In the first episode of The Herald’s new podcast series, “On The Green,” contributing writers and producers Maya Kelly ’27 and Rohey Jasseh ’27 talk to fellow Brunonians about their first years on College Hill. How were their experiences in communal bathrooms? What were their favorite memories?
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Welcome to the first 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, we spoke to students about their first year on College Hill — with stories ranging from dirty Keeney bathrooms to bonding camping trips and more.
Students said that their first years were scary and stressful, but they also told us that they were a period of significant personal growth.
Others said they wouldn’t change a thing.
I’m Maya Kelly, podcast producer and contributing writer, and a first-year using this podcast as an excuse to get some good advice from people who survived their first year at Brown.
And I’m Rohey Jasseh, also a first-year podcast producer and contributing writer.
This is “On The Green.”
Communal bathrooms are a staple of the first-year experience, especially if you live in Keeney. Here’s Cameron Leo ’25, a junior, talking about her most memorable moments in these infamous rooms.
I mean, things were just super icky for sure. Like, definitely the Keeney bathrooms — I don't even live in Keeney — but I was frequenting there and there was some icky stuff in there, like throw-up on weekends, frequently I would say. Not a pleasant thing.”
For others, their restroom encounters were a bit more personal.
It was early freshman year. Everybody really wanted to party. I'm afraid of vomit — I'm emetophobic, as they say. And I remember one time showering when somebody came in to puke. And I can't really escape that. So I plugged one ear, and I put the other one so the water was going like straight into it so I just couldn't hear anything. I sat in there for like 25 minutes hoping he would be done. And then just like threw all my clothes on super fast when I was done and ran out of there.
That was Evan Stein ’25, another junior. We also asked students what memories, outside of the bathroom, stuck out from their first year on College Hill — even the bad ones — and the lessons that came from them.
In college too, as a whole, like people are learning and making mistakes. I don't know that I would choose to erase any of those things, but I can think of instances of myself or my friends, like, just fucking sh*t up.
That was Anna Davis ’24, a senior.
No, I wouldn't erase anything. I feel like it was all very, like important to the lore of college experience.
It's hard because I don't really remember freshman year as like a collection of specific memories. Like it's very much a blur of craziness.
A lot of students said the best part of all that craziness was going through it with their newfound friends.
During the long weekend, I went on a camping trip with like a bunch of people that I had just met because it was so early in the semester and that was a very like, comforting and exciting thing because I think I just realized like how quickly you connect with people in a college setting compared to every other community that I've ever been in before.
My favorite memory from freshman year is gossiping with my friends. After every party, there's a good debrief. After every interaction you have with the supposed love of your life, there is also a really good debrief — even if it's a very brief hello, goodbye. Any little thing you can always make into a big thing is what I've realized.
That was Brianna Nee ’26, a sophomore. For other students, their favorite memories weren’t so much a memory as a collection of shared experiences over their college career.
I think that when you have somebody who you've stayed friends with all the way through senior year, who you met freshman year, it is something that's really special because, I don't know. Freshman year is scary and difficult and it's the year that every single person I talked to has the most stories from, so when you have somebody who you lasted through all that with it's like a very special feeling.
Since freshman year can be overwhelming, we asked our interviewees if they had any advice on how to tackle our first years as Brunonians.
Don't get too upset over the people that you meet and the friendships that you have not working out. I'm friends with some people that I met freshman year. I haven't talked to most of the people that I met freshman year in so long. I have friends that I'm happy with, but you meet them all throughout college. Just don't take anything freshman year socially too seriously, because nothing's make or break. You're here for four years, not one.
That was Evan again. Finally, Cameron reminded us of some practical advice that’s pretty easy to forget when things get crazy.
I would just say take care of yourself and, I don’t know, I just remember being so freaked out about always feeling like I was missing out. Like if I felt like I was, if I stayed in for an hour in my dorm, I would miss out on connecting with people, and people would make friends without me. And I was just always, always feeling pressure to be around other people.
You don't really realize it in the moment, but it really catches up to you at one point and you just realize how exhausted you are. So take time for yourself, everything's gonna be okay. You're gonna find people to connect with and it's all gonna happen.
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, Rohey Jasseh, and Maya Kelly, produced by Finn Kirkpatrick and Jacob Smollen, scripted by Maya Kelly and Jacob Smollen and edited by Adam Xu and Talia Sherman. 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.
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