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Far From Home


The last time I was in Haiti was in August 2019, before I moved to Germany to attend boarding school. Since then, either the health situation in the world or the socio-political situation in Haiti has prevented me from visiting my native land. This winter break was no exception. Following the surge of the Omicron variant around the world, which came in addition to the worrying political instability plaguing my country, I had to make the difficult decision to indefinitely postpone my trip to Haiti. After moping for a few days and complaining to my family, I had to take on the arduous but necessary mission of figuring out how I was going to spend my winter vacation in the United States.

One thing was sure, I was going to find someone, somewhere, to host me for the duration of the vacation. For one, Haitians are everywhere! For two, I know people… I think? Anyway, I was going to be fine! Asking family and friends to host me remained the last option on my list. After all, no one wants to be a visitor who abuses their host's hospitality. Four weeks is a lot of hellos, good nights, have you eaten already, when are you going back to Princeton again? Four weeks is a long time under the care of barely known strangers or distant relatives. For the most part, no one will tell you it's time to leave, but there is always an underlying discomfort that intensifies over time. Even when the host's hospitality doesn't seem to waver, after some time, one always ends up feeling uncomfortable. Out of place. Like a burden.

Fortunately, I did not have to burn my brain cells overthinking or interpreting the over-enthusiastic hellos or the not-genuine-enough smiles from any host. Sometime after Thanksgiving, Professor Hakim of the SIFP Office (Scholars Institute Fellows Program) shared an email from Dean Dolan regarding a request for continuous accommodation over the winter break. Essentially, students who could not return home during the holidays had the option of applying for continuous housing in order to be allowed on campus over the break. That was a breakthrough in my mission!

A few days after submitting a request in which I explained my situation, I received a confirmation from Princeton: I had qualified for continuous housing. Yay! After the immediate relief wore off, I felt bittersweet. I was grateful that I had a place to stay where I would be looked after. The testing program would continue throughout the break and food would be provided to me. Yet, despite having everything I needed to make it through, I was also very aware of the needs of the heart. The end of the year is a time most people spend with family and friends; I was staying on my college campus. I did not know how I would feel on Christmas Eve. Alone in my room. Or on New Year's Eve. Part of me was incredibly anxious.

The truth is, I really enjoyed my time on campus over the break. Don't get me wrong, there were some difficult times when I thought about where I could have been and what I could have been doing. However, I was constantly reminded that I had what I needed. I used the time away from distractions to reflect on my semester and my year in general. I realized that caught in the frenetic rhythm of my first semester, I did not spend enough time thinking about how I was doing, my goals or about the ways in which I was reconnecting with friends and family from back home. This downtime was incredibly helpful and rejuvenating. 

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Procter Hall: Graduate College Hall at Princeton University

I also explored the campus and the surrounding areas on my bike. I spent time with the many other international students (and a few domestic students) who were also staying on campus. We had a lot to think about, a lot to share and a lot to laugh about. On January 7th, we had our first snow! The campus was magnificent, shining beneath this thick immaculate white sheet which, when it fell upon the old buildings and the remaining greenery created a magnificent contrast. I fell asleep that day with the windows open, lulled by the sight of the flakes that landed majestically on the grass in the Forbes backyard, on the other side of my room. The next day, the intensified sunlight reflected on the snow woke me up. I got ready right away for a full tour of campus, as I did on my first day at Princeton back in July 2021. Indeed, it was as if I was discovering the campus for the first time. 

After the first snowfall, the campus slowly came back to life. Student-athletes, staff and faculty eased back to work. I started feeling the excitement about the Wintersessions I had signed up for and the winter internship I had secured through Princeton. I will probably write a blog post about them: Designing a Photo Exhibit (documenting the experience of black students attending the first-ever residential summer program at Princeton in 1964) and a discussion on forced migration. I am also very excited for the Spring semester!

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Student taking a selfie in the snow

P.S.: The Spiderman reference in the title was involuntary!


My Time as an Associate News Editor for The Daily Princetonian


The last time I wrote a blog post about The Daily Princetonian, I had just become an Associate News Editor. Now, almost two years later, I am done being an editor after serving two terms. Editing for the ‘Prince’, as we commonly call it, has been my favorite part of Princeton by far.

