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Brown Residential Life

Brown Residential Life

Brown residential life

Brown University campus building

Brown residential life is a key part of the student experience from freshman through senior year. Interviewees tell us that especially freshman year, the residential life experience at Brown plays an important role because many students make their closest friends through the dorm life. See all freshman living situations here.

Female Health and Human Biology Concentrator C/O 2018
How did you meet your closest friends?
“All first years have to live in two main locations and your first year you live with a bunch of other first years. I happened to get along with my roommate really well so I have stuck with her all these years. She’s a really good roommate and a good friend as well. I met most of my closest friends through my housing unit. Other friends I have made different groups that I have participated in, like Questbridge and First-Gens, just seeing people year after year and talking about the struggles of navigating Brown and bonding over mutual stress [laughs]. I think I initially thought that as a first year I would make friends through my classes, but that was not always the case.”

Female Public Health Concentrator C/O 2018
How did you meet your closest friends?
“Almost all of my friends lived in my freshman year dorm. I met a couple through club lacrosse. I met people that were on the other side of campus freshman year sophomore year. I made a ton of friends sophomore year too.”

Male Economics Concentrator C/O 2018
How did you meet your closest friends?
“Some of my closest friends lived on my floor freshman year. And then I started playing pick-up basketball and just doing other activities that I was interested in. That’s where I think I met a lot of my closest friends. And I think in classes as well. I met some friends in classes along the way.”

Some students say that this worries them because it creates pressure to make friends early on, but don’t let this worry you because there are many other ways to make friends at Brown.

Female Health and Human Biology Concentrator C/O 2018
How would you describe the overall social scene?
“I think many first years and sophomores feel like they haven’t made their friend group and won’t make any more friends because everyone does start of branch off, perhaps even at the start of the second semester [of freshman year]. But, I found that doing a lot of different organizations and getting involved in different things I’ve met a lot of different people. I’ve met someone different and someone who I’ve gotten really close to each year because I’ve done something that I haven’t done before.”

Female International Relations and Urban Studies Double Concentrator C/O 2020
What is something you wish you knew about Brown before entering as a freshman?
“The best way to integrate into Brown’s community is to join things like clubs and intramurals. There’s lots of goofy stuff on campus that’s fun, like Quidditch, and inner tube water polo is really popular. Going to social events helps you meet people, the more people you meet the more you feel comfortable and at home there. Sometimes it can be really hard that social adjustment is just as important as the academic adjustment.”

As students get older, apartment living opportunities become available and some students move off-campus to houses and apartments. A common way that students live is in large, old New England houses that are separated into apartments, or in an old New England house with multiple people. These living situations and the booming Providence food scene make many students fall in love with Providence. About 25% of students live off-campus.

“Providence is a super cute city. Everybody says they want to come back and live there when they’re older.”

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