Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Michelle Greenfield ’18

Phoenix, Arizona • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology View Profile

Class of 2020: It’s the Moment You’ve Been Waiting For

Princeton Orientation

Welcome To Princeton! You will hear this phrase at least 100 times when you first step on campus. So, for all of my class of 2020 readers, let me be one of the first of many to say congratulations and welcome to Princeton. I am super excited to meet you and can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you. I wanted to take this opportunity to offer a bit of insight into the unique Princeton Orientation experience.  Princeton’s academic calendar is very different from other schools, and because of this, we are able to have an extensive orientation program focused just on our freshmen.

Orientation includes many different components to help facilitate some of your first days on campus. There are activities set to teach you about Princeton culture and history, times to ask juniors and seniors questions about their experiences, opportunities to reflect upon where you came from and where you see yourself going, and of course, moments to hang out and create friendships and experience Princeton for everything that it has to offer.  

This year, Princeton is offering three orientation programs. The first is Outdoor Action (OA), which consists of a weeklong outdoor experience. This could be a biking, canoeing, backpacking, camping, or some other outdoor adventure. (I am an OA leader, so if any of you lovely readers happen to be in my group, bonus points if you mention you read this blog post!) The second program is Community Action (CA), which consists of a weeklong community service experience. As part of CA, you could be volunteering at a soup kitchen, painting murals in the park, planting in a community farm, tutoring, or doing some other fun activity with your new Princeton friends. The third program is designed for fall student-athletes. In this orientation program, students will remain on campus and train with their teams, while still getting that same personal reflection and community-building experience.

In addition to these exciting trips and experiences, as another part of orientation, freshmen will have the opportunity to get to know their "Z-groups," which is short for "advisee." This group, run by a student residential college adviser, brings together students who live near one another in their residential college. They will discuss Pre-read, the book assigned to the entering students of the Class of 2020, and become acquainted with special Princeton traditions (start thinking of your favorite songs to sing at Step Sing). And, of course, they will start making those life-long friends everyone talks about when they mention college.

So, Class of 2020, get excited about Orientation. Are you ready?