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| Princeton, like many descriptions of the Hindu goddess of creation/destruction-Kali, is many things to many different people. It is a truly challenging experience in that one tends to be surrounded by fairly bright, individuals who have a great deal of ambition. Socially, in the late adolescent, early adult years that tend to be indicative of the character-to-be of the student(s), Princeton offers the odd, somewhat outmoded construct of the Ivy League private eating clubs. These represent a sub rosa manner of allowing students to believe that they are making their first real choices of whom they will snub or with whom they will bond. Although not officially ordained by the school; the strange ritual of 'bickering' and developing new neuroses to take with you for the next 20 years of your existence, is essentially maintained and supported de facto, if not de jure, by the University community. This only makes sense though, when one considers that (when I was in school) there is/was little else that a student of limited means could seek out for entertainment in central New Jersey. At least little that was safe and legal. The academics are excellent. Athletics are fine for 'club sport' enthusiasts and upholders of old school east coast basketball styles, involving quaint notions such as selflessness and placing the good of the many above the interests of the few or the one. Bill Bradley meets Mr. spock, if you will.Overall, as I suspect American educational experiences are geared at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries, Princeton is a valuable commodity and terrific opportunity--probably a 'best buy' on a number of levels. Just remember: caveat emptor. |
|Oct 14 2004|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| Well we just edged out Harvard in the US News rankings, so that's cool. Not that those things should be given substantial weight, but after having gone through my first year at Princeton, I can say with great conviction that it is, in fact, the #1 school in the nation.|
That being said, you're gonna have to work. I mean, really work. And grade deflation sucks. But unlike high school, I have found that I am truly invested in what I'm doing.. and this makes all the difference in the world. I know many schools boast about their "world class" professors, and I'm also aware that there are many good ones out there. BUT, where else does every single undergraduate get a chance to work— one-on-one —with an accomplished professor on their own research? The thesis is the capstone of your Princeton education, and from what I hear, it's an experience that never leaves you.
Don't be scared or turned off by the social scene. After being here, I can now laugh at some of the stories I heard coming in about how dreadfully awful the eating clubs were. Yes, like all Ivies, there are prep school kids here. Yes, people wear Polos. But almost every kid I've met here, beyond whatever exterior they may have, is extremely talented and also pretty down-to-earth. It's a very humbling crowd... let's say.I can't believe I only have 3 years left... freshman year went by in a blink. I can't wait to get back on campus and to all of you considering Princeton, I bid thee good luck and I applaud your decision! I feel very, very priveledged to be a Princeton student--its an opportunity that if given, you'd be downright silly to pass up.
|Aug 24 2006|| Male --
Class 2000 |
| Don't expect anything from Princeton - let it surprise you, positively or negatively. Whatever you expect is not what it will be. |
No, there are really few shining geniuses here. Environment isn't competitive, at least not in most departments. Kids come here and tend to start imitating each other in style--the polo shirts, the J.Crew, the Banana, the pink chinos, etc.--as well as mindset. This isn't a politically-active campus. I feel like I live in a bubble. People claim to be liberal, but I'm sure their parents aren't. My reason for coming here? THE NAME ON THE DIPLOMA. Not the education itself. Other universities--particularly the larger state schools--have far superior student facilities. Princeton doesn't need to offer such amenities to entice students to come here, so bear that in mind.
|Feb 11 2004|| 4th Year Female --
Class 2007 |