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Princeton University

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Tips mention: Interview (1), ACT/SAT (22), Grades (14), Sports/Extracurriculars (10), College Essay (8)
This is going to be a very candid commentJun 07 2005Other
This is going to be a very candid comment about Princeton; Princeton may seem prestigious from the USNews Rankings, but I will try to attempt to paint a holistic view of this institution.
Academics--I feel as if the academics are below par from what I expected. Classes are absolutely enormous, and personal attention is definitely lacking. Furthermore, from all of my professors, only two of them have been good teachers. I came from an elite private school, and I decided to major in pre-med freshmen yr. Big mistake! The premed students here are extremely competitive, snooty, and would care about their grades more than helping you. The stories you heard about people tearing out sheets from books in libraries definitely rings a bell here. I got a C- in my chem class. Instead of studying, people resort instead to beat the system, ie, getting past exams, cheating, etc. I have found the public policy department to be more relaxed than the science department here.
Social Life- The social life here is rather mundane. Princeton is not a very pleasant town. One of my friends was robbed at gunpoint when she was a freshmen. While rare, there is some danger here. The town extremely dangerous and unreceptive to Princeton students. The clubs here are extremely sketchy; students can obtain alcohol in the sketchy bars off campus. Instead of intellectualism people are more concerned about looking/acting cool. Most people are into hard drugs and who can chug the most alcohol. People in my dorm have been rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. Thirdly, there is a lot of depression here. People attempt to hide it, but it is pretty self evident. Students can be phony here. Frats and sororities dominate the social life. I pledged a sorority but deactivated because all people cared about was how drunk people got, who hooked up with who, what bars people are going off campus, etc,etc. The valley girl delineation is clearly apparent here. In addition, dateable guys are few. Most are hideous looking.
All in all, I should have picked a school that is more balanced with quality academics and better teachers.
Female
One thing I don't regret about PU is myMay 20 2005English
One thing I don't regret about PU is my class with prof Guido. He was the best teacher I have ever had and Princeton does have some good professors. however, sadly, most of them focus on research/publications and thus have very little time for undergrads. When Guido didn't get tenure, that was when I realized that Princeton cares more about success on paper than a really quality teacher. Guido didn't have great publications out like others, but did care about the students, unlike others. However, he was let go. This is characteristic of PU. They forget about you and only let you dance (philosophically speaking) with TAs. I wish I had gotten MORE ATTENTION like they say in la clase de espanol but in Spanish.
Female
Coming to Princeton was a rather bad decisionMay 18 2005Unknown
Coming to Princeton was a rather bad decision.
Now the party scene sucks and all frats and sororities are constantly worried about getting kicked off campus for some ridiculous offence, and the eating club parties are boring as heck. The weather is TERRIBLE. If you like to be active and do things outside, forget it. Expect 6 of the 8 months to be the coldest you've ever experienced and expect to always be dressed up in big jackets while all the girls go into hibernation and eat all winter long and come out in the spring like plums. Also, You have random kids who can easily get good grades but for most people its a struggle to get anything above a B+. I know college is about the education, but its also about having a good time with some good people. Don't look for that here. There are plenty of other schools that you would love and also have a great academic reputation. Also,

1)it is very hard to get from one place to another on campus in an allotted time span. The dorms are scattered in the most random of spots, most off on the edges of campus, they feel like jail cells most of the time. While they are safe, you feel locked in a box. The campus ascetics are mediocre at best. PU seems to be a random collection of buildings. However, this is a minor point compared to others

2)The people that go to school here are snooty, they believe they are God’s gift to the world. The Northface coats, designer clothes, and BMWs do nothing for the campus popultion. While there are some very interesting and nice people that go to school here, you probably don’t want to tell them anymore information about yourself if you are Christian, a Conservative, voted for President Bush, or grew up in a small time. If so, you will be labeled closed minded, and you WILL have a hard time making friends, or having a rational discussion.

3)Along the lines as above, the professors here are extremely arrogant and condescending. While I have had a few very nice approachable profs, the majority will give you bad grades on your papers if you dare support a conservative, or even moderate agenda. An girl in my socio class, who decided to speak up of the left leaning subject matter of a supposed non-political class was called out by the professor and then laughed out by the class. They promise much and deliver little, once you matriculate, you might as well forget having any sway over your own life. Many professors are good, many are bad, most are severely cramped by a Federal Government-esque beaurocracy. Most of the students are rich, snobby, and not nearly as smart as they think they are (they'll be good GSIs some day).

4)Don’t expect the PU to treat you as a person, you are treated as a number. My advisors (I had multiple, because I was thrown around while changing majors), usually had no idea what they were talking about, and just repeated from the Major Handbook.

Thus...a few more points....

