News at Princeton

Monday, July 28, 2014

Multimedia: Featured

Princeton: Discovery, inspiration, evolution


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Undergraduates discuss what they have brought to the University community, and how they have changed since being on campus. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

(music)

Alan Yang:
I'm Alan. I'm from Virginia, and I'm a junior currently studying in

Alan Yang:
operations research and financial engineering.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
Hi, I'm Vanessa.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
I'm from San Antonio, Texas.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
I'm a history major and I'm also getting a certificate in

Vanessa Rodriguez:
the Latin American studies department.

Waqas Jawaid:
My name is Waqas.

Waqas Jawaid:
I'm an architecture major from Karachi, Pakistan.

(music)

Brittany Haas:
I'm Brittany, from northern California,

Brittany Haas:
and I'm an ecology and evolutionary biology major.

Isaiah Miller:
My name's Isaiah.

Isaiah Miller:
I'm from Tuscon, Arizona, and I'm a prospective

Isaiah Miller:
comparative literature major.

Zvi Smith:
I'm Zvi. I'm from Los Angeles,

Zvi Smith:
and I'm majoring in politics and Near Eastern studies.

(music)

Maya Srinivasan:
I'm Maya. I'm a junior in the mechanical

Maya Srinivasan:
and aerospace engineering department.

Maya Srinivasan:
I'm from San Antonio, Texas.

Elizabeth Dilday:
I'm Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Dilday:
I'm in the history department, and I'm from Long Beach, Calif.

Elizabeth Dilday:
I think that I bring my enthusiasm.

Isaiah Miller:
Reflective conversations.

Waqas Jawaid:
A different point of view.

Brittany Haas:
Music is what I do.

Zvi Smith:
An interest in trying to help start new projects.

Maya Srinivasan:
I'm interested in a variety of things.

Alan Yang:
Something that I've found valuable is not so much being

Alan Yang:
willing to try new things but actually being willing to give

Alan Yang:
things that you know you're bad at like another shot.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
I see myself as a combination of many different factors and experiences.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
When you combine all of those factors into one person,

Vanessa Rodriguez:
you get a really unique perspective.

(music)

Waqas Jawaid:
Were you always interested in history?

Elizabeth Dilday:
When I came to Princeton, I anticipated studying math or

Elizabeth Dilday:
science. The second semester of my

Elizabeth Dilday:
sophomore year, I took "The History of East Asia since 1800."

Elizabeth Dilday:
I thought, I could never get bored if I became a history

Elizabeth Dilday:
major, and that's been the truth.

Elizabeth Dilday:
What has been different about Princeton?

Waqas Jawaid:
Each student has a story, and they have, like, an incredible background.

Waqas Jawaid:
What I didn't expect was how smart everybody was and how much there was to do.

Elizabeth Dilday:
There's that sort of group spirit and group encouragement

Elizabeth Dilday:
that is definitely going on.

Isaiah Miller:
I came to Princeton thinking I would be doing,

Isaiah Miller:
like, maybe psychology.

Isaiah Miller:
And then, I went into anthropology.

Isaiah Miller:
I thought about English briefly.

Isaiah Miller:
In the end, I chose to go with comp-lit.

Brittany Haas:
Just, I tried to spread out, but I didn't really get too

Brittany Haas:
deep into stuff until this year.

Brittany Haas:
I started working with this professor in the music

Brittany Haas:
department, whose name is Dan Trueman, on composing music,

Brittany Haas:
which is something I hadn't really done much.

Brittany Haas:
It was really cool and really got me to open up in terms of that.

Zvi Smith:
My freshman year, I tried a lot of different stuff.

Zvi Smith:
As I spent more time here and found things that I cared about,

Zvi Smith:
I think that led not only to focusing more on Middle East

Zvi Smith:
issues but then moving into a broader foreign policy interest.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
I was really determined to be an English major.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
I've learned to be a bit more lenient with myself when it

Vanessa Rodriguez:
comes to sticking to a long-term plan.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
But I've also learned to narrow down what I want to do in the

Vanessa Rodriguez:
future, which sounds really contradictory.

