This article was written by Maddie Berg, Caroline Flanagan, Elizabeth Koh, Kate Nussenbaum and Mark Valdez.
Floors around campus were slippery, and new outfits were drenched as students slogged through the rain on the first day of classes yesterday.
"I heard that rain is a sign of good luck," Antonio Smith '14 said.
The rain pushed Convocation from its usual location on the Main Green to the Pizzitola Center and kept the Van Wickle Gates closed. The gates will be open today from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. "for all new students to enter at their convenience," according to a campus-wide email from Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey '91. President Christina Paxson will walk through the gates with all new students today at noon.
Over lunch, a group of Perkins first-years shared their disappointment about not being able to walk through the Van Wickle Gates together but tried to maintain a positive attitude. "At first I was really bummed, but I think that the tradition is what is important," said Jenna Waldmen '16.
Around campus, first-years like Waldmen encountered the disorientation that usually accompanies the first day of classes. With newly printed IDs, they struggled to swipe into the Sciences Library, adopting deer-in-headlights expressions at the sight of Brown's gray card readers.
One confused freshman walked into the elevator from the mezzanine asking, "Where's the second floor?"
But Abby Malone '16 and her friend Camille DeRy '16 had no trouble finding their ways around campus because they plotted the locations of their classrooms on a map beforehand.
First-years weren't the only ones confused. "The highlight of my day was probably when I had to ask for directions from a bunch of freshmen, and they thought I was a freshman," said Nimita Uberoi '15.
At the end of a packed day of shopping, many students trudged through the rain to the gym, where they can attend fitness classes for a free trial period.
"I shopped three math classes in three hours, which left me pretty brain-dead," said Roxanne Alaghband '15. "The gym was a much-needed break."
Mark Lee '15 said he couldn't recall the names of any of the classes he had shopped just hours before.
Though shopping was stressful for all students, seniors had the added worry of planning their life after Brown. Ben Stephenson '13 tried not to think of yesterday as his last first day of classes. While he acknowledged the perks of being older, such as smaller classes and more individual attention, he said it will be "sad next year at this time."
But fellow senior Alex Kua '13 refused to let melancholy - or the rain - dampen his spirits. "Being a senior, my aim is to work, of course, but also to have a lot of fun and end my time here on a good note."