The following letter from the editor was included in our annual frosh issue, which is mailed out to the incoming class each year. Browse the accompanying website here.
The summer before my first year, I was full of questions about the people I was about to meet. Princeton students and professors felt superhuman, and the world they inhabited out of reach; I didn’t know what business I had entering it. I kept asking myself, “who are all these people?” But that’s just it — they’re just people. They’re extraordinary, but in many ways, they are overwhelmingly ordinary. My professors, though brilliant, went home every day to kids and a dog. My classmates, though ambitious, were secretly asking all the same questions about who these people were, and how they could ever fit in.
And so, I’d come to the not-so-outlandish fact of the matter — we’re all just people, with similar wants and passions and fears. And that’s how I came to journalism. With journalism, you’re telling the story of people; you’re stripping back the stereotypes and misconceptions to reveal the very real person beneath. No matter the identity or background, we are all people, and we are further united by our capacity to empathize.
This is the kind of work we care about at the ‘Prince.’ Whether we are interviewing transgender alumni on their Princeton experience or investigating misconduct on campus, we deal in stories — and we are uniquely positioned and deeply responsible for those narratives we choose to raise. We seek to foster that empathy and elevate stories from all corners of our campus and community, especially those which have been historically undercovered. We hold institutions of power accountable, while also working to humanize those in power — because behind every policy, there is a person, and it is our job to seek that person out and understand them.
This sort of work — this storytelling — impacts how we carry ourselves as students on campus and as leaders in the world. Yet we cannot humanize those we cover unless we have first humanized ourselves and those around us.
So, at the ‘Prince,’ we commit to being “people first, journalists and creators second.” We cannot, in good faith, cover our campus with respect and compassion if we do not first prioritize that respect and compassion in our newsroom. At the ‘Prince,’ you can tell your story through podcasting, photography, reporting, or opining, and you can tell it in a space that values you and your work. You need no experience to join the ‘Prince,’ and we welcome your talents regardless of background.
On a personal note, the ‘Prince’ is truly the best part of my Princeton experience. It has molded me into a better writer and a stronger leader. It has emboldened me to tell my story — to be vulnerable and to be human — and it has tested me endlessly. As you join the Princeton community this year, I urge you: come tell your story, and help others tell theirs.
See you soon,