Alan Yang:
Yeah, I totally get you, because when I was a freshman,

Alan Yang:
I was all like, "Yeah, I'm gonna be a pre-med,

Alan Yang:
and I'm gonna be an ORFE major, and I'm going to do this or

Alan Yang:
that. And, I'm not a pre-med anymore. (laughter)

Maya Srinivasan:
I came in thinking I wanted to

Maya Srinivasan:
be pre-med and a chemical engineer, and now I'm neither.

Maya Srinivasan:
I'm so happy as a mechanical engineer.

Maya Srinivasan:
I did this integrated engineering program.

Maya Srinivasan:
One part of it was, you get to sample like

Maya Srinivasan:
different engineerings, and that was what really opened

Maya Srinivasan:
my eyes. Like,"Hey, I actually think I like this better."

Maya Srinivasan:
Nothing is like set in stone.

Maya Srinivasan:
I guess you kind of come here and you kind of realize that.

(music)

Elizabeth Dilday:
I did Outdoor Action, and my idea of being outdoors

Elizabeth Dilday:
was an afternoon out in the sun, not necessarily in the

Elizabeth Dilday:
Catskills, and I'm really happy because I

Elizabeth Dilday:
met a lot of people that I wouldn't have met through sports

Elizabeth Dilday:
or through Butler College or through singing.

Waqas Jawaid:
I got the Martin Dale Award that funds a summer project that

Waqas Jawaid:
has to do with discovering yourself.

Elizabeth Dilday:
Where did you go?

Waqas Jawaid:
I was going to spend a month in Paris and then a month in Delhi

Waqas Jawaid:
in India; and sort of do a comparative

Waqas Jawaid:
photography and painting project.

Zvi Smith:
I'm also helping to put together a conference that is

Zvi Smith:
flying over 15 Arab students from the Middle East.

Isaiah Miller:
Were you interested in it, kind of having that,

Isaiah Miller:
before you came to Princeton?

Zvi Smith:
It started dawning on me that this was something I was

Zvi Smith:
interested in when I met, in my freshman dorm,

Zvi Smith:
a good friend of mine was Palestinian,

Zvi Smith:
and that there was something valuable to be gained from these

Zvi Smith:
kinds of interactions, and that friendships can

Zvi Smith:
actually develop in ways that maybe can change the way people

Zvi Smith:
think about each other politically.

Isaiah Miller:
I was originally going to go to film school.

Isaiah Miller:
I got the general consensus it would be better to get a like a

Isaiah Miller:
liberal arts education that gave me a broader perspective because

Isaiah Miller:
then I would actually have something to really communicate with my films.

Brittany Haas:
I was like, "OK, maybe I should take this chance

Brittany Haas:
to do something else and grow."

Brittany Haas:
Princeton definitely gave me opportunities that I never would

Brittany Haas:
have had otherwise.

Brittany Haas:
Like, I'm an EEB major; I went to Panama last spring, which was awesome.

Brittany Haas:
Being somewhere where you're surrounded by people working so

Brittany Haas:
hard and that have so many amazing,

Brittany Haas:
crazy things to offer and ideas and that they come from all

Brittany Haas:
these interesting places and are like ready to change the world

Brittany Haas:
and like go out and do really great stuff ...

Brittany Haas:
It's like really, really inspiring.

Alan Yang:
A lot of the stuff you learn is actually, like,

Alan Yang:
not in the classroom.

Alan Yang:
At home, I live in the suburbs.

Alan Yang:
There's all this, like, overhead that has to go

Alan Yang:
into if you want to try something new.

Alan Yang:
Whereas here, you know, you see the poster,

Alan Yang:
you walk to another building and there you are.

Maya Srinivasan:
I totally agree with you on that.

Maya Srinivasan:
I wasn't a dancer in high school, but got to try that and

Maya Srinivasan:
like, I found that I love it here.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
I took a class in Islamic law.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
I was the most unknowledgeable person about the Middle East,

Vanessa Rodriguez:
but I dove in and I loved it.

Vanessa Rodriguez:
And I think that once I leave here, that's not going to end.

(music)

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