Every week, I spent two nights “on shift”. This means I would spend several hours in our wonderful newsroom at 48 University Place editing the news articles that were due that night. I made suggestions about structure and edited for word choice and clarity. I loved when writers came into the newsroom to work with me on their article. The newsroom had a real camaraderie each night as it filled up with editors and writers as they made contributions to their respective sections. It helped that the newsroom was always well-stocked with snacks, from every type of chip you can imagine to fresh waffles made on the newsroom wafflemaker. The newsroom really feels like home to me now.

Even on days I wasn’t on shift, I still had various other responsibilities for the Prince. For example, I was the assigned editor for a few articles each week. I would check in with the writers for those articles and answer any questions they had. I helped them think of people to contact and develop questions for their sources. Interacting with our writers one-on-one was a truly rewarding experience because I felt like I could help them improve their reporting skills, and I learned from them as well. 

While most of my contributions to the Prince were within the news section, I also attended full masthead meetings, where I contributed to discussions about the Prince as a whole. I served on various committees, like our accessibility working group, which focused on making sure that students with disabilities could access all of our reporting, and the speaker series team, which planned regular Zoom events featuring established reporters. I also worked on efforts to make the Prince more diverse and welcoming to writers of all backgrounds as a member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Board. I love that the Prince is a place that values the opinions of all staff members, from people who just joined the organization to the most senior editors.

Even though I’m no longer an editor, I’ll continue to attend news meetings and social events this spring because of how much I care about the amazing Prince community. I’ll have more time to write news articles, and that’s why I joined the Prince in the first place. I have grown immensely by being a news writer and editor and I’m so incredibly grateful for this experience.

 


Being Muslim at Princeton: A First-Time Experience


Truthfully, when I came to Princeton, I was not expecting to meet people who looked like me. I expected to be the outsider, other, visually and actually different from the rest. At my high school, that was all I knew. I was the only hijab-wearing Muslim out of over 800 students, and often the only Black person or girl in my advanced math and science courses. 

At my high school, I took the initiative to co-found the Muslim Students Association, or MSA for short. Our first couple years were a struggle to stabilize the group. The MSA never had more than four or five students during any given year. My experience of founding my school’s MSA opened my eyes to the reality of being Muslim at a predominately white institution: that experience is often isolating. But it also taught me the strength provided by community. 

Coming to Princeton, though, was a different story. Yes, I met people from all over the world, from Germany to Canada, and from Kenya to China, but I also met people just like me. I met people from California, my home state, and people from the Yoruba tribe, my tribe. Most meaningfully, I met people from my faith, Islam. A. WHOLE. GROUP. OF. THEM.

Let me set the scene for you: around noon, I walked into the gorgeous Murray-Dodge Hall and was greeted by Muslim peers. There was not just one type of “Muslim.” There were hijab-wearing Muslims and non-hijab-wearing ones, there were Muslims from a wide variety of American states and various countries across the world. THERE WERE PEOPLE MY AGE! STUDENTS! Students that I could talk to about the Quran, or about being a neuroscience concentrator, about hadith or about Hoagie Haven.

This was huge for me, considering I had an inconsistent Muslim community back home that mainly consisted of older women and their young children. Performing Jummah salat, an Islamic congregational prayer held every Friday, had become an action I did on autopilot, without really connecting with those around me. Going to Jummah for the first time at Princeton, though, thoroughly altered my notion of what Muslim representation can look like on an academic campus: being Muslim at a predominately white institution did not have to feel isolating, in fact, it could feel quite enriching and enjoyable.

Though Princeton's MSA has given me a community of people who I can relate to on a religious level, I would be remiss if I did not address the concept of homogeneity. While I do not think that living and staying solely in a community that looks entirely like you is a rewarding way to go through life, I think that there is much that can be gained from finding a small group of people with shared identities inside of a larger community that is diverse. These sort of small groups provide room for relatability without the echo chambers common in complete homogeneity. They provide a respite from day-to-day experiences without becoming a place that criticizes you for differences. 

Princeton’s MSA has shown me that same strength I first discovered, multiplied. Though it is still growing and expanding, the Princeton MSA has further exemplified how tightly a community can come together, especially after sorrowful events like the passing of Imam Sohaib.  I am looking forward to continuing my experience of Religious Life at Princeton, and I encourage you to explore the various religious groups on campus.


