In the second episode of The Herald’s new podcast series, “On The Green,” senior staff writer and podcast producer Mikayla Kennedy talks to fellow Brunonians about how they met their best friends and partners.
Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts or listen via the RSS feed. Send tips and feedback for the next episode to email@example.com. “On The Green” is produced in partnership with WBRU.
Welcome to the second episode of The Herald’s new podcast series, “On The Green,” where we talk to Brown students — yes, on the Main Green — and across campus, and ask them to tell us about an aspect of their Brown experience and memories from their time at college.
In this episode, I spoke with students about how they met their best friend or partner — with their stories ranging from an Andrews meet cute to a funeral for a monarch and more.
I’m Mikayla Kennedy, podcast producer and senior staff writer — this is “On The Green”
Many long-lasting friendships start freshman year just by proximity and living in the same hall. Zoe Ehrenkranz ‘26 and Kiki Fraim’s ‘26 story almost fits this pattern, although it has a little twist.
Here’s Kiki, and then Zoe, talking about the origins of their friendship:
Last year we lived in Keeney and I lived in Ever-Pol and…
I was in Jameson-Mead, and we had a lovely little meet cute where basically I would see this random girl every day in the bathroom who I know didn’t live on my floor, but she somehow showed up in the bathroom every day. And then one day, I introduced myself and I was like “Hi, I always see you here,” like “What’s your deal? Like, ‘What is your vibe’?”
While dorms can create first- year friendships, other first-year experiences, like orientation events, can as well.
So, it was like the third night of orientation, and I was in the Jameson Mead lounge. And I saw a group of people I didn’t know sitting in a circle with one person that I had met the night before. Obviously, that gave me license to go and join the circle, it being the third night of orientation. So, I go in and join the circle. Somehow by some passage of time, we ended up building this huge stack of phones and wallets, couldn’t really tell you why. But that’s where I learned the name of my best friend.
That was Sawyer Strasberg ’26. Learning the name of his now best friend, Moz Marchini ‘26, became important while waiting for buses to a first-year Target run the following night.
I had been in line for a couple minutes, and these people in front of me were trying to find this person, and I recognized the name from the night before. I was like, “Oh, I’ve met that person before. So, like, I’ll help out and be a good samaritan.” So, I started calling their name out too. I happened to see them because I was a little taller than the other people shouting, so I flagged down the person and they came over and when they got over they automatically assumed, because all of the people in the area had been shouting their name, that we were all there together and were already friends. This is not the case. I did not know the names of the other people there.
Just like the previous night and typical of the early first-year experience, Sawyer once again knew only one of the people in the group he was with — Moz.
We didn’t make it to Target because the buses were all full. We ended up all just going back to one of the other people’s rooms and yeah, cut to a year later, and we’re living together.
When it comes to finding love, romantic meetings can be just as random as the beginnings of friendships.
I work at the dining hall here, I was working there one day. And someone walked in that I knew from high school. But I didn’t think she went to Brown. I thought she went to Tufts. And it turns out that she had transferred … What did you say? You said we should get food. And I said you're getting food right now. And you thought that was really funny. And then we did.
That was Owen Hwang ’25. He also shared a dining hall recommendation for any hungry Brown student looking for love.
It all started at Andrews dining hall. So next time you go to Andrews dining hall, keep your eyes open.
While some friendships form randomly in a shared bathroom or line, others develop more slowly. This was the case for Didi Usher ’26, Emma Zwall ’25, and Plum Luard ’26.
Here’s Didi, who knew Emma from the Brown track team.
I met Plum through Fashion@Brown, so we saw each other on campus all the time and then at F@B events, and we got lunch a couple of times but we kind of fell off because I wasn’t really in the social mindset at the end of the year, I was like grinding. Then over the summer she posted something,on her Instagram story, she did a piece for a music editorial critique thing. And I remember reading it and it was just like, freaking amazing. And I was like she’s the type of person I want to get to know and like the type of people I want to surround myself with like next year, because this is freshman to sophomore year. So we finally like set a time we’re gonna have dinner at the V-Dub. And then she was like, “Oh my God, do you know, Emma, like, can she crash our dinner?” I was like, “Yeah, totally! I know, Emma, like, I got closer to her at the end of the year, you know, because we're both like fashion girls on the track team.” And it was like, super, super cool, like, our energies all matched.
Having managed to coordinate one dinner, the group flourished from there.
A bunch of our mutual friends also came and crashed the party of the Vdub dinner. We ended up going to the RISD beach a couple nights ago, and we were like running around and wrestling on the golf course, and like swimming in the bog, or whatever, and now they’re for sure gonna be like my besties.”
Friends Matteo Papadopoulos ’26 and Neve Diaz-Carr’s ’26 friendship was also partially formed due another person, in this case, a world-famous figure.
So basically, we met last year at this funeral for Queen Elizabeth…
May she rest in peace
Despite its mournful beginning, the satirical event took a different turn as the evening progressed.
Which ended up turning into a party. Because it was like the first week of freshman year and everyone was like, super excited. And we made this promise, we were like, okay, we're gonna go do yoga tomorrow morning. We're like, we're gonna go do yoga because they have free yoga at the Nelson. It was at 9 a.m. I woke up at 12 p.m. the next day, freaking out. I promised, like this nice girl that I was like, gonna go do yoga with her. And then I slept in until 12.
And that's how I knew he was gonna be my best friend because you know what, who can make 9 a.m. yoga on a Saturday?
She didn’t go either.
I didn’t go either.
That’s it for this week’s episode of “On The Green.” Tune in next week for another round of stories and thoughts from fellow Brown students. And be sure to check out our other weekly news podcast, “The Bruno Brief.”
This episode was reported by me, Mikayla Kennedy, produced by Finn Kirkpatrick and Jacob Smollen, scripted by myself, Jacob Smollen and Finn Kirkpatrick, edited by Sonya McNatt, Christine Okulo, and Tevah Gevelber. If you like what you hear, subscribe to Brown Daily Herald podcasts wherever you like to listen and leave a review. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next week.
Hakodate Line: https://app.sessions.blue/browse/track/209076
A Pleasant Strike: https://app.sessions.blue/browse/track/210993
Dust Digger: https://app.sessions.blue/browse/track/210994