A Day in the Life: Brown University Student

A Day in the Life: Brown University Student

October 14, 2019 54 By Stanley Isaacs


♪ Can’t keep my hands to myself ♪ – Hi, my name is Alaena Roberds, I am a sophomore at Brown University. I am studying applied mathematics, and I am also on the rowing team, and part of Storytellers Club. ♪ Ooh I’m a rebel just for kicks now ♪ ♪ I been feeling it since 1966 now ♪ ♪ Might be over now, but I feel it still ♪ – I usually wake up around
eight in the morning, 7:30, eight, and I go immediately to breakfast with some friends
at one of the dining halls, one of the main dining halls on campus. And after that, I go to a 9:00 a.m. class, either French or Math. Then, I have one more
class in the afternoon. After that, I go straight to practice, at the Boat House, which is
about a mile from campus, along the river, and
I am at the Boat House for two and a half to
three and a half hours. After practice, I usually
go with the whole team, and we’ll eat dinner together, again at one of the
dining halls on campus. And after that we all split
up and go study on our own, at a library, or sometimes in my room. ♪ We could fight a war for peace ♪ ♪ Ooh woo, I’m a rebel
just for kicks now ♪ ♪ Give in to that easy living ♪ ♪ Goodbye to my hopes and dreams ♪ ♪ Stop flippin’ ♪ (cheerful instrumental music) – [Interviewer] Alright,
so what is this building? – Okay, so this is the
Applied Math Building, it’s the Applied Math
Department, and this is where a lot of my professors
and my academic advisor, they have their offices here, so I’ll have a lot of meetings here, not as many classes, but
lots of office hours. – So when you got to Brown, did you know that you wanted to be
an applied math major? – No, originally I was
thinking Engineering, something STEM related. But I definitely switched around a lot, I took a lot of different
classes my freshman year, in like all sorts of
different departments, and I think that that helped
me explore quite a bit. I switched around for a while,
I was thinking Engineering, Anthropology, Sociology,
Political Science, Public Policy– – So you started to hop
around to all of them. – I really hop around, yeah. Which is nice about Brown, you
don’t have any requirements until you start your concentration, and then you just have those
requirements to fulfill. So you really have like
a ton of room to explore, which I think is really helpful ’cause I, I realized after the fact,
that I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, or
what I wanted to study. – Sure, but sort of that exploration helped you to figure that out.
– Yeah definitely, yeah. – So, what is the Brown
Applied Math Department like? – Well there’s a couple
different tracks you can take, they actually have a lot of
different options you can do. They offer Applied Math Computer Science, that’s a concentration, and they also have Applied Math Econ., which is really popular here. And then they also have
regular strict Applied Math. And you can do Bachelor of
Arts or Bachelor of Science. – [Interviewer] Overall, what
is sort of the environment like academically at Brown? – [Alaena] I would say,
if I had to describe it, I would say it’s really cooperative, like between students,
and between faculty too, like they are really working
with you to make sure that you are taking
classes that you wanna take and you’re enjoying your classes. And I would say just like Brown as whole really, really wants you to
enjoy the classes you’re taking. And they have so many different
ways to make that happen, you can take any class
you want for a grade, or you can take it pass/fail. So encouraging people to take classes that you know, they’re scared of taking, or that they’re uncomfortable taking, kind of without risk of failing, and because of that too,
since you know the GPA, there’s pass/fail,
there’s class for a grade, I feel like people aren’t
you know, competing between like GPAs and stuff like
that because it’s really hard to kind of compare where you stand versus where another student stands. It doesn’t seem super, I mean it’s hard, which makes it somewhat competitive, just by being difficult. But it’s not competitive
in the sense that students are competing with each other. – Sure. (upbeat instrumental music) So what are your weekends
typically like for you at Brown? – So I usually have practice
in the morning on Saturday ’til noon, one maybe. In the evening, like later
evening, night, there’s usually you know, various parties around campus, last night there was a big
Harry Potter (laughs)– – Harry Potter themed party. – Harry Potter themed party,
which is a big event at Brown, it’s pretty famous. – Oh ’cause a, Emma Watson? – Oh yeah, yeah Emma Watson, yeah. She actually lived in
the dorm I’m in now, so– – Oh okay, there ya go. – Yeah, so it’s a fun event. – So there’s some other
schools in the area, RISD– – RISD. – Providence College.
– Providence College. – Is there a lot of interaction
between the Brown community, and those communities? – The RISD students and Brown
students can take classes at each other’s schools, which
is not something you can do at Providence College,
and the other schools. So I think because of that,
there’s more interaction between these two schools. So yeah, I mean I have a couple friends that go to RISD I can definitely you know, interact with that community more so. (“Lay it down”) – [Interviewer] So this is the Boat House? – Yes, this is Boat
House, right behind you. – Great, so you’re on a crew team, what does a typical
week in crew look like? – We practice every day,
sometimes twice a day, all afternoons but yeah, occasionally we have some morning practices, probably like two or three times a week we would have morning practices. I rowed in high school,
and so I definitely wanted to continue rowing in college, and I knew about the crew team here, I had some friends that were on it. So that was something that I came in knowing that I would join. Well the main competitive season for NCAA rowing is the spring, so in the spring we probably
have a race every week for all of April, most of May,
and maybe one race in March. ♪ Tell your friends you
ain’t coming out tonight ♪ ♪ Wrap your hair girl, tie it up tonight ♪ – [Interviewer] Why did you
ultimately decide on Brown? – I think that that was
probably one of the main things, like it seems like the school
puts in a lot of effort to make sure that you can
take classes you want to take, and have professors that you like, and really just like, make your learning what you want it to be. It’s very friendly, which
I think is different than, like definitely different
than middle school, and definitely different than high school, and just like any school prior to this. I think that it’s, Brown’s a nice size, like it’s 7,000 undergrads,
about 7,000 undergrads which is pretty nice because
I think that there’s like so many different communities
that kind of like, are overlapping, and I
think it’s so intimidating you know to go to a new school,
especially if it’s far away, but it seems like people
have a pretty good attitude about making
friends, which is so helpful. – Right. – And so nice, so that’s probably what’s surprising.
– Great. ♪ Wanna lay it down,
so I can lay you down ♪ ♪ All my ladies say lay, lay, lay ♪ ♪ Wanna lay it down,
so I can lay you down ♪ ♪ So lay on my pillow ♪ – If you like this video,
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