NYC are just a 45-minute, 1 hour, and 3 hour bus trip away from Providence, respectively.
Other stuff to consider
- If there's one thing I'd change it would be the advising system. I understand that Brown wants its students to take initiative and be assertive with their academic plans. However, a more engaging and well-developed student-faculty advising system would be nice. School pride, as far as sports is concerned, is not as prevalent unfortunately. Moreover, food from the dining halls is not exactly five-star hotel worthy. Financial aid is sub-par compared to that of other Ivies and some parts of the residence halls could need a little bit of renovation and remodeling.
Regardless of the aforementioned caveats, I still love Brown to death and I feel grateful and privileged to be a part of this wonderful institution. To say that Brown is bad ass would be one hell of an understatement.