First-Year Takes on Princeton, Loses 1-0


When I initially began to reflect on my first semester here at Princeton, I could only see it as a zero-sum game, wherein Princeton bested me time and time again, despite my best efforts to maintain good grades, make friends and get enough sleep. But the inherent nature of reflection is not zero-sum, in fact, it is only through reflection that I’ve arrived at the person I am today, grasping at and combining all of the lessons I’ve learned throughout the years. Now that finals season has begun to wind down and the temperature has dropped suspiciously low, I am here to share with you three lessons I’ve learned from my first semester at Princeton!

Resilience Over Perfection

This has been a big one for me. As what you would call a “high achiever” (read: perfectionist) in high school, I expected that if I just sat down and studied, I’d get an ‘A’ in all or most of my classes. I quickly realized that that is not how academics works here at Princeton! Here, someone can study for hours and hours and still feel unsure walking into an exam. I do not say this to scare you, oh young one, but to prepare you. After taking my first semester of classes—an intro neuroscience class, an intro computer science class, a painting class and my first-year writing seminar—I have learned to value my own resilience over any unachievable notion of perfection. It is only from trying different study techniques and taking advantage of different class resources such as office hours that I’ve begun to figure out what I need to thrive academically. If I don’t get the grade I want, that just means I need to try something new next time!

The Spontaneous Yes is Rarely a Bad Choice

I know I’m going out on a limb here, telling you that your fingers do not have to be perpetually glued to a pencil or computer, but alas it is true! There are so many INCREDIBLE experiences I’ve had here at Princeton, all because I was willing to say “yes”! From learning how to ice skate at UPenn’s ice rink to performing in a Halloween parade, there are tons of opportunities (most of them free) for students to try new things, meet new people and have fun. 

Rest is Powerful

Read that one more time. Though it is easy to fall into a habit of working all the time and always being “busy,” I am slowly leaning into the power of saying no and taking some time for myself. Currently, my favorite self-care activities are napping, journaling and crocheting. I know I just told you to say “yes!” to more things, so this next lesson seems counterintuitive, but it’s actually not. My intentional “no’s” gave me the space to recharge and engage in self-care, so that when I did say “yes!” I was able to fully engage with whatever new experience I was having.  Saying yes to everything is not sustainable, and saying no to everything is a waste of all the cool opportunities Princeton has to offer; developing a good balance of yes’s and no’s is what has allowed me to take advantage of cool opportunities while staying on top of academics and relationship building. It is the key to avoiding burnout.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my reflections on my first semester at Princeton. What has this past semester been like for you?


7 Princeton Traditions in my First On-Campus Semester


I studied remotely for my first year, so my sophomore fall semester was my first time living on campus. One of the best parts of being in person is being able to partake in Princeton's numerous traditions that aim to build community in the Orange Bubble, so here are seven of my favorites that I've had the chance to experience:

1. Pre-Rade

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Student cheerleaders in orange and black at the Pre-rade

The Pre-rade is a parade in which an incoming class is officially welcomed to Princeton by running through Fitzrandolph gates. Alumni, upperclassmen and the student band cheer for you as you sprint through the black iron gates in front of Nassau Hall. The Class of 2024 didn't have a Pre-rade last year due to the pandemic, so ours was held this year just before the Class of 2025 Pre-rade. Students never walk through Fitzrandolph gates again until commencement, because legend has it you won't graduate in four years if you do! I don't know if I believe this, but I'm not going to be the one to find out.

2. Chalkboards

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chalkboard with equations for Mechanics of Solids

I have yet to see a single dry-erase whiteboard on the Princeton campus. Instead, every classroom or office I've seen has a traditional black chalkboard. I'm not entirely sure what the logic is behind this. You're forced to write more slowly on a chalkboard, I've found, so maybe this forces professors to slow down when teaching and helps students pinpoint mistakes in their reasoning when working through equations. Whatever the purpose, writing on a chalkboard feels old-fashioned and classic in a way that reminds me of Einstein working at Princeton (even when I'm only writing out a homework problem instead of refining the theories of quantum physics).

3. Forbes Garden and Sunday Brunch

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harvested cherry tomatoes in pots from the Forbes garden

My residential college, Forbes, is home to both the Princeton Garden Project, where student garden managers organize workdays where students can help weed and harvest, and to their famous weekly Sunday brunch, complete with a chocolate fountain. I enjoyed checking out the garden this semester and seeing the vegetables and fruits they were growing, and the Sunday brunch never failed to impress. 

