Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Cricket Gullickson ’15

Rio, Wisconsin • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology View Profile

Fifteen Things To Do Before June 2

Crossing items off my senior year bucket list

Before second semester, a friend pointed something out to me: If you include the weeks of reading period and exams, there are 15 weeks in a Princeton semester. That means that, as of Feb. 2, there were 15 weeks until I graduated with my fellow classmates in the Great Class of 2015. Thus, it only seemed fitting that when I drafted my Senior Year Bucket List, I should include 15 things that I wanted to do before graduating from Princeton. For the rest of the year, I’ll be keeping you updated on the items that I’m crossing off my bucket list! 

Week 1: Walk on Lake Carnegie! This year, it was consistently cold enough for Lake Carnegie to freeze over solidly enough to be open for ice skating. As spring rapidly approaches, I wanted to make sure that I got the chance to go down and see what it was like. Since I have no athletic ability, I decided to skip the skates, but it was still a ton of fun to just walk—or, more accurately, slide, slip and fall—on the lake. I’d seen the lake so many times during crew practices freshman year, but there was something so special about being there in the winter with a couple of good friends.

Walking on Lake Carnegie at sunset
Item #1: Walking on a frozen Lake Carnegie (added bonus: seeing a beautiful winter sunset!)

Week 2: Meet President Eisgruber. You can’t graduate without meeting the president of the university, right? At least, that’s what I figured, although I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage to do it. I got my chance at a banquet for students who are working for Princeton's annual giving campaign to collect donations from Princeton seniors and recent grads. (A surprising fact I learned at that banquet: Princeton receives more than $1 million on average annually in small donations, which support financial aid programs, research programs and other essential functions. Incredible to think that I am probably at Princeton in part because of the generosity of so many very recent graduates who have made my financial aid package possible.)

Week 3: Visit a friend’s house. One thing I really miss about middle school and high school is how familiar and comfortable it feels to go to a friend’s house. You definitely don’t get that opportunity as much at Princeton, unless your friends live quite close to campus. For the last three years, one of my best friends has been so sweet to invite me to her house in Boston for Thanksgiving, but I wasn’t able to go this year, so I was missing that welcoming feeling of visiting a friend's home. Last weekend I got the chance to feel that again when another friend invited me to her family’s celebration for the Chinese New Year at her home in New York City. I traveled there with a couple of other friends I had made early freshman year. It was a wonderful opportunity to get out of the Orange Bubble and to catch up with old friends. Not to mention that the food was absolutely incredible! 

Dishes for Chinese New Year feast
My first Chinese New Year celebration - and probably the best dinner I've ever had!

Week 4: Finish a meal exchange at every eating club. I’ve had fun with this one, because it gave me the opportunity not only to sample dishes across all 11 clubs, but also meant that I got to branch outside of my normal circles and catch up with friends I tend not to see on a day-to-day basis. 

So, one month down—and time seems to be moving faster than ever! Just 11 more weeks and 11 more items to go.