As an entering Sophomore at Princeton University, I cannot help but reflect back on my freshman year and the absolute awe that followed my arrival on campus. It felt like a dream come true. However as I reread my journal today, two particular entries reminded me of how my dream to of Princeton has evolved into my reality as a student. Like many high schoolers, Princeton initially was a dream come true. But I soon realized that Princeton placed me in an exhilarating environment with beyond talented individuals, challenging academics, and inspiring opportunities. Princeton turned out to be much more than I had dreamed of.
October 12th, 2022:
“Every time I walk past Blair Arch, I remember that I’m literally living out my dream of going to an Ivy League [school]. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The odds were not in my favor. The acceptance rates are so small. Yet here I am. I never thought much of that, but now I realize how momentous it is! “
A month into school, and I am very clearly enamored with the “idea” of Princeton.
March 22nd, 2023:
“I got an iced coffee at Campus Club today. The weather is still cold outside, and the crisp air kindly reminds me every morning that I live on the East Coast rather than Texas. The old wooden doors of Campus Club welcomed me in as I ordered an iced coffee. As I sat down, I found it odd that I’m currently sitting inside an old mansion: the only way I can truly describe eating clubs to my friends back home. Dark wood frames the diamond patterned windows, and I feel cozy inside here. The room is quietly bustling with student activity, and I eavesdrop on other students discussing math and physics. I observe the room around me, wondering what's happened in this room, a room with 100+ years of history. It’s odd that this room used to only occupy men, and now here I am, occupying this space. Drinking my coffee, a young woman, bright and curious, diving into my electrical engineering homework. “
By my second semester, I found a more accurate dream of Princeton. I recognized the privilege of this education on a deeper level. Princeton is not just a name or the face of our iconic Blair Arch, is a school with complex history. I take pride in being a woman in STEM, continually contributing to Princeton’s history--while drinking coffee in Campus Club. Since my first year here, I’ve realized that my dream of going to an Ivy League school has not really come true. As a woman in STEM, in an amazing academic environment, rich with history, I've been given a spot. I believe my dream has just started.