4. Bonfire

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Harvard and Yale-decorated wooden crates and house on Cannon Green

When the Princeton football team defeats both Harvard and Yale in the same season, the tradition is to host a celebratory bonfire on Cannon Green. Each class year had a specified time throughout the day when they could place crates on the structure to be burned, and in the evening students cheered as the Yale and Harvard-decorated structure went up in flames.

5. Outdoor Action

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students on a hike at the Mountain Lakes Preserve

Outdoor Action is best-known for organizing the pre-orientation camping trip for first years, but they also offer hikes and other sporting activities to all students throughout the year. On "OA Day" Saturday this semester, I decided to join a hike at the Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve (about a mile off campus). The scenery was lovely and I was able to meet some new people.

6. Newspapers

The Daily Princetonian is always available online, but I really enjoy reading a copy of the physical newspaper. Having a print copy allows me to see stories that wouldn't otherwise catch my eye online, and it's nice to get a break from the screen. Each Friday afternoon copies of the Daily Princetonian and the Nassau Weekly, the literary magazine, are distributed to the residential colleges. I always look forward to picking up my copies and catching up with news and discussion of the Orange Bubble at the end of the week.

7. Applause after the final lecture

At the conclusion of the final lecture on the last day of classes, the students erupt into a hearty round of applause in gratitude for all the knowledge the professor has imparted throughout the semester. This occurred in a way on Zoom last year in the form of "thank you!" messages and "clapping hands" emojis flooding the chat, but it was so much more meaningful in person.

These were the Princeton traditions I got to experience this fall, and I'm looking forward to what sophomore spring will bring!


Accommodation and Advocation


Having been recently diagnosed with a disability, ulcerative colitis, one of the main fears I had living on campus was the accommodation system. I had only gone through the process during virtual learning, so witnessing how my illness would affect me on campus was a bit scary. I feared that I would not be getting the accommodations I needed. Considering the cyclical nature of my illness, I feared that the Office of Disability Services would not see my accommodations as necessary. Although I got most of my accommodations, my need for a private bathroom was not met, yet I’ve managed without it for now. 

The fact that I didn’t have certain accommodations that I felt were necessary made me worried about how accessible the campus would be. But, I find that generally, the staff and members of the University are quite understanding of disabilities. For one, my professors have been incredibly helpful in honoring my accommodations. Additionally, the Office of Disability Services is generally very responsive and helpful to meet the varying needs of students with accommodations. Despite the fact that I moved hundreds of miles away from home, with access to my needs more limited, I still flourish. Really, accommodations is about finding out how to work within a system, even if the resources you need are all not there. 

 

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Izabela Konopka sitting on a tree trunk

One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give to incoming first-year students is to make sure your accommodations prepare for the worst case scenario, rather than your present condition. College is a large transition. You can not predict its effect on your disability. Additionally, as long as you have the proper documentation and good reasoning, you should be able to get those accommodations. Another piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid to advocate for yourself. There are many staff who help you advocate for what you need to succeed at Princeton, like our Residential College Staff. Reaching out to them can be instrumental in ensuring you get the resources you need, and knowing that persistence is key. 

Princeton has helped me advocate for myself more, intertwining with my interest in politics. Princeton gives a plethora of resources for those with varying disabilities — you just need to take advantage of those resources.


Reflections on Bonfires


Members of Princeton’s Class of 2022 have had an up-and-down, unconventional time during these past four years. But I count myself very lucky to have experienced not just one, but two, of Princeton’s most unpredictable and unforgettable traditions: the bonfire, which happens only if our football team defeats both Harvard and Yale in one season.

In the late fall of 2018, and again just this month, all of campus gathered in front of Morrison Hall for a bonfire that reached high into the night sky. 

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Illuminated Morrison Hall with Princeton class year banners hung on the balcony

This year, I found myself staring at the high, bare branches of a particular tree, lit brightly against the dark sky by the orange glow of the bonfire. I remembered looking at the same tree three years ago as a first-year. Now, in the same place and warmed by that same heat, I didn’t even have to close my eyes to imagine that it was 2018, that the majority of my time at Princeton still stretched ahead of me. 

The crowd, rowdy and calling for the flames before the fire had begun, seemed to quiet as the bonfire crackled, its sparks catching high into the wind. On one side of the green, the Greek pillars of Whig and Clio were lit orange - all other light came from the growing fire, illuminating our faces and protecting us from the November chill. 

