Editorial: Taking advantage of Preview
Welcome to Princeton, prefrosh! If you are reading this article, you have begun to explore the bustling campus that we call home. You have worked long and hard to get here, and now you have an important decision to make: where you will spend the next four years of your lives. During Preview, you will encounter Princetonians who will share their love of this university and fellow prefrosh who are beginning this journey with you. You will have to consider many factors while making your choice — academic opportunities, campus culture and, of course, the students who will study, discover and grow alongside you. This can be daunting, although it shouldn’t be — we think Princeton is clearly the right choice. So today, the Editorial Board dedicates our editorial to helping you make the most of your visit.
First and foremost, this is a university, so you should explore as many classes as possible. There is a wealth of lectures to attend, on topics ranging from American Economic History (ECO 370) to the Literature of Food (ENG 223) to Thermodynamics (CBE 246). And while lectures are a great way to get a taste of the academic experience, Princeton’s seminars and precepts are especially distinctive — so ask your host to take you along or email the professor if you are interested in attending (we promise they won’t bite). On that note, feel free to ask professors questions after lecture; they will likely be happy to speak about specific classes, departments and opportunities.
Besides our classes, Princetonians are passionate about their extracurricular activities. There are hundreds of clubs on campus, and you’ll find students doing everything from juggling to chess, debate, beekeeping (seriously) and improv comedy. You can get a taste by attending the Student Activities Fair in Dillon Gymnasium. Cast a broad net and talk to students who participate in activities you have enjoyed in the past or always wanted to try — this is your chance to do something new. “This Side of Princeton,” a showcase of our performing arts groups, is an unforgettable opportunity to see what Princetonians do when they’re out of class. Even if you aren’t interested in dance, singing or theater, you should attend — this is truly one of the most anticipated shows of the year.
Beyond this, get a feel for what our school is all about. The best way to do this is to talk to students — your hosts, their friends or just students you see around campus. Of course, there are myriad panels that will give you information on everything from study abroad to dining options. Attend the discussions that interest you, but sometimes the best way to gain an understanding of life at Princeton is just to ask students. Reach out to upperclassmen; although they might seem intimidating, they also want to share their Princeton experiences with you, and they can offer you a wealth of information.
Make sure to walk around and explore. Princeton is a beautiful town with a lot to offer. Visit local favorites like Thomas Sweet, Olives and Hoagie Haven to see what life is like when you step off campus. Try to get a feel for the campus and campus life by investigating the residential colleges and touring the eating clubs. These smaller communities within Princeton will serve as your homes away from home during your time here.
Ask about the things that matter to you, and ask students what has made their Princeton experiences unique. Writing a thesis? The residential college system? Tiny seminars with world-renowned professors? Princeton certainly provides the opportunities and the support to make your dreams a reality; just ask any student who has traveled for research and worked side-by-side with a professor on independent work.
We are excited to welcome you to campus, and we hope that you will come to see what makes Princeton distinctive. The University’s focus on undergraduate education creates unique opportunities that truly enrich our lives academically. Beyond this, Princeton is a community of passionate students who love what they do, both inside and outside the classroom. Welcome to Princeton, and we hope you will join us in the fall to experience all that this incredible school has to offer!