What is your college like? Describe it.
Princeton is a great place to be and it’s very safe. I even feel comfortable on the campus late at night. The surrounding town of Princeton is upper-middle class , and the school has a good relationship with the town; there are activities such as “communiversity” that bring the two together. Princeton is also very academically driven; the students are very passionate about learning. There are also a lot of resources available for the undergrads—and sometimes the grads feel neglected—which is the opposite of Harvard and Stanford. For example, everyone has a faculty advisor that helps them with their classes and pushes them to take more challenging classes—there are advisors for everything from classes to resume writing to studying abroad to international internships.
What is most mis-understood about your college?
Princeton has a policy of grade deflation (only a certain number of As can be given for any class). People think that grade deflation will hurt their chances of getting a job or internship, but there is no effect. For example, a 3.3 at Princeton would be the equivalent of 3.7 at many other schools.
What kind of students are most likely to succeed at your college?
People who are academically strong and who are good at managing time so they can balance academics with extracurriculars. Princeton wants students to be strong leaders, participators, and academic achievers, and really engaged in the student community.
What has been one of the greatest challenges in college, and what do you think high school students can do to best prepare themselves?
Adjusting to college life. With all the new freedom it’s tempting to relax too much—to hang out—because you are only accountable to yourself. Your parents aren’t there to report to. It’s also a challenge finding your own group of friends and figuring out how you want to use your time. I joined the swim team as a freshman, so that took up a lot of my time in terms of finding my group. I ended up making friends on the swim team.
Also, Princeton is built on a hill—so biking is a challenge!
What extracurricular activities were you involved with in high school, but academic and non-academic?
Swimming, clarinet in high school band and orchestra, and French honor society.
If you were to start high school all over again, what would you do differently?
I would take more AP classes in high school so I could skip it in college and go on to more challenging classes.
What advice would you give prospective college students to help them prepare?
If you are asked to put down your roommate preferences, be sure to ask for someone with the same sleep schedule as yours – if you are a night owl, try to avoid a morning person. In my freshman year I was diurnal, and my roommate slept during the day and woke up at night to start studying – she disturbed me during that time; and when I was working, I disturbed her.
Can you give some Web resources where high school students can learn more about your college?
princetonfml.com – stories from Princeton students about Princeton life are posted there and users can post comments
Lynbrook High School