Sustained on wood pallets assembled and painted by each class the same afternoon, the flames stretched as tall as the trees, as if they were trying to ring the bell atop Nassau Hall. The crowd cheered as wooden pallets cracked and fell as they were consumed. Within our orange bubble, everything touched by night was lit bright as day.

The fire remained strong for more than an hour before it began to diminish. I felt that I had been there only a minute since it first began.  

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Aerial view of the bonfire on campus




 


My Love Letter to Princeton


Princeton was the last stop on my college tour. This was not intentional by any means, it just so happened that I circled by Princeton last before heading to the airport. In retrospect, had I visited Princeton first, I do not doubt that the rest of the college tour would have been for naught because everything else faded in my memory as soon as I stepped foot in the Orange Bubble. 

I visited in the summer when Princeton is quieter, serene and as gorgeous as ever. There is something about the empty walkways and buildings that both intimidate and invite you in, and as a high school sophomore, I could see myself at Princeton, walking (or running, as I often do now) to class, weaving my way through the residential colleges in search of new study places (of which there are plenty), or sitting at a bench outside stealing a moment to myself in the midst of organized chaos. 

Now, speaking to you as a student who was lucky enough to be admitted, the beauty of Princeton extends beyond its exterior. To begin, there is also never a ‘standard,’ or ‘average’ day here. I might wake up expecting to attend my 3-hour seminar in a classroom, but instead spend the class time sitting outside with my classmates and professor discussing politics. I’ll think I’m spending the night eating dinner with my friends but instead find myself wading in the SPIA fountain on a whim and meeting so many new people. The opportunities and paths are endless here on a day-to-day basis, and they become even more varied the more time you spend here. 

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Me in front of Fitzrandolph gates

I also love Princeton for the people and how genuine they are. Even before I had committed to the University, Professor Ksenia Chizhova from the East Asian Studies department reached out to me to arrange a Skype call to talk about my interests and how I could pursue them at Princeton. She assured me of the attention I would receive from the professors and people here, and after I arrived, I saw how true this was. The professors are so attentive, friendly and care about their students. My professor for a course called “China’s Frontiers”  sent me a feedback email after the first class, complimenting me on points I brought up during the discussion. 

I also learn a lot from my classmates, who are inspirational in their drive and work ethic, their commitment to social causes and extracurriculars outside of class, and their willingness to lend a helping hand. Everyone here has an interesting story to tell, and my friends range from environmental engineers to future politicians. As someone who is greatly influenced by the environment I am in, I believe there is no other place where you will be able to become the best version of yourself than Princeton. So take the chance, and join our Princeton community! There is a place for you here.

 


The Holiday Season at Princeton


I’m a bit obsessed with the holiday season...catch me on #holidaytok for sure. My family puts up our Christmas tree immediately after Halloween (November 1, to be specific). During that first week, all of the fall decor comes down and the holiday decor goes up: snowflake gels pressed onto the windows, gold lights strung across the trees, toy reindeer and “let it snow” signs stacked on the kitchen island. After we connect our holiday music to the house sound system, we’ve basically transformed into the North Pole in the middle of N.J. 

Given how whole-heartedly we celebrate the holidays at home, when I was a first-year at Princeton, I remember missing the rush to decorate and sing Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me.” It felt strange to not set up a tree after Halloween, and I started longing for spaces where I could get into the holiday spirit. Over the past few years, I’ve found many ways to satisfy my Christmas music cravings and decor instincts. If you’re also on #holidaytok, check out some of the ways that I like to celebrate at Princeton throughout November and December!

Mini Tree 

It’s a pink Christmas! This year, I bought a 4-foot pink tree to decorate in my dorm room. It was super easy to set up and a quick find on Amazon. I used a bunch of my ornaments from home so that I could feel like I was in my own house around the holidays. I plan to put all of my gifts for friends and family before break under the tree so it’ll be extra festive. 

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Pink Christmas tree with ornaments and stuffed animals underneath

PSEC’s WinterFest

As a Program Chair of the Princeton Student Events Committee (PSEC), I’m involved in planning school-wide events that function as study breaks and fun outings with friends. One of our annual events is WinterFest, where you can make holiday stuffed animals and winter crafts, take photos with winter backdrops, and eat yummy food like pies, latkes, cheesecake bites and so much more. It’s literally a huge food buffet in the middle of Frist Campus Center.

