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Freshman Checklist

Before You Arrive

  • Explore the Path to Princeton site fully to get a sense of living and learning at Princeton.
  • Read the Daily Prince and other sources to find out what Princeton academics are really like.
  • Comb through Course Offerings and consider a balanced combination of classes, including seminars and lectures, and a range of topics and disciplines.
  • Consider applying for a Freshman Seminar on a topic that interests you, but which you might not otherwise explore.
  • Get a calendar you will really use--an electronic one like iCal or whatever works.
  • Look at the Academic Calendar to get a sense of the (rapid!) flow of the semester.
  • Don't stress if you feel unprepared; we'll help you figure things out when you get here.

In the First Few Weeks

  • Attend the Academic Expo during Freshman Orientation.
  • Attend at least one academically-oriented workshop or activity (e.g., McGraw's workshop on adjusting to Princeton).
  • Go to a few departmental and certificate program open houses to get more specific information about courses and requirements.
  • Get input on your course schedule from your adviser and from an upper-division student--class selection is crucial.
  • Go to the Student Activities Fair, and select a small number (2-4) of extra curricular activities.
  • Use the Interactive Campus Map to find routes to your classes and other destinations.
  • Look ahead: once you get your syllabi, map out your due dates for all your classes.
  • Budget time for sleep, exercise, and social life; you'll get more out of your transition if you do.

During Your First Semester

  • Create a study group for one of your classes--they're really efficient.
  • Schedule a Learning Strategy Consultation with a McGraw Consultant.
  • Visit the Writing Center for help with your first big paper.
  • Go to at least one of your professor's office hours to talk about something you find interesting in the course.
  • Even when things are hectic, take time for recreation--this will actually make you a more successful student.
  • Find at least one mentor among faculty and staff, in addition to your adviser, to meet with fairly regularly.
  • Attend at least one of McGraw's workshops to prepare for your first midterms, finals, and everything in between.
  • Take 20 minutes a week to reflect on your academic approach and ways you might adjust it to meet Princeton's demands.
  • Look around campus for additional resources, workshops, and activities to help make a smooth transition.