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Monday, 21 May 2012

Life at Brown

I promised I'd post something after finals, so here I am. Life has been pretty good so far. Even though I've been studying here at Brown for 2 years already, it sometimes feels surreal, and I've got to keep reminding myself that this is true, yes, I am here, etc.

Academics are pretty tough. I thought I'd be in good shape having survived the Singaporean system pretty well, but people here are intense on a whole new level. It's hard to really get above average in anything, because there are so many brilliant people around. And sometimes it feels that any opportunity will have hundreds of applicants vying for just a couple of spots. I realized that Americans have perfected the art of appearing to lie on the grass everyday but they are actually workaholics who would stop at nothing for that 4.0GPA and cushy first job.

Social life is great too - I'm having tons of fun and all, and I love it here. Of course I do miss home too. First year here I tried not to think about home as much as possible because I wanted to avoid becoming homesick, but as I complete my second year, I've come to terms with it - I do still really miss home.

I'm becoming used to the food here. We have a great sandwich store about 10 minutes away from my dorm, and it does the best sandwiches I've ever had. And there's a burger joint about the same distance away too, with unbelievable burgers and fries. There's also lots of other "American" food - Chinese takeaway places, Indian curry restaurants, sushi bars, tapas bars, pizza places, cafes, diners, burrito places and more. Hard to believe though is that there are no chain fast-food restaurants you'd associate with this country around our campus - McDonalds, KFC, burger king etc are all missing. The closest thing we have to fast food is Subway and Chipotle, and the latter's not even real fast food - its a place with burritos and tacos priding itself on its locally-sourced and organically-grown ingredients. I must admit to having an insatiable craving for fried chicken sometimes, and that's one thing I always look for in airports, just because I can't get it at Brown.

Some pics of school:

Spring is stunning here

That's my dorm now - its a really crappy building

My favorite spot on campus

This is what they put on postcards

That's it for now! I'm coming back home in a couple of days, and I hope to see as many of you as possible over the summer!



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