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Friday, July 04, 2014

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The Princeton experience


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Six students describe the Princeton experiences that they found most meaningful, including opportunities for learning, growth, leadership and service. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

Charlie Metzger '12:
I had the incredible opportunity to take a freshman seminar with Professor Cornel West,

Charlie Metzger '12:
so for three hours a week 15 other freshmen and I spent time with probably the most influential

Charlie Metzger '12:
African-American public intellectual in the world. It was just a mind-blowing educational

Charlie Metzger '12:
experience. I think the most uniquely Princeton experience I've had so far didn't actually

Charlie Metzger '12:
happen here. It happened on the other side of the world in Vietnam. I had the chance

Charlie Metzger '12:
to study in Hanoi last summer for seven weeks on a program run by the Princeton Institute

Charlie Metzger '12:
for International and Regional Studies with 14 other Princetonians. We went with

Charlie Metzger '12:
three professors -- one of which is a huge superstar in the East Asian Studies Department, and

Charlie Metzger '12:
the other of which is a Princeton alum who single-handedly reopened the embassy in 1995.

Charlie Metzger '12:
It really made me realize how incredibly lucky I am to go to a school like this where opportunities

Charlie Metzger '12:
like that can happen.

Paavana Kumar '10:
One of the reasons I came to Princeton was to be able to concentrate on music more, and

Paavana Kumar '10:
to be able to hone my skills as a singer and a pianist. Things I've really enjoyed have

Paavana Kumar '10:
been to sing with the Glee Club and the Chamber Choir. They've had really great performance

Paavana Kumar '10:
opportunities. I've been able to sing in Richardson Auditorium here and to tour other

Paavana Kumar '10:
places like Buenos Aires. I've also toured to Ireland and Los Angeles with my a cappella

Paavana Kumar '10:
group, which was a really great experience. The most exciting experience I've had really

Paavana Kumar '10:
has been to do with the independent work I've been able to do, which I know is something

Paavana Kumar '10:
that sets Princeton apart from other colleges. So for me I came to Princeton because I wanted

Paavana Kumar '10:
to study more in the fields of literature, in the fields of language. I'm also really

Paavana Kumar '10:
interested in music, so I'm writing a senior thesis that has to do with the kind of intersection

Paavana Kumar '10:
between music and literature, and music as narrative strategy, which is really kind of my dream thesis.

Eric Plummer '10:
The J.P. and the thesis -- those two projects are where you figure out what you're passionate about.

Eric Plummer '10:
Because you can't write a hundred pages or 30 pages for your J.P. on something

Eric Plummer '10:
that you don't care about. That's when you learn the most about yourself, when you're

Eric Plummer '10:
writing your J.P. and your thesis. The happiest surprise was just that the people are who

Eric Plummer '10:
they are, I guess, that I wasn't coming into an environment where I was the only person

Eric Plummer '10:
like me. It's a school for all of us. Because you can get the books and the education at

Eric Plummer '10:
almost any institution in the country, but at the end of the day, the people that Princeton

Eric Plummer '10:
picks to be here are some of the brightest, most talented, people who help you become a better you.

Ana Gonzalez '11:
Participating in a civic action service trip run through the Pace Center. I applied and

Ana Gonzalez '11:
was accepted to participate in a trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Ana Gonzalez '11:
It honestly was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. There was no other place I would

Ana Gonzalez '11:
have rather been over fall break. It was beautiful to be able to apply so much of what we learned

Ana Gonzalez '11:
in our classrooms here at Princeton. We're learning about theories, and we're reading

Ana Gonzalez '11:
about people, reading about cultures, and to be able to engage a culture and a people

Ana Gonzalez '11:
and offer them some help. We did a lot of grantwriting proposals. It was a glimpse of

Ana Gonzalez '11:
what Princeton hopes to prepare us for. I want to be more involved with the Pace Center

Ana Gonzalez '11:
now because of my trip.

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
Running for student body president. It was a pretty remarkable experience, especially

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
the door-to-door campaigning. Being able to go and see 70 percent of campus is something

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
that I otherwise would not have been able to do. One of the great things is that I had

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
a great group of friends who were able to support me through the entire campaign -- just

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
tons of great people helping me out along the way, and that's why I was able to do

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
it, because I had the help and I had people behind me saying, "Just go for it, Yaro,

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
you've got this, just do it!" Now that I've taken office, I feel a tremendous amount of

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
responsibility. I'm an engineer at heart, so a great perk of the job is that I get to

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
see the inner workings of the student government and the University, and then I get to try

Mike Yaroshefsky '12:
to make things run more smoothly.

Melinda Baldwin GS:
I think what a lot of people don't realize about graduate school is that it is a full-time

Melinda Baldwin GS:
job, and if you don't treat it that way, it's going to be really hard to finish your Ph.D.

Melinda Baldwin GS:
Being a graduate student is really nothing like being an undergraduate. It's much more

Melinda Baldwin GS:
like being an apprentice professor. One of the reasons I was really drawn to Princeton

Melinda Baldwin GS:
history is because of the very generous funding package that they're able to put together.

Melinda Baldwin GS:
I liked that Princeton didn't think of us as cheap labor. I like that Princeton thought

Melinda Baldwin GS:
of us as people who were going to go on to careers beyond graduate school and realized

Melinda Baldwin GS:
that the goal was to turn out people who would go on to successful future academic careers.

Melinda Baldwin GS:
And I thought that Princeton history did a really good job of recognizing why we were

Melinda Baldwin GS:
there, what we wanted out of it, and how they could help us get there.

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