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Dohm Alley styles itself as a “dynamic sensorium,” and this is clear from the moment one steps into the space; one’s ears are taken away from the traffic and noise of Nassau and lent over to birdsong, calming music, and the smooth flow of water from the fountain. In construction since November of last year, the recently opened space is currently dedicated to the era of English Romanticism, though its creators have ambitious plans for further exhibitions on everything from theatre to food literacy.
Since its origin, the Petey Greene Program has allowed Princeton students to tutor in a rather unique setting — prison.
The organization’s mission is rooted in criminal justice reform and focuses on “preparing volunteers, primarily college students, to provide free, quality tutoring and related programming to support the academic achievement of incarcerated people.” Today, the program consists of hundreds of volunteers from 32 universities, but it all began here at Princeton.
“I didn’t want to get into anything, I didn’t want to start any trouble. For a while I was content to be quiet, get my degree, and get out.” — William Pugh, ’20
Starting in the fall of the 2017-2018 school year, the University began offering a new Writing Seminar with a unique topic: LEGOs. “LEGO Worlds” is taught by Assistant Director of the Writing Center Genevieve Creedon, who is interested in studying the interactions of literature and culture.
Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not actually from Princeton. No, it’s worse than that; I’m from the town next door, called Montgomery, which basically claims Princeton as its own even though parts of our town lack that illustrious 609 area code.
Like a fish out of water.
That’s how I felt when I came to Princeton. Out of place. I know most people usually feel this way as freshmen, but coming from a super tiny high school (with a class size of 27) where I knew everyone, I started off the year questioning whether or not I would ever feel comfortable here, or belong here.
I wake up and immediately crave noodles. Not just any noodles, but pad see ew gai: the Thai fried noodles that were a staple of my diet last year. The Forbes dining hall offers a delicious array of scrambled eggs, potato hash, and blueberry muffins; but alas, not a noodle in sight. Some days, I swear readjusting to a Western breakfast menu has been the hardest part of my post gap year transition.
When I arrived at Princeton, the first item to adorn my dorm room was a 16x20 print of my baby cousin — on a playground swing set for the first time, her face awash with sunlight and a kind of unadulterated glee. THIS IS WHAT THE LIVING DO spans the top of the image. It’s in all caps, impossible to miss. I took this caption from one of my favorite lines from Marie Howe's eponymous poem, turning it into my own personal maxim.
There’s a stigma attached to getting lost here. Nobody wants to admit they don’t know where they’re going. When the automated voice of Google Maps breaks the tranquility of the morning air as students shuffle past me to class, I frantically reduce the volume. But it’s too late. They know. I’ve been caught.
As most of its students already know, much of Princeton is very eye-catching, but in a slightly ‘in-your-face’ way. From the sheer size of Nassau Hall, and the majesty of Blair Arch, to the glass-covered, futuristic-feeling Frick Chemistry Lab, it can all get a little overwhelming. Fortunately, there are enough low-key spots around campus – many of which are just as beautiful as the ‘louder ones’ – that are perfect for study sessions, evening coffee breaks, and just trying to escape a crowd!
As a doe-eyed, inexperienced baby pre-frosh, I imagined parties at Princeton in three ways:
A) The frat boy dream. Hordes of sweaty people dancing with the apparent intent of getting even sweatier. Muscle-bound econ majors doing keg stands while some poor lightweight pukes his third beer all over a pretty girl’s shoes.
B) Intoxicated geniuses spewing pretentiousness. Screams of, “Oh, no, I got a stain on my new Lilly Pulitzer.” You take a shot of hundred dollar vodka for every amendment to the Constitution you can’t quote verbatim.
“Well, technically it was just an eighteen hour flight, but I was in transit for about six more, so I think it was a full twenty four?” — Sophie Li ’21.
We went in a circle, nodding emphatically as people voiced their complaints about long-haul flights and panic-induced text messages from parents at the most obscene hours. Yet, despite these collective gripes, we drove, flew, and sailed, donning our orange and black with pride, vowing to conquer everything from ISC to the senior thesis to do our bit in the service of humanity.
Don’t over-stress. Make the time to build relationships. Call home! This advice and more from one of our first-year contributors.
In a recent scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across an article titled “Only True New Yorkers Can Get 10/15 on this Subway Challenge,” which had been successfully completed by its click-baited sharer and a former classmate of mine.
This summer, I took a Global Seminar in Berlin, Germany. My favorite part of the experience was taking the Berlin subway — the acronym in German is BVG — to little corners of serendipity in the city.
If it means that I will get to spend the weekend in Brussels for 40 Euros, I am willing to share an apartment with an enthusiastic didgeridoo player and even be excited about it.
“Hey, how was your summer?” is a really
stressful question for me. I’m sure people ask just to have something to talk
about or because they genuinely want to know, but I’ve spent way too many years
responding with “nothing.” The typical Princeton student spent their summer at
an internship, or taking classes, or travelling while working or studying.
People-watching became a great hobby of mine over the summer.