What Does an "Average Student" at Princeton Look Like?
As a tour guide, prospective students often ask me to describe an “average Princeton student.” It is a difficult question to answer not only because my experience and my perspective on this question cannot be considered representative of the multitude of experiences and perspectives of students on this campus but also because I have found that there are very few characteristics that all students here share.
While I do not believe that there is an “average Princeton student,” I do believe one characteristic that many Princeton students share is intellectual passion and curiosity. We are all curious about different things but we are all passionately curious about SOMETHING.
While I am incredibly passionate about the history of political thought, Cold War history, art and The Odyssey, some of my closest friends are passionate and curious about other things. For instance, some are interested in the impact of educational levels and socioeconomic status during childhood on future investment decisions, the history and promotion of authoritarian regimes, sociology and architecture or Very Large-Scale Integrated (VLSI) Systems.
While we learn from professors and scholars in the classes that we take here, we also have the opportunity to learn from each other. From students who grew up in the town of Princeton to students from all across the world—Lesotho, Syria, Turkey, the Netherlands or South Africa. Then there are students studying molecular biology with passions for dance and choreography, and Computer Science students who are also members of the Princeton University Orchestra or students studying Religion and also pursuing certificates in Statistics and Machine Learning. Some students are the first member of their family to attend college and others grew up attending Reunions at Princeton as children of alumni. Diversity looks like a lot of different things, but it is precisely these forms of diversity that makes Princeton such a vibrant community for students to learn.
This diversity of thought and experience contributes to Princeton’s vibrant culture of intellectual curiosity. Everyone I meet here is passionately curious about SOMETHING, but the diversity of our experiences and interests means that there is always something to learn from each other.