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Editorial: Breaking up the monotony

Just like that, we have entered the last full month of the semester. At this point the daily grind of classes, meetings and other commitments has taken its expected, monotonous form. Rather than an opportunity to find something new, Morning Mail has become a time marker of sorts — a regular staple of late nights and a reminder of another day of the semester in the books.

It is at this point in the academic calendar, in the three weeks remaining before Thanksgiving break, when we ought to make an extra effort to combat the tedium of the semester. Seeing a production, attending an exhibit or stopping in on a lecture can often provide the break or source of inspiration that we need.

While November seems to represent nothing more than an enduring set of midterms, exams and late nights, it is important to recognize that the month also marks the high point for a number of student groups and organizations that have been planning and working toward various events throughout the semester. Taking some time to pay attention to those Facebook invitations and table slips in the Sharpe Refectory might yield some exciting finds.

Take this editorial as an invitation: Add escaping the dreariness of the semester to your list of challenges to overcome this November. At a place as exciting as Brown, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities that could go unnoticed or missed. When students get particularly busy, these opportunities can represent an especially discomfiting reminder of just how much there is to do within the narrow window of time outside of classes and extracurricular commitments.

The cure might seem counterintuitive. Rather than throwing ourselves into our routines, it becomes even more important at this time of year to remain attuned to the events and opportunities that pique our interests. Rather than deleting Morning Mail, turning over the table slips or ignoring the Facebook notifications, we ought to take a few seconds to read things a little more slowly.

Perhaps this week is the week you decide to go to that event — just for an hour — that caught your eye as you walked under Faunce Arch after a long day. Perhaps these next three weeks — before the campus prepares for finals period — you will be thrilled by the spontaneous decision to walk into the exhibit your professor shared with your class. Regardless of how November looks, make sure to take some time to enliven what can often feel like a monotonous month.

Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Manuel Contreras ’16 and Meghan Holloway ’16, and its members, Emma Axelrod ’18, Noah Fitzgerel ’17 and Aranshi Kumar ’17. Send comments to


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