I am the proud parent of a soon-to-be Princeton Tiger. With Orientation Weekend approaching, we are in the process of making travel plans to bring our Freshman daughter to move in. I would like to ask what the parents should expect. Specifically, are parents usually present for Opening Exercises, etc... Thanks for your input!
It's different for every family. We left before opening exercises because the university encourages parents to cut the cord, but our good friend stayed and had a great time. Of course, their kid wanted his parents there, so like I said, it's different for everyone. You should do what you feel is right for you and your kid.
Checked into a hotel. Had dinner. Fell in love with the town.
Morning, check in. Kid gets key to room.
Dorm move-in. Hot. Humid. No A/C. If you have a rental car, that's good so you can make a couple runs to Target. Other parents will be there. Everyone's friendly. Some with rental cars offer to share in supply runs.
Ordering early from Bed Bath and Beyond seemed like a good idea if you know what you want. You order at home, and then they ship and have your stuff waiting for you at the Princeton store.
The furniture shop in town is pretty terrible and expensive so if you want a futon or a better desk chair then do BB&B.
Current students are everywhere on campus to help hook new kids to the internet, etc.
At about 5pm on move-in day, the kids are called to a meeting with their college dean, and the parents leave.
The next day is Opening Exercises.
Last edited by mrscollege; 07-18-2012 at 11:24 PM.
My son was a freshman last year, we dropped him off for Outdoor Action, and we did not come back for Opening Exercises. I watched the ceremony online and found it all to be lovely and very meaningful. I told my husband that if our daughter gets into the Class of 2016, we were going to be there. So, this year the plan is to drop her off on September 1st for OA, do a little vacationing out east, and be back in Princeton for the Opening Exercises and the Pre-Rade. Bonus for us...our son is in Chapel Choir and they also participate in the ceremonies.
This is really helpful - I had just been wondering about some of these very things! Our son is coming for international orientation starting on Aug 29 and staying for CA so we will miss pretty much all of the on-campus action. Mrscollege - you said you could order from BB&B in advance and have your stuff at the Princeton store. Does this mean the Princeton University store or the BB&B store in the vicinity? And do their twin Xlong sheets fit dorm beds? My son wasn't thrilled with the selection from the brochure we received in one of our Princeton mailings (and I wasn't thrilled with the thread count!) =)
Also another question for all you experienced parents - how much "winter" stuff should we be taking along? We are neighbours to the north but I suspect that our winters are a little more edgy than those in NJ! Someone suggested Tretorn lined rainboots as a good alternative to traditional winter boots implying that winter is wetter than we experience. Your experience?
It sounds like a fan is a must on move-in day. What about the fridge/microwave option? Or just a fridge? Would our son really use these given that he will have an unlimited meal plan? He will be a varsity athlete so would probably appreciate a place to keep gatorade cold but otherwise how much use of these would most students have?
Fans are a great idea if they are in a room without AC.
As for winter stuff, my DS is a rising sophomore and last winter was pretty mild, so I'm not much help there.
Microfridge--my DS and his roommates split the cost of the microfridge rental. The only way to have a microwave and fridge is the rental. You could have one or the other in the room (owned), but not both unless it's the rental option. All roommates had the unlimited plan, but they definitely used both microwave and fridge. DS had two athlete roommates, and one used fridge since practices and sleep sometimes got in the way of dining hours! One roommate would eat cereal or something quick in the room before practice which started before the dining hall opened up.
You can mail/ups boxes to campus before move-in. They will have them all available for pick-up and one location on move-in day (or CA/OA move-in day).
You can bring your own fridge, but the only way to have a microwave is to get a microfridge. My roommates and I got one freshman year. After that, we just brought a minifridge from my grandparent's house. I use my fridge all the time even though i have a full meal plan (mostly drinks and yogurt taken from late meal). I also have a tea kettle, which works for instant noodles, tea, and oatmeal. It's nice to have a microwave available somewhere near where you live, but a lot of the dorm buildings have at least a snack kitchen.
We're from New Jersey, so looking in on Opening Exercises and the Pre-rade seems like a no-brainer for us. What I'd appreciate hearing from someone who's been there recently is some more about logistics...
Where can parents go to view these things? Is there seating provided for visitors to the Exercises, or is there some sort of separate setup where you can watch on a screen, or what? And as far as the Pre-rade goes... what's the route to and beyond Fitz-Randolph, and where can one best situate themselves so as to get that all-too-brief glimpse of the kid?
We weren't there, so I asked my D. She said the kids walk from the chapel to Nassau Street (where the gates to campus are). There is no assigned seating or stands. Parents and other visitors simply gather on the grass, around the chapel, or walkways along the way. So don't show up at the last minute if you want to get a good spot to gawk.
We heard it was great from a friend who stayed to watch. We now wish we had stayed for it. Have fun.
We have two Daughters at Princeton- Classes of 2013 and 2015. Yes, parents are encouraged to leave once they have moved their children in- we did this when we dropped off our oldest Daughter( dropped her off for CA, then came back a week later to move her in).When she described the Chapel opening exercises, the Pre-Rade and the Freshman Step Sing at Blair Arch , I wished we had stayed.When our youngest Daughter was admitted, we dropped her off for OA, came back to move her in and stayed for opening exercises ( parents are not admitted to the Chapel but have a designated place to watch on closed-circuit TV), the Pre-rade and the Step Sing, a great experience and a memory that I will never forget and highly recommend. Our oldest was a bit upset that we did not stay for her experience- but I reminded her that we were TOLD to leave. STAY if you can, you will never regret it( we came back from Texas to experience it). We will be re-living the experience to some extent, bittersweetly, in May, when our oldest graduates- P-Rade,Step Sing. Luckily we will be able to experience the wonderful Princeton tradition again in 2015.
Parents of 2016 -Congratulations - you and your children are about to experience some of the best times of your lives!
My son graduated last June. I just want to chime in and say, yes, you guys and your children will most likely adore the next four years. I used say it was like Disneyland for smart kids. Which I suppose isn't very considerate of me, but there you go. I never attended Opening Exercises - we didn't really HAVE them when I was a freshman there in 1974, and I didn't stay for the kids'. I never went to Parent's Weekend either. I found that with the Daily Princetonian, and, oddly, Weather Underground's Princeton webcam, I could feel close despite the 3,000 mile separation. Oh, and with texting and gchat. Ceremonies are ceremonies, the 4 years have so much going on that most ceremonial details fade in comparison to the growth and development of your kids.
Or so I found.
The one thing I regret is never having seen a Step Sing. They have one again at graduation, but due to various divorced parent scheduling things, I never attended. I understand it's something not to miss.