Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Makenna May ’17

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho • French Language and Literature View Profile

Give Me a Break!

The inside scoop on study breaks at Princeton

When I was applying to Princeton, I believed I had a sense of what academic life at Princeton might entail. While I didn’t realize quite how amazing the professors are or how many beautiful libraries there are on campus for studying, I could indeed picture myself studying and attending class on Princeton’s gorgeous campus.

However, what I couldn’t exactly picture was having a balanced life at Princeton. And I was pretty hesitant about that. I sometimes pictured myself running from a lecture to my room where I huddled, in my mind, before my computer to furiously write essays before trekking across campus to a precept, reading a book in route. Well, I exaggerate a bit, but I honestly didn't know if Princeton was a place where I could find that healthy balance as a college student. I mean, did Princeton students take breaks?

Well, to my pleasant surprise, Princeton is well aware of our need for breaks and is excellent at planning them! I thought that this was a fitting time to write about study breaks as many readers may, in fact, be taking a break from writing college applications to peruse the blog! If that is your situation, or if you are just wondering if you will fit into Princeton’s community, read on because Princeton’s study breaks are the best.

There are two general principles behind a study break at Princeton: a) it’s definitely going to involve free food, and b) it’s probably also going to involve free clothes or gifts of some kind, too. I find that study breaks are especially fun when they’re centered around the holiday festivities, so I thought that I’d write about two of my past favorite seasonal study breaks.

My favorite study break last fall was the Fall Festival. Set up on the lawn outside Frist Campus Center, it was complete with a pumpkin patch, apple cider donuts from the local apple orchard, and a fall photo booth. My friend and I went first to go “pick” a pumpkin and then headed to the tables piled generously with Halloween candy where we painted our little pumpkins!

Fall
After much contemplation, my friend Cara and I definitely picked the best pumpkins in the patch.

Or maybe you would be excited to make your own holiday stuffed animal, ornament or snow globe at the Winter Festival? One Friday last December, Princeton decorated Frist Campus Center with snowflakes and seasonal decor and created a real winter wonderland for us. My friends and I met up in the afternoon to celebrate the season. First on my agenda was making a penguin stuffed animal, and we next enjoyed the delicious Christmas cookies and hot cocoa.

Winter Festival
I always mark my calendar when I see the study break posters up on campus!

I mention these campus-wide study breaks because they are, in my opinion, some of the biggest and best. But almost every day, you can find some type of study break happening on campus! For instance, when I lived in Butler College my first two years at Princeton, each Tuesday at 10 p.m. there was a study break for all Butler residents to go get free food — Qdoba, Thomas Sweet ice cream, Nomad pizza, Mehek Indian food, etc. — all from delicious restaurants near Nassau Street. Also, the RCAs (the upperclassmen who oversee the residential halls of freshmen) organize weekly study breaks with snacks for their freshman groups, and those sometimes involve a movie or other fun outing as well.

Apple picking
My roommate and I loved going on Butler College's study break to go pick apples at the Terhune Orchard last fall, too, on a Saturday afternoon! We picked the apples ourselves for the next night's study break, which involved turning them into carmel apples

So do know that for every homework assignment at Princeton, there is probably an equally exciting study break waiting to reward you for your hard work!