Princeton University MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

    Princeton, NJ: Growing up in New Jersey, I always had two views of Princeton University. Iwavered between awe and a strong desire to attend such a prestigious college, anddisregard because it was so close to home. When I visited, though, I finallycemented my opinion. Even in the rain, Princeton gained a place in myheart.

Perhaps it was the fact that there were no other students on mytour and that I gained such personal knowledge of the university, or perhaps itwas the sheer beauty of the buildings overshadowed by spring blossoms. Whateverthe reason, I was very, very impressed. The admissions staff had my respect fromthe start. Although my parents and I were the only ones in the office, they stilltook time to answer questions, give us a tour, and offer advice about how myschool schedule and scores related to the students enrolled at the university. Iwas relieved by their friendliness; the staff definitely knew how to makevisitors comfortable.

The campus itself was gorgeous; flower gardens,beautiful architecture, and an interesting and humorous history added toPrinceton's appeal. I liked that everyone I saw seemed so happy (perhaps becausethey had just finished exams, but I'd bet it was also the aura of the school). Idiscovered that our guide had attended the same convention I had the year before,and was good friends with one of my friends. What a small world! (I took it as asign that I was meant to go to school there).

Princeton is unique in itsacademics. There are many ways to fulfill requirements, which allow a student awell-rounded education in addition to pursuing one's areas of study. Princetonoffers freshmen seminars with topics ranging from "Getting Dressed"(the influence of appearance on personality) to "Who Owns the Past?"The school requires two massive Junior papers, and a gigantic Senior thesis,which can be a few hundred pages! Strangely, this made me want to attend evenmore. I like the idea of researching a topic of interest and then creating afinal product, one that I could show my kids and say, "This, here, is what Idid in college."

Princeton is a mid-sized suburban college withaccess to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. It offers many athleticopportunities, numerous student activities (with emphasis on a gigantic communityservice organization), and state-of-the-art technology and informationaccess.

Princeton differs from most Ivy League schools in that it is notlocated in a city, requires a tremendous senior thesis for graduation, and offersunique freshmen seminars. A one-day visit gave me only a glimpse of the worldbehind the name, but it was enough to make me want to come back.

Reviewed in 2001

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