My Journey to Anthropology

I recently celebrated one of the most exciting days for a Princeton student this past April: Declaration Day! This day is when rising juniors “declare” their concentration (Princeton’s version of majors!). Everyone wears their traditional class year sweaters and gathers on Cannon Green to take pictures in front of their department banners. As you can tell from the featured photo, I declared… Anthropology! I’m super excited about my decision, but it certainly isn’t one I came to super easily. Let me tell you about my journey:

Going into my freshman year, I originally thought that I was going to concentrate in Sociology. Truth be told, I wasn’t even really sure what sociology really was, but after perusing the department’s website, it seemed to align with a lot of the fields I was interested in exploring: education, media, non-profit work, etc.

Long story short, I didn’t love it. Sociology just didn’t seem like the right fit for me, perhaps because it wasn’t as people-centric as I’d hoped for. The faculty were really helpful and the courses were interesting, though, so I could definitely see myself taking more classes in the department just for fun.

Following this, I was unsure of what to explore next until a friend of mine suggested that I take a psychology class with her. She was definitely going to be a PSY concentrator, and it was always a field that I was interested in learning more about. So I agreed! I started taking classes like PSY254: Developmental Psychology, PSY309: Psychology of Language, and PSY251: Quantitative Methods. It was the last of these three, a statistics class that was a prerequisite for declaring the concentration, that made me realize why psychology wasn’t a good fit for me either. The field required working with programming languages like R and lots of data visualization and analysis. I’m personally not a huge fan of math or statistics, so I found doing this quantitative work wasn’t as interesting or rewarding for me as qualitative work I experienced in other classes. Having explored two majors now with no luck, I didn’t know where my studies were going to take me.

Enter: Anthropology. As with sociology, I hadn’t really heard of what anthropology was before coming to Princeton. But I had taken two ANT courses during my freshman and sophomore years: ANT311: Food, Culture, and Society and ANT201: Introduction to Anthropology. The former, I absolutely loved! It was taught by Professor Hanna Garth and involved a lot of hands-on activities, such as the one day when we had class outside and did a series of taste testing! Unlike psychology, anthropology also afforded me the opportunity to do a lot more personal, people-centric work. For projects, I got to interview students on campus and family members, as well as conduct human observations for research. All of this felt much more fulfilling and made me excited to learn.

As Declaration Day approached, I was still weighing the pros and cons of each of these three concentrations. Something that I did to help me to make my ultimate decision (which I suggest every student do!) was attend the various open houses for each major. During the spring semester, this is something that every academic department does to help students (not just sophomores!) learn more about each concentration. After going to the ANT, PSY, and SOC open houses, I knew what I wanted to do. Call it a gut feeling or a good vibe, but I really felt like the ANT open house solidified for me that this was the concentration for me. So, on April 14, 2023, I declared Anthropology and haven’t looked back since!

All this to say, you by no means have to come into Princeton knowing exactly what you want to study. In fact, college is the perfect time for students to do the exact opposite: explore! Test out multiple different concentrations and certificates, take classes that genuinely interest you, and find what you’re truly passionate about. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up majoring in something you’d never even heard of!

Four females students with 2025 sweaters posing on the steps of Clio Hall
My three best friends and I repping our Class of 2025 sweatshirts on Declaration Day!

A Glimpse Inside a Res College Office

This past September, I started working at the front desk of the New College West Office — the one-stop shop where you can get answers to any of your “Westie” questions. It’s also home to many of the valuable people and resources that are available to help students throughout their Princeton journeys. Besides getting to earn a little extra money, this job has given me unique insight into the behind-the-scenes operations of my residential college and how one office helps keep the whole community running.

If you’re not a Westie, don’t fear! Each residential college at Princeton has an office just like ours. This is where you can find your college’s specific leaders, such as your Director of Student Life (or DSL for short), Dean of Studies, Residential Life Coordinator, and the Head of College. They all serve different purposes, but ultimately are there to support your needs, both academically and otherwise.

To find out more about your college’s team of awesome staff, click one of the links below! :

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten to see people come into the office for a variety of reasons. For example, at certain times during the week, the deans will have Drop-In Advising Hours, where any students can walk-in and meet with their respective dean to discuss academic concerns, like picking classes or managing workloads. I’ve also experienced students coming in to propose a community-building or club event that they want to see happen. And more often than not, we have students simply pop in the office just to grab some free chocolate or say hi!

My favorite part of working at the NCW office has to be our weekly res college tradition: Coffee in the Commons! Every Friday, as a study break, we help organize an event where students can gather and enjoy free coffee, tea, and some sort of treat or pastry. Most of the residential colleges do some variation of this event (like Yeh College’s “FriYEH” or the weekly “Teahive” for Butler College Bees), but Coffee in the Commons will always hold a special place in my heart. Most recently, we did a Mardi Gras-themed Coffee in the Commons, complete with king cake and donuts!

