Meiklejohn Brown Application Essay

Approximately 78 percent of students who applied to be Meiklejohn Peer Advisors, or 353 out of 453 applicants, will soon be notified of their acceptances, said Kira Bromwich ’15, a Meiklejohn Leadership Committee member.

Those selected include 187 first-time applicants — known as rookies — in addition to veterans and applicants who were waitlisted or deferred in past years, Bromwich said.

While the number of applicants was consistent with past years, more applicants were accepted this year because the Meiklejohn Leadership is “trying to grow the program,” Bromwich said.

“We would like it for groups of advisees and Meiklejohns to be smaller so that Meiklejohns can get to know their advisees,” she said, adding, “If you’re advising a greater number of students, you’re not going to get to give them the individual attention they need.”

While the major components of the application remain largely unchanged from year to year, the Meiklejohn Leadership Committee annually alters the specific questions. Sometimes applicants write “the same thing for a certain question or we thought that it didn’t necessarily give us great insight into the applicant,” Bromwich said. Besides written questions, the application for new Meiklejohns includes two 15-minute interviews and a letter of recommendation, she said.

Bromwich said it was “tough to make the decisions” this year due to “a really strong applicant pool” distinguished by strong essays and interviews, both of which are taken seriously in the application process.

As in past years, the Meiklejohn leaders advertised the program by handing out fliers, hanging posters and speaking in large lecture classes. Bromwich said she thought they targeted more classes than usual, noting, “This year I know personally I went to some smaller classes to speak, which I haven’t done in years past.”

The Meiklejohn Leadership Committee hopes to notify accepted students before spring break, though it still needs to ensure that all accepted students are in good academic standing.

Samantha Gohh ’18 said she applied to be a Meiklejohn because “you gain a lot of freedom and independence and responsibility” in the first few months of college, “and all that can be a lot to take in,” so she wanted “to be a support system for the freshmen and guide them through the first year.” Gohh said she was pleased with the application process, noting that the application allowed students to show “if you care about the program, why you want to be in it and if you’re qualified.”

Alyssa Baum ’18 chose to apply to be a Meiklejohn because she enjoyed working with younger students as a peer leader in high school, and she “had a really good experience as a freshman with the Meiklejohn program.” She noted that she had two different Meiklejohns this year because one studied abroad during the spring semester, and “it was just nice to know somebody” who could answer questions and whom she ran into often even outside of group meetings. As a rookie, she thought the application was “straightforward and easy,” she added.

Jacob Binder ’18 decided he wanted to be a Meiklejohn so he could “have a voice in … the next class” and “help them through Brown’s … confusing policies.” He also found the application process easy to navigate and appreciated that there were enough essay questions to allow him to showcase his strengths.

You and Your Meiklejohn

Your Meiklejohn understands that you are new to Brown, and that you might or you might not know which courses you want to take this semester, this year, or even over your four years at Brown. Whatever your thoughts on your academic trajectory, your Meiklejohn is ready to help.  

Your first year at Brown is a time for discovery. Your Meiklejohn will help you consider academic areas and social activities you never thought of and help you build on your strengths. But there is one thing your Meiklejohn will never do: tell you what to do. (You wouldn't do that to the important people in your life, would you?) Rather, he or she will advise you.

As a supportive critic for your first year, your Meiklejohn will listen and discuss, backing some decisions, challenging others, cautioning against possible pitfalls, suggesting other possibilities, and referring widely. Your Meiklejohn will always respect your responsibility and accountability. 

It’s not all about classes

Every piece of Brown is interrelated; it is impossible to separate academic advising from helping you transition to life at Brown. In addition to giving you advice on course selection, your Meik's advising might extend to topics such as:

  • Encouraging the formation of relationships with professors and deans
  • Helping with effective office hours techniques
  • Taking advantage of events on campus
  • Strategizing your own academic path
  • Exploring extracurricular opportunities
  • Utilizing Brown's academic and non-academic resources
  • Acting as a resource for all troubles

Your Meiklejohn may not be able to help you with every problem you encounter at Brown, but he or she WILL know who can help you. Meiklejohns are experts on finding resources on campus and are eager to help in any way they can!

 A Year-long Relationship

Don't forget that your first year is exactly that--a year. Not a first semester, or month, or week. A year. Your Meiklejohn knows this, and will be with you for your entire first year at Brown. Your questions might change as you acclimate to Brown's campus and curricular culture, and your Meiklejohn will be right there alongside you. Don't forget about them; they won't forget about you. 

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