My schedule strains under the competing pressures of lectures, precepts, office hours, meetings, study sessions, and appointments. I heave my too-heavy backpack up, down, and across campus, and I buzz around campus attending, accomplishing, and participating. My plate is full with obligations: to-dos, have-tos, need-tos, and whoops-should’ve-dones. It is no secret that Princeton students are busy—and on average, very busy. But it is this constant humming, buzzing, and bustling that makes Princeton so special.
Here, schedule and backpack straining, I am not busy but brimming.
Princeton is a home to the curious and the confused, the loud and the bold, the quiet and the earnest. It is home to the courageous and the keen.
A poem carved over the entrance to McCosh 50, a large lecture hall that has become an steadfast feature of many generations of Princeton students’ time here as undergraduates, by H.E. Mierow from the Class of 1914 reads “Here we were taught by men and gothic towers democracy and faith and righteousness and love of unseen things that do not die.” Here, we are taught by passion and curiosity and love for knowledge. Here, we are taught that learning is not limited to the confines of our lecture halls, our classrooms, and the grades that we earn.
Here, I am constantly brimming with joy and fulfillment and fear and excitement and hope and loss and growth. I am overwhelmed by the incredible complexity of the balance required of me (and of every student on this campus), but it keeps me on my toes. The bustle and the balance keeps me in check, constantly reminding me to make room for the things that make me happy, to dedicate time to those that I care for, and to give my energy to the people, activities, and work that make me feel curious, engaged, and fulfilled. Again and again it is my friends, my communities, and passion that ground me.
Here, we learn by the anxious and constant pursuit of all that lights us on fire, by “love of unseen things that do not die.”