Three Mardi Gras king cakes on counter top
King Cakes at Coffee in the Commons, Mardi-Gras Themed!
Boxes of donuts on counter top
Donuts at Coffee in the Commons!

The colleges and their offices are truly another community within the Princeton community. I would highly recommend stopping by to meet the friendly staff members and mentors that will guide and support you throughout your four years here (and, while you’re at it, maybe consider applying for a job there, too!).

Where to Begin: Starting Junior Independent Work

One of the facets of the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree at Princeton is that you are required to complete junior independent work (in addition to the famous senior thesis). Some departments require two, one for each semester, while others only require one for the academic year. As an East Asian Studies concentrator, I have to write two junior research papers, the first of which is written in conjunction with the mandatory junior seminar (EAS 300) and under the guidance of the designated faculty adviser –– the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the department –– while the second is written with any available adviser of the student’s choosing. 

For East Asian Studies, there are no set parameters for our projects for either semester, meaning that we are genuinely allowed to write about anything that interests us. The freedom is both liberating and daunting, especially since I now had to consider my certificate requirements in my independent work. Two of my certificates: Gender & Sexuality Studies and Translation & Intercultural Communication, require me to write about a topic related to my certificate for at least one of my two junior papers. I remember walking into my classroom on the first week of the semester and sitting in a semicircle with the rest of my classmates when one of the first questions our professor asked us was, “Why don’t we go around in a circle and talk about what your junior paper topic is?” My mind went completely blank. I had a vague subject matter I wanted to research, but one that was nowhere near the stage in which I could share it with other people. I blurted out that I wanted to write something about the feminist movement in Korea and then sat around nervously as my peers described (what seemed to be) well thought out ideas for their independent work. 

However, as the weeks passed, my favorite part of the seminar soon became seeing how other people’s junior paper topics changed and evolved –– and how mine did as well. Now, I am writing my junior paper about the historical legacy of the patriarchy in South Korea, comparing the government response to the Gangnam Murder Case of 2016 with that of the general public, namely women. 

Although my junior independent work is far from finished, here are a few tips I have gathered from the past semester:

  • Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm! 
    • The more you brainstorm and think about your project, the easier the writing itself will become. 
  • Work a little every day, whether it be 5 minutes or 5 hours. 
    • You will have accomplished more than you think by the end of a few weeks. 
  • Ask questions, and ask for feedback.
    • Find a few people to bounce ideas off of and tell them to ask you questions to test gaps in your logic. 
  • Don’t be scared!
    • I spent weeks putting off working on my Junior Paper (JP) because I was overwhelmed, but once I started that it really is an enriching experience once you take it one day at a time. 

Breaking Out of Princeton: Spring Break in NYC

Going to college thousands of miles from home is always both exciting and stressful. However, I found this statement to be especially true during breaks. Often, shorter breaks (like Thanksgiving, fall break and spring break) can seem too short for a trip home to be worthwhile, or even possible. My first year, going home just was not an option for me. Fortunately, Princeton allows many of its students to stay on campus during short breaks. So I never had to worry about access to housing or food during those times. For those who decide to, staying on campus during breaks can be rejuvenating. It is a chance to experience Princeton without the hectic life of being a student, dining hall crowds and (sometimes boring) early morning lectures. It can be a chance to make new connections and catch up on overdue assignments and dining hall dates. That said, for those seeking thrills and excitement, Princeton also offers a number of alternative break plans run by various departments and clubs on campus. These opportunities range from trips to see live Broadway shows or go restaurant hopping in New York City, to free boxing workshops, to class-sponsored trips within the United States or abroad and much more. For my spring break, I spent a week in NYC and it was genuinely one of my best experiences so far as a Princeton student.

5 students posing for a photo in front of a restaurant
Last day in NYC with the group! 

I was part of a cohort of students who spent the week in NYC learning about immigration to the city through the lens of food. The trip was organized by the PACE Center, which is the department that manages most of the service-related initiatives for the University. During this week, along with a group of five Princeton students and a staff member, I engaged in conversations with community leaders in Brooklyn and the Bronx about the journeys of refugees in NYC and the role that food and the restaurant industry play in their experiences. I was also able to socialize with and befriend other Princeton students, many of whom I had never met before. Moreover, I was able to live in NYC for five days and eat quality New York food… For free!

Bowl of stew in shallow bowl on table
Our meal from Emma’s Torch, a nonprofit that prepares immigrants to enter the workforce.

I enjoyed the opportunity this Breakout Trip gave me to branch out and learn more about nearby communities and the challenges their residents can face. Princeton is not huge, but it is certainly big and busy enough to make you forget about the outside world if the intentionality to get out of the "bubble" is lacking. Our supervisor, Geralyn Williams, also made sure we learned about the most effective ways to approach service beyond our spring trip. We learned about empowering and contributing to established initiatives put in place by the locals rather than one centered on saviorism. Additionally, this trip provided me with many opportunities to reflect on how I might pursue my dedication to service in a way that truly serves others while respecting their own resourcefulness and commitment. I gained new insights into the worlds of social work, immigration law and human rights, all of which are areas that interest me deeply. I also had the opportunity to engage with social workers and CEOs of nonprofits and social enterprises and learn about their daily responsibilities, their challenges and the impact they have or aspire to. Following these conversations, I always felt deeply inspired.

