When I gave campus tours during my first-year summer, I first explained the senior thesis by intimidating prospective students: it’s a 70-to-100-page behemoth on a topic entirely of their choosing, as traveling to great lengths and conducting deep research to defend your arguments is expected of (roughly) all Princeton students. Properly worried, one could then explain how the University actually prepares you for that process. During writing seminar in your first year, you become familiar with the conventions of research standards. Then after some exploration sophomore year, you get to focus your writing in a junior paper or two — challenging, but not overwhelming efforts that ultimately prepare you to tackle the greater task. I would feel an exhale from the group after providing that reassurance, which I gave with false confidence as if I knew then what it meant to live through it.