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Pies, crackers, cupcakes 

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Stuffed animals: bears, snowman, deer

Starbucks Holiday Drinks

While there are a ton of places to get coffee on campus, I can’t resist the Starbucks holiday drinks. And since we’re lucky to have a Starbucks right on Nassau Street (literally right across the street from campus), I’ll often pop in for something festive. 

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Starbucks holiday drink with a University building in the background

Palmer Square Lights & Tree

Every year, Palmer Square (a shopping & dining area walking distance from campus) decorates one of their biggest trees with beautiful rainbow lights. It’s a tradition to take photos in front of the tree! The whole surrounding area is also decorated with tons of gold lights that always remind me of the ones my family has at home. 

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Mia in Palmer Square surrounded by holiday lights

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Christmas tree lit up in Palmer Square

Cannon Club Tree Decorating 

My eating club Cannon also has its own holiday events and food. I especially love decorating the tree-- if you couldn’t tell by now, I’m really into Christmas trees. We drink hot chocolate, eat cookies and blast holiday music together. 

Cheer Holiday Practice 

Princeton Cheer always has its own holiday practice, where we dress up in holiday outfits and play fun games. Typically our coach will bring hot chocolate and desserts, and we’ll split up into teams to compete in a bunch of challenges. 

Secret Santas 

Secret Santas are one of my favorite parts about being on campus during December. My family never did Secret Santas growing up, so this is a bit of a new tradition I’ve started at Princeton. Each year I participate/organize multiple Secret Santas with clubs and teams that I’m a part of. It’s so fun to meet up with friends and exchange presents. 

 

Not only does Princeton look absolutely magical in the snow, but it has a lot to offer when it comes to all things winter and holidays. Of course, I look forward to winter break at home with my family, but I now get equally excited for the holiday season at school! 


Open Your Heart


Dear Great Questbridge Match Class of 2026,

Yes, it is official! You (yes, I mean YOU!) are a valued part of Princeton’s newest class, the Great Class of 2026. 

Maybe I’m moving too fast… let’s back up. In September, you worked tirelessly to submit the Questbridge National College Match application. Through October and the beginning of November, you waited with apprehension to see if you’d become a finalist. Then, once you became a finalist, you hurried to submit your supplements. The journey you’ve been through up until this moment has been filled to the brim with its fair shares of joys and challenges. I am intimately familiar with both (read: have you ever cried and screamed for joy simultaneously?). 

Despite the stress, not just from the college admissions process, but also from just being a lower-income or first-generation student navigating the U.S. education system, you have made it here to Princeton. I know you might not quite feel that you are “here” yet, and you may wake up many nights wondering if your match announcement was a dream or a stroke of luck. However, I am here to tell you that it was neither of those things. Even though you have yet to step foot in your dorm room or Frist campus center, or your freshman writing seminar, I assure you that you belong here. With every cell in your body, you belong here.

I remember that when I got my match email, I was sitting in my virtual French class. Although my eye fatigue was setting in at that point, my body jolted with adrenaline as soon as I saw the email at the top of my inbox. That moment felt like it would make or break my future. In many ways it did. I walked into my parents’ room, shaking as we opened the email together. In the rare moments that followed, my family’s joy pulsed forth in a sea of hugs and congratulations… finally, I had made it!

As I write this letter to you now, sitting in one of Princeton’s six dining halls, I’ve grown so much. In retrospect, my last few months of high school and my first few months of college have flown by in a blur. I say this knowing that when I was actually living those days, powering through the endless virtual classes, it felt like college life could not come soon enough. They seemed to drag on. But, I urge you to make the most of your final high school months. In those months, you will soak up the company of your friends, go to your classes for the last time and say many hard goodbyes. Don’t let those precious moments slip away as you instead grasp towards a blooming concept of college.

You will be changed here at Princeton. I know I have. In the past months, I’ve become a person who takes showers at night (enough said). I’ve joined the Princeton University Band and discovered a love for playing the cymbals. I’ve traveled to New York for the first time, and went ice skating for the first time, too. 

 

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Me posing with my band outfit and royal joes

Once high school eventually comes to an end, you will face the difficult but rewarding task of transitioning to college life. Please open your hearts to the experiences here at Princeton.

 I’ve changed so much, and yet I am continuously grounded by my Questie community. Though high school-me didn’t start making my match poster until May of 2021, the Questbridge community here on campus has consistently been here to support me and cheer me on, especially through the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP). Believe me when I say that there are hundreds of people here who can’t wait to meet you! 

With all my love

       Aminah