Tiger mascot hanging out by Nassau Hall

The afternoon that admission decision results were scheduled to be released, I requested permission to skip math class, sequestered myself in an isolated hallway and panicked for eight minutes until the application portal finally loaded my admission decision at 1:08 p.m. MT. Juggling my phone and laptop in the hopes that one would load faster than the other, I panicked for a half second at the absence of the orange tiger, which I had heard appeared on the masthead of all letters of acceptance, before jumping, beaming and possibly even squealing with joy as the orange tiger adorning my acceptance letter flashed across the screen.

In shock or perhaps disbelief, I refreshed (and took a screenshot) the page over and over again, double and triple-checking that my letter of acceptance was indeed still there. Hours later, my supportive and enthusiastic family members, adorned in excessive Princeton paraphernalia, orange face paint and glitter surprised me at the end of the school day with pompoms, balloons and streamers—all orange.   

Four years later, that day feels a world away. 

It is impossible to know Princeton until you become a part of Princeton. Although each student moves through the carefully cultivated stages of the “Princeton Experience” differently, we are each and all changed by it. Now, after seven semesters, it is hard to capture that experience in concise words. Although Princeton has brought all sorts of challenges, trials and tribulations, I draw on the euphoric memory of that day if I am feeling down about Princeton. It is a reminder of all of the reasons that I chose Princeton and a reminder of all of the things that I have come to love about Princeton. 
 
I did not decide to commit to Princeton immediately. Instead, filled with the irrational but overwhelming feelings of doubt and indecision that perhaps overcome many high school seniors making matriculation decisions, I waited a while to make the final decision that I had already made the first time I stepped on Princeton’s campus. 
 
Pick Princeton. I haven’t regretted it for a second.
 
My mom, my sister and I celebrate my admission to Princeton.

My mom, my sister and I celebrate my admission to Princeton in 2015.

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