Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Makenna May ’17

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

My Five All-Time Favorites

I simply cannot believe that I am in my final weeks here at Princeton. Although it is a relief that all of my academic work for my undergraduate degree is now complete, I am truly sad to see the other aspects of my time at Princeton come to an end. But as I have been reflecting on my four years here, I thought that I would write a blog about some of my all-time favorites at Princeton! For all of the new Princeton Tigers out there, there is so much for you to look forward to in your upcoming years and I am so excited for you!

1. My Favorite Year

For me, my sophomore year was my very favorite. I will always remember the day that I arrived back on campus to begin my second year. I felt so excited and happy! It was great to already know the friends that I was coming back to and to understand what the academics were like at Princeton. I felt like the University was my home that was welcoming me back.

A photo of my friend and me.

Other highlights of my sophomore year were starting my jobs on campus (I had worked in high school but not during my first year), so I met new friends at the dining hall, at our Firestone Library and in our team of student bloggers! I also joined the Student Health Advisory Board and a few other social activities that I really enjoyed. As a sophomore, it was nice to know what Princeton's academic expectations were without starting my independent work. Overall, it was a great year.

2. My Favorite Dorm Room

This would definitely be my room senior year in Dod Hall! The location is perfect, the building is beautiful and it's just the perfect size for me. I love the big window that I have, and I just generally feel really great in this room!

A photo of my dorm in Dod Hall.

My dorm room in Dod Hall.

3. My Favorite Class(es)

When thinking about my favorite class, of course I couldn't pick just one out of my 31 courses here! So I thought that I would select a favorite for each year as a sort of compromise.

My first year, I loved my French (FRE 105): Intermediate French class. In fact, I loved it so much that I started to seriously consider concentrating in French (which I did).

As a sophomore, my favorite class was Art and Archaeology (ART 250): “Architecture, Globalization, and the Environment”. In this class, I learned about the social and ecological impacts that architecture has on major cities around the world. It was a class that I took towards my Urban Studies certificate.

As a junior, my best class was French (FRE 317): “Visions of Paris”. We explored how Paris emerged as the "city of light" by looking at how it has been portrayed in literature through Émile Zola's “La Curée” and in cinema through the film “Le Ballon Rouge.” Also, after having spent the previous semester abroad in Paris, it was fun to continue to learn more about the city.

This year, Sociology (SOC 204): “Social Networks” was my favorite course. I have always enjoyed my sociology courses at Princeton, and I wanted to take one more before I graduated. We learned about how social and biological contagion (think fads and the flu) spread in society through different types of social networks (like friendships, schools and workplaces). A little-known fact about me is that I love statistics and mathematical modeling, so it was fun to incorporate some more of this type of thinking into my last semester here!

4. My Residential College Excursion

My favorite trip with Butler College, a residential college, would have to be when I first saw “The Lion King” on Broadway as a first-year student. It was my first time going to a Broadway show, and it was truly amazing! We had great seats and it was fun to spend a few hours with friends exploring New York City.

Times Square with friends.

Times Square with friends.

5. My Favorite Community

My favorite student group here is the Aquinas Institute. I have made many close friends through this group, and we always organize fun events. Just this week we have organized a canoeing trip on the local canal along with a stained glass tour of our gorgeous chapel. Additionally, we also have had fun holiday parties, like decorating Christmas cards, gingerbread houses and coloring Easter eggs. Most recent was a thesis celebration party for seniors who recently completed their major works!

A photo of my friends and me having a party after our thesis.

Aquinas Institute's thesis celebration party for seniors.