My experience at Princeton has definitely been shaped by faculty and staff in and out of the classroom. They are great leaders and role models. A good amount of my time is spent in libraries, cultural centers and dining halls, places where I find people who also inspire me to be the best version of myself, who look out for my well being, and who are invested in my personal growth, even though they don't necessarily have to be. Guidance through academic advisers and professors were things that I expected to receive in college, but some things I've learned and hold close to my heart were also inspired by the staff at Princeton. Some of my experiences include:
- Going to late meal after class and having Charlie on the soul food station know my order as we chat about the little things;
- Spending long hours studying at the Carl A. Fields Center as Assistant Dean Tennille and Program Coordinator Jes send me love and encouragement;
- Talking with my Director of Studies, Dr. Rashidah Andrew, who makes me feel immediately at home in her office;
- Having Dean Buck give me encouragement to lean into uncertainty and take time to discover my passions when I was undecided in my first year.
Some of the best lessons I've learned about personal development and academic growth have been through these spontaneous conversations. These experiences have led me to reflect on the following:
- It's okay to still be undecided. You're not supposed to know it all at 18.
- Don't just go to school. Experience it. Allow yourself time and space for adventure and surprise encounters.
- You don’t have to do it all. Just because you can doesn't mean you must. It’s important to manage your time when it comes to your academics and extracurriculars.
- Take time to listen to others.
I encourage everyone to take time and speak to the people around you, faculty and staff alike. They are a part of my Princeton story and I encourage you to open your heart to include them in yours.