Visiting P-Ton

Spring break is here. I feel somewhat alone without a need to compulsively study and run from EC to EC. (I'm half-joking).</p>

<p>Anyhow, I'm going to the east coast and originally planned the spend almost the entirety of my trip visiting Columbia and checking out cool neighborhoods in NYC. Anyhow, I have grandparents in NJ who I'll be visiting one day, so we decided to make a day trip to Princeton.</p>

<p>While my initial impression of Princeton was largely based on fear that it would be too preppy, old-fashioned, and sports-oriented, I've done some research and come to realize that I actually might like it a lot. By looking into some of the unique courses P-Ton offers (I'm really intrigued by Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture), I've come to the realization that out of the HYP schools, Princeton would be my best academic fit.</p>

<p>Anyhow, I'm not sure if I'd be able to feel comfortable there as a rather artsy and liberal kid who tends to gravitate to metropolises. What, other than going on a campus tour, could help me figure out if I'd fit in? </p>

<p>Beyond that specific social aspect of Princeton, is there anything else on or around campus that would be particularly interesting, valuable about the experience, or otherwise symbolic of the University's "character"?</p>


<p>Please don't apply. It'll only make it harder for me to get in. :) Sorry, other than that, I can't offer much wisdom.</p>

<p>Butternut, I'm not sure if that's a compliment or just targeted at the fact that more applicants implies lower acceptance rates. Haha. Anyhow, we will/would be applying different years (I'd be P'15), so no need to worry. Best of luck!</p>

<p>So, does anyone else have an answer for the original question?</p>

<p>princeton is by no means a one dimensional school, and dont listen to butternut. sure there is a large number of preppy students, but that doesnt mean that there isn't a substantial contingency of artsy people as well. </p>

<p>First of all, the campus tours / info sessions at princeton are by far the best of any college I visited, I really felt that I got a great sense of the school in just a brief amount of time. I came in with the preconception that everyone was so pretentious and preppy, but I really found these notions to be stereotypical at best. In terms of other means of finding whether or not it would be the right type of school for you, I would contact the leaders of academic programs or student groups that appeal to you most. When I visited, I was given a full tour of the music department and mini-audition by the department head of music himself, and he was completely willing to do so, I just shot him an email beforehand. I also contacted the presidents of several student groups to get specific opinions about different aspects of the school. In that respect, I think that by talking to actual students and staff at Princeton you would discover more than on any website.</p>

<p>Good Luck! Princeton is amazing, I hope you love it</p>

<p>(and i hope i get in too)</p>

<p>whooa. princeton '15? so you are a freshman now? give yourself a break man! enjoy high school and worry about colleges a little later. I guess its a good idea to start thinking about your preferences now, but don't get too hung up over it yet, there is AMPLE time for that during junior and senior year....let me tell you</p>

<p>***, why are you visiting schools so early?</p>

<p>Oh man, I don't know what I would've done if I was thinking of colleges that long ago.</p>

<p>RBallard, thanks for the advice!
To everyone else, I'm not really <em>seriously</em> looking at any of these schools. I'm mainly going out east to see family, and I happen to have family to see who live near the Columbia and Princeton campuses. I have essentially grown up on the campuses of UChicago and Northwestern, so I suppose that spending time on college campuses has just become sort of an informal thing which I'm used to doing.</p>

<p>It is perfectly fine to think about college freshman year.</p>

<p>I was for some reason crazy about college freshman year, but guess what - it paid off. I found out earlier than all my peers that EC padding is dumb, that good schools exist outside of the UC system, and that I could explores all kinds of options (from tiny LACs to huge state schools like UMichigan) and still ultimately narrow my apps to six schools. I knew the difference between ED and EA and SAT requirements and need-blind financial aid and the context of a GPA.
By junior year, I didn't even really worry about college at all and just did the necessary things to keep up with my plan: taking SATs, doing well in classes, etc. So there are advantages to earlier preparation.</p>

<p>And if you are in Princeton, no reason you shouldn't visit campus. Like you, I came to the same conclusion that P-Ton fits me better than H or Y or S or M or most other schools for that matter. (except maybe one school in North Carolina) ;)</p>

<p>Thanks for the encouragement, padfoot. I guess I've come under some fire recently for being so enthusiastic all about college at a rather early age. I'll try to tone things down (at least externally) a bit, but I don't really see any reason I should force myself not to think about something that genuinely interests me.</p>

<p>Best of luck for admissions to P and [presumably] Duke!:D</p>

<p>Thanks wmmk! </p>

<p>Your reply makes perfect sense.
People tend to react negatively to "early" posters on CC. Eight, ninth, and tenth graders are often told rather rudely to forget about college for a year or leave CC, as if those are things one can simply erase from the mind. Of course, it is never good to become obsessive about the future and thereby miss out on the opportunities available to you in high school (of which, your social choices are some of the most important in shaping your future) - but I don't think there's any reason to believe that this applies to you.</p>



<p>As an artsy liberal, absolutely you will find a group to fit in - Tower is full of performing arts types and so forth.</p>

<p>As someone who like metropolises... maybe not so much. NYC is nearby, but it's not like you're going to realistically be going there any time other than weekends - and then, only every once in a while. Princeton is a very small town.</p>

<p>padfoot, that is truly nice to hear. I suppose it's nice to get some validation. I'm just the type who sometimes gets anxiety about issues like college, and I feel that posting on CC, visiting campuses, etc. actually lets me channel my anxiety productively, allowing me to spend the majority of time studying hard, trying to do innovative things with my EC's, and even occasionally chill out with friends!</p>

<p>1of42, Thanks for the reply. I looked up Tower, and it sort of made me worry further about my potential social situation at Princeton. I suppose, however, that I should clarify. For a bit of research, I'm getting the vibe that the artistic/liberal community is polarized at Princeton. </p>

<p>I suppose I could describe myself as the type who love to associate with the kids at school who have pierced noses, play in punk bands, and make surrel art, but wouldn't dream of trading his comfortable levi's, brooks bros. khakis, or unpierced body for a punk outfit. I play in the pit orchestra for musicals and have even acted a bit, but I'm probably going to be groaning along with the rest of the school when stereotypical "theater kids" obnoxiously dramatize morsel of gossip floating on the wind. I work on democratic candidates' campaigns, but I'm happy to sensibly talk politics with you if you're a McCain supporter.</p>

<p>Sorry to be long-winded, but the point I'm trying to make is that I have liberal politics and like art, but I don't feel the need to wear my sociopolitical standpoint on my sleeve. I guess the limited material I've read on Tower and Terrace has gotten me to presume that these clubs are the only places for Princeton students who don't adhere to the Ivy League stereotype and thus feel as though they have to make their liberalism and artsiness public (and occasionally obnoxious).</p>

<p>I love the academic programs at Princeton, so I'd love to know the aforementioned presumption is a false one. Do any of the eating clubs have a reputation as being politically moderate-liberal, culturally nuanced, and particularly intellectual?</p>

<p>Thanks again!

<p>I think what you'll find is that the top top universities of America will have:
A) a distinct style (different at H or P or Y or S)
B) tons of extremely accomplished and intelligent students</p>

<p>So while some schools like Princeton may have overtones of preppyness (see A), these styles tend to be more superficial to the students' characters, as compared to high school, when many kids feel compelled to look and act like they dress (and thus these things are MORE integral to their characters). Does that make sense?
Considering that amazing intellectual achievement of the vast majority of Princeton students (see B), I would expect that most have the social reasoning abilities to accept "liberal, artsy" students like yourself as close friends - unlike high school, intellectual bonds ought to be stronger than those based on appearance.</p>