The journey to Princeton is long and arduous — but it isn’t exactly a picnic once you get here either. A large part of the first-year struggle is the complicated, sometimes agonizing search for an extracurricular life and, in turn, an extracurricular family.
Sure, orientation gives us a sneak peek at the seventeen different a capella and dance groups at Princeton — but most of us aren’t pitch perfect (including yours truly) and some of us (as much as we aspire to) legitimately can’t stay on beat, even if our lives depended on it. Though it’s easy to feel like extracurricular life at Princeton flatlines if you’re not in one of the groups you see on TigerNight, remember that there are more than 300 student organizations on campus.
The math is simple — you will find your place. Not only does Princeton have a club for almost any extracurricular you could dream up, nearly half of these clubs concern sports or performance arts that almost none of us have tried before. So whether you’re looking to diversify from the extracurriculars you did in high school, you just have no idea where to start, or you’re just trying to find a squad, here’s a (far too) brief list of some of the hidden gems you can find on campus.
So You Think You Can Dance? Agreed, you absolutely can — even if you’ve never done it before. It doesn’t matter what you associate with ballroom dancing, whether it’s Lily James’ blue dress from the 2015 adaptation of Cinderella or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. If Princeton’s very own Dancing with the Stars piques even the slightest bit of your interest, all you need to do is show up at one of the practices and introduce yourself to the team. No try-outs, no experience needed.
Swing by Dillon Gym any or every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. (if you’re a beginner) and 9:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (if you’re experienced), and you’ll discover a little bubble far-removed from the pressures of Princeton, where you’ll learn everything from waltz to rumba, step-by-step. Standard lessons take place on Tuesdays, and Latin American ballroom on Wednesdays.
The aerial arts are essentially any and all physical disciplines that concern the use of an apparatus hanging down from a rig point — most commonly fabric, rope, or hoops. Think Madagascar’s traveling circus. Think Zendaya and Zac Efron from the Hugh Jackman musical that isn’t Les Mis. I’m talking mid-air acrobatics here — could anything possibly be more thrilling?
Once again, absolutely no experience needed. Do take into account that Princeton’s aerial arts club is still in its infancy — club membership only kicked off this semester — but if this has got you feeling like you want to rewrite the stars, contact Isla Weber (email@example.com). If you’re interested but unsure about committing just yet, you’re more than welcome to check out their workshops instead.
Forget about hitting the proverbial bullseye; it’s time to try the actual one. Whether your knowledge of archery is the product of a brief flirtation with a bow and arrow at camp or an extremely devoted reading of The Hunger Games trilogy, you’re welcome to try your hand at shooting. Absolutely no experience needed; most of the club’s recruits had no expertise before joining the team, and now they’re all playing in national tournaments.
Practices happen everyday at an archery range, but it’s up to you to choose how much time you’d like to dedicate, whether two or twenty hours per week. So, if you’re looking for an offbeat sport to take up, a tight-knit family on campus and some pretty great fashion statements — it’s time to awaken the inner Ramsay Bolton within you (preferably without the sadism and affinity for atrocity — or really, everything except his aim) and reach out to Rohan Gupta (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details. And hey, if you ever find yourself in the zombie apocalypse, you’ll be covered.
Nothing quite screams Ivy League like the idea of racing sailboats against each other. If you’re still knot shore about it, there’s really no better way to be certain than to put your skippering to the test at one of the club’s practice sessions. No experience needed and a flexible time commitment that lets you adopt sailing either as a leisure pursuit or as a lifestyle.
So, when the orange bubble feels like it’s closing in on you, it’s a-boat time to sail away from the shore, and embrace the freedom of the Atlantic. Practice takes place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and/or Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you have any questions, contact Charlie Flynn (email@example.com) for more details. Seas-e the day with Princeton’s sailing club!
If you’ve been listening to the same Spotify playlist on repeat since you got to Princeton (yes, I’m looking at you), it’s time to drop by WPRB — Princeton’s very own, student-run commercial radio station! Leave with recommendations that you’ll immediately put on repeat and listen to until you can’t stand them anymore — and when that happens, you’re more than welcome to come again. Or maybe, you’ve always had a peculiar taste in music — if so, find your people at WPRB, a station that specializes in the weird, quirky, and offbeat. They’ve got you covered from new releases to older archives, from DJ training to weekly radio shows. No matter what you listen to, there’s something for you at 103.3 FM.
Interested? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to sign up for a 90-minute training session at 030 Bloomberg Hall. Let there be music!