If money were water, this university would put niagara falls to shame with how fast it drops it. One summer, They ripped out 6 large trees just so that they could make the main diag look even more like harvard's courtyard. They put in new grass, didn't water it, it died, they ripped it out again at the end of the summer, planted 12 new LARGE trees, and put new grass down. It was the dumbest thing I had ever seen. For this one lab/library, It is not even borderline useful, the computers are always out of commision, you can never find the books you need there. It just looks like a big wad of money was plopped down for it. They got some big famous architect to do it. From my standpoint, everything on campus should be designed by students. They should have competitions where students can submit architectural drawings, logos, whatever, and whichever is chosen gets $1000 and their building built or their logo used. But, as I have already mentioned, this University doesnt care about its students. They are just underfoot.
The students have about as much effect on the University as a grain of sand in the ocean. The U also does a stellar job of keeping the students broken up, so they cannot form a cohesive student movement and bid for any change.
Visiting students: DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THE UNIVERSITY LOOKS LIKE IF YOU VISIT OVER SUMMER. This University pays big bucks to completely overhaul itself for the prospective student tours. And I gotta say, it looks real real nice. Its a totally different place. Unfortunately, one week before school starts every year, they begin a big ridiculous construction project that makes the campus muddy, dirty, and inconveniences the students tremendously. Not to mention that none of the facilities are ever maintained during the school year. This place is a trash. I wish I went somewhere else.
Male

Worked very hard and set high expectationsApr 05 2005English
Female
I attended Princeton for two full years before transferringMar 13 2005History/Histories (art history/etc.)
I attended Princeton for two full years before transferring.

While at Princeton, I stayed out of trouble, earned good grades, and made excellent friends who I have stayed in contact with since I left. I didn't leave because of the rules, or for some silly, immature reason. I left because:
1. The history classes were unchallenging and mostly high-school level. Princeton loves to brag about their "superior academics," but frankly, much of that is a lie. Granted, some programs (their "pet" programs) are very challenging, but programs like history are not. Two of my history textbooks were the same (A Beka) books that I had in my first two years of high school!
2. Princeton is cut-throat and, despite what they claim, that makes it very difficult to do something besides live in the library to get good grades. Believe me, I have done my research thoroughly on this matter. Furthermore, I have several friends who are Princeton grads, and they have had a rough time getting good jobs and getting into good master's programs because of low grades. At any other school, their B-s would have been A+s. Princeton’s new grade inflation policy cutting down on high grades shows this is only going to get worse.

Basically, it was mentally unchallenging and unstimulating, but teachers would use awful curves and test questions on the most random and useless stuff to kill your grade. The worse combo.

3. I was tired of all the cheap shots the administration constantly took towards any other college. I won't try to make the claim that Princeton hates all other colleges, but a casual observer would certainly get that impression. Basically, Princeton is very elitist.

Also, Let me just say that Princeton is anything but a quality school! PU tries to portray: We care about you(but they don't). Sure, the campus may look beautiful and show smile faces on their brochures, but don't be fooled!

I'm just gonna give you a few more direct examples of the things that happened to me.

First off, sitting in English class one day. Though Princeton claims to have a great student to teacher ratio, all of the professors only do research so the few novices left have to teach huge undergraduate classes. Anyway, 100+ people in my ‘discussion-based’ English class. It was be funny if it wasn’t real. A kid named Jake, sitting near the front, passes out. It was stifling hot, but everyone else just took the heat. However, nobody saw the kid passed out until about 20 minutes later! When it was called to the prof’s attention, he didn’t do anything about it, instead saying he just wanted to wait for the end of the class to revive him…a hour later. To cut a long story short, after class, the med squad is forced to come in and take him to the hospital. He was only fluids and bedrest at the hospital for a week. They said if he had been helped immediately, he would have been fine. That just shows PU does't care about the individual.

Supposedly college is the best time of ones life. Well not at Princeton. Now i can only speak of the history department specifically but, it is the worst designed system in the world. For example: if you don't electronically submit your code to a CS project at a certain time you fail the whole course. Right now I can feel my creativity and imagination draining out of my life.

Princeton’s one purpose is to get money from your parents. Once you are in, they don't careabout you at all. You are documented by your social security number and that’s it. Yet here I am, learning everything I already know at a much slower pace. It makes me want to drop college totally. But I want that little piece of paper that costs 125,000 dollars.

The campus is overrated. Like, the stupid designers that made the school created a wind tunnel to keep us even cooler in those 15 degree windy days.

Finally there is very little social Life. Princeton student life tries to create new ways to entertain us, yet they all end up Priceton’ed and boring.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed seeing as Princeton was my top choice and seemed like the perfect fit. In reality, it is everything I DONT want in a school. The student body: Arrogant, snobby, rich New Yorkers. Sure, you can find great friends and people here, but the majority of the students are unfriendly and self centered.

Oh, and girls beware: there are no good looking, nice boys here! And I'm not joking! PU girls are so materialistic it has gotten on my nerves. I want to go to a good school that will educate me, have a reputation that supports my success and has a friendly community. PU is NOT FRIENDLY. But I just can't take the student body. STUDENTS ARE RICH, MATERIALISTIC, SHALLOW, NOT INTERESTED IN INTELLECUTALISM. Im middle-class and I dont care too much about my clothes being up to date--and that makes me a freak here.

The food: I thought the non traditional dining system with eating clubs etc., was appealing at first, but its actually a nightmare. There are no cafeterias. All the food is expensive, and it's easy to run out of your cash quickly. There is very little school spirit. Everyone is very independent. The night life gets boring, because everyone always goes to the same eating clubs. There is nothing to do besides (eating club) clubbing, because Greeks can't throw parties in their non-existent houses. PU keeps getting more and more popular, but I don't think it's cracked up to be as good as they say. The city offers a lot of opportunities, but it's not enough to make me want to stay here.

There are better colleges out there. This one will just make you bitter.
No, I am not going to continue by whining about it all. Yes, it was rather stupid and tedious, but I agreed to live there, so I really have no right to complain about them.
Female

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