Before Princeton changed its residential college system and transformed all of its residential colleges into four-year colleges, the tradition was for juniors and seniors to move out of the hallowed halls they had called home for the past two years. Room draw for the 2022-2023 academic year was the first year this change was implemented, and while my draw group and I had hoped to stay in a residential college for our final two years at Princeton, we ultimately drew a room in junior and senior housing.
There are a lot of moments where I reminisce about my time at Forbes College, the far but cozy residential college known for its community and Sunday brunch (though I would argue Saturday brunches are better!)
I miss not having to walk in the cold during the winter to get to the dining hall, rolling out of bed on the weekends and walking six feet to the most popular weekend brunch spot, watching movies in the Forbes theater and sitting in the backyard and doing work while watching the sun set over the golf course with the graduate tower in the distance.
Forbes felt like a home, and I missed that community aspect of my dorm as I migrated further up campus for my junior year. Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to share my living space with people outside of Forbes (a perk of junior and senior housing) and the shorter commute to my classes, but every now and then I do find myself thinking of my old residential college.
Just my luck, at the end of September, Forbes held an Oktoberfest event for juniors and seniors –– where we were invited to the home of the Head of Forbes College, Maria Garlock, to have dinner and mingle with our fellow Forbesians. Once again, I found myself trekking across the lawn in front of the Lewis Center for the Arts and crossing the familiar crosswalk where familiar pillars welcomed me.
The event was held in the string light adorned backyard, where my roommates and I indulged on pretzels and currywurst and the like. Throughout the hour-long duration we were there, I saw many faces both familiar and unfamiliar, and realized the durability of the Forbes community. Some of the seniors there hadn’t lived in Forbes for over a year but were still present and chatting with the deans and staff.
Little events like this made me feel like an integral part of the community. My roommates and I (one of my current roommates was also a Forbesian) had a great time reminiscing about our time in Forbes, concluding that we should come more often for weekend brunches.
I realized then that it really isn’t that difficult to stay connected with your residential college as a junior or senior. Read your email, make the walk on weekends to use your dining hall swipes and never forget the memories you made there as a first-year or sophomore. And maybe you’ll be lucky enough in your room draw to keep living there as an junior or senior.