- Class: Sophomore
- Major: International Relations
- Gender: M
- High School: Shorecrest Preparatory School
- Transfer Student: N
Princeton's size is ideal - there are just enough students to make studying here dynamic and fun, and to justify ridiculous expenditures on everything from student plays to bizarre scientific experiments. Princeton spends about $90,000 a year on every student, and it really spares no expense in making sure that you can achieve what you want to do. The town is a little quiet, but "the Street" which contains the eating clubs brings everyone together and is, perhaps surprisingly, a unifying rather than divisive social factor. New York is a short train ride away, and overall social options are diverse. The administration is a bit autocratic, enacting some changes with little to no consultation. Overall, though, Princeton is a school that prides itself on not denying its students anything.
It's not hard to forge connections with professors - they'll invite you over for dinner and are more than willing to spend hours talking outside of class or to write a recommendation. That said, expectations are high and you will not do well if you don't prepare weekly for precept (or lab if that's the case). Academics at Princeton are highly demanding, and will increase in difficulty and pressure with each year as independent work mounts. There is no such thing as breezing through Princeton on the basis of your accomplishments in high school, so don't be complacent. Whether out of consideration for pure intellectual interest or their participation grades, students speak up in precept and lecture and questions are common and insightful. The best classes provoke intellectual conversations that continue out of class. While Princeton's academics will be excellent preparation for a job interview or for analytical work in, for example, consulting, the University is extremely adamant about retaining its liberal arts base and for producing well-rounded, well-read students who are comfortable with everything from Kant to kinetics at a ***tail party.
Princeton is undeniably preppy. However, it's more of an adopted identity than a universal precondition; that is, people tend to dress preppier after being here a year or two, regardless of their origins. The full racial, religious, sexual, and socioeconomic spectrum is represented at Princeton, although there is a large majority of middle-to-upper class white students. Because of the University's progressive and generous financial aid (which extends to break trips and summer programs), financial concerns are rarely if ever a barrier to doing something you might want to do.
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