Dear Princeton Class of 2021,
Congratulations and WELCOME to Princeton!
Get excited. Your next four years at this University will be characterized by opportunity, diversity and intellectual vitality. The only downside: You will soon develop a reluctant obsession with Halloween-themed clothing. Your next four years at this University will likely be exclusively orange and black.
Princeton will thrill you and bore you and shape you. Princeton will amaze you and leave you disillusioned and challenge your interests, intentions and values. Princeton will change you, and you should let it. You will discover new interests, you will grow and your passions will evolve. Apply for every opportunity that sparks your curiosity, seek out conversations, scour library shelves, join clubs, form clubs, take classes in areas completely unfamiliar to you, drop classes that do not interest you and indulge in curiosity.
I am nearing the halfway mark. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, I remind myself. After two years on this campus, I have found a place within it. I have friends and people and communities that ground me. I have interests and commitments and obligations that encourage me to dare. I have intellectual pursuits that drive me.
I am not here to tell you what your Princeton experience will look like or where you’ll end up; I’m just here to tell you that your Princeton experience can be (and will be) everything that you choose to make of it.
Your experience as a Princeton student starts here, right now. With your admission to the University, you have become a part of it. As a plaque in 1879 Arch proudly proclaims: “Princeton is part of you. You are part of Princeton.” Welcome. You’re one of us now. Trust me, it’s gonna be great.