Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Jordan K. Brown ’19

Decatur, Georgia • Economics View Profile

The Busy Times of Junior Fall

Fall of junior year has come in full swing, and what a big swing it's been. Gone are the days of merely struggling to balance just classes and social interaction, as Princeton adds on to the workload with junior papers (JPs) and summer job recruiting season. As an Economics major, I was bombarded even as early as July about recruitment events taking place in the fall as well as internship opportunities for next summer! I had heard that these events started early, but wasn't aware of how early.

At this point, I've gotten through a month of classes and various internship-related events, and there are a few pieces of advice I'd like to impart onto you, dear reader:

  1. Become very friendly with your calendar: In previous years, I never really relied on a calendar to help me plan out my tasks for the day or week. I would typically type them into my "Reminders" application or just write them down on a sticky note, but that certainly hasn't been enough this semester. Now I almost always put my series of meetings into my computer's calendar; it's been a life-saver. 
  2. Prioritize your time: While this piece of advice may sound like I'm stressing time-management skills, I actually like to think I'm making a slight distinction between the two. When I say, "prioritize your time," I don't mean that you should plan out set times in your calendar (see above) to go to every event, because that simply isn't possible (believe me, I've tried). What I do mean is you should selectively choose which of these events is the most important to you, and attend those ones, as it'll save you from the stress of feeling like you can't do it all.
  3. Do not take rejection personally: This piece of advice might arguably be the most important one. As Princeton students, whether it's intentional or not, we tend to be accustomed to receiving positive praise for anything we've worked on or strove for (that's how we made it here, no?), and that can lead to feeling "less-than" if things don't go our way. Remember, a rejection means nothing about you as a person, it just means that perhaps your qualities just weren't quite the right fit for that organization. The best thing I've done is to take rejection "on the chin"—to keep moving forward and to keep applying, thinking that the law of averages should eventually work in my favor. After all, you only need one of them to say "yes," right?