Man holding chicken in farm building
Meet Poulette whom I met in an Urban Farm.

When I returned to Princeton, I felt that my sense of purpose had been redefined and sharpened. I felt more confident entering my classes and engaging in my extracurricular activities knowing that what I was learning was going to help prepare me for the life and career I desire. Even during my break time, Princeton accompanied me in my personal journey and it felt incredibly reassuring. In the days following this trip I had a heightened sense of awareness--I felt I was at the right place.

This Post Is Not Sponsored By The Writing Center

I still don't know exactly what my concentration will be. When I applied to Princeton, I thought I was going to concentrate in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). However, in the middle of my first semester, I started to have doubts. I began to seriously wonder if SPIA was the right path for me. A semester later and I am more unsure about my concentration than I have ever been. What contributes to my uncertainty is the fact that Princeton offers so many interesting opportunities that I am torn between so many departments, research and funding options. While I am still unsure about what my concentration will be, one thing is certain, I will write. A LOT!

I remember reading somewhere that Princeton is one of the universities that places emphasis on writing. This is one of the reasons why all students are required to produce a senior thesis before they graduate. This is also why all undergraduates are required to take a Writing Seminar, either in the fall or spring semester of their first year. Writing seminars are intended to introduce first-year students to academic writing. There are several seminars that students can rank before they are officially assigned to one. I attended mine, WRI 167/168: Justice Beyond Borders, in the fall. I remember one day, as we were discussing Kant's main claims in "Towards Perpetual Peace", a staff member walked into the room and introduced us to a wonderful resource: The Writing Center.

Lounge of the Writing Center

Essentially, the Writing Center offers free 50-minute and sometimes 80-minute one-on-one appoinments to students in which consultants help them work on writing assignments, ranging from 3-page essays to 20-page research papers. Consultants are undergraduate students who are trained to provide guidance on writing assignments. Personally, I see the Writing Center as an accountability checker. I schedule my appointments days (even weeks) before the deadline for my essays. My thinking is this: if I have a writing consultation scheduled, then I need to have something written. There are even times when I don't have an essay to receive feedback on. Sometimes I only have rough outlines or just broad ideas. However, scheduling a consultation forces me to set time aside to at least think about my writing assignment and to get someone else’s perspective on my initial ideas.

The consultants that I work with always listen to me and ask questions that help refine my ideas and push them further. When there is really nothing to think about, they propose exercises that encourage reflection on specific parts of my essay. Wherever you are in the writing process, they've got you! That's the beauty of the Writing Center. In fact, the consultations I found most useful were the ones where I didn't even have a draft. It is important to note that while no two consultants are the same, at the end of every appointment, I always feel ready to embark on my next step in the writing process.

I see the Writing Center as a group of students who not only listen to me talk about my ideas, but also help to formulate them into words, and ultimately in a "coherent, sensitively argued and well-written essay" (by the way, these are the comments that one of my teachers made on an essay workshopped by the Writing Center. It really works guys!)

This is just my experince with The Writing Center and while others may have a different take, I can say that it has been a helpful tool for me and it may be helpful to you as well. And who knows, maybe I will be a Writing Consultant by the time you come to Princeton and I will consult your essay!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Taking difficult courses in one of the world’s most prestigious universities, topped with moving to a new and different country seemed daunting at first. Coming from Poland, I didn’t know if my academic preparation was enough to thrive in a Princeton classroom and whether I’d fit well in the American college social life. As these thoughts began to fill my mind when I entered the walls of the beautiful Princeton campus, I remembered a piece of advice that has helped me succeed throughout my life: don’t be afraid to ask for help. I never would have thought that this piece of advice could make such a difference in my transition to college. 

As I progressed through my first fall semester, I quickly realized how many resources Princeton offers when you’re seeking advice. When I was choosing courses or became worried about my progress in them, I spoke to my wonderful academic adviser, Gene Grossman, a professor in the Department of Economics and Princeton School of Public and International Affairs who always knew exactly how to put me on the right track by both challenging me with exciting course choices and encouraging me to strike a work-life balance. Although he knew I was a prospective economics concentrator, he encouraged me to take Freshman Seminars which seemed to be very loosely connected with my concentration (one of which focused on the importance of failure in life, while the other on the constitutional debate over freedom of speech). These courses allowed me to discover areas of knowledge I never explored before and provided a healthy break from learning about economic consumption patterns and supply & demand. 


Antek standing in front of Blair Arch with his Class of 2024 banner.

When I found my days getting disorganized and unproductive, I scheduled mentoring sessions with the McGraw Academic Life & Learning Consultants who helped me organize my academic life. When I feared I’d never secure a summer internship after my first year I spoke to the advisers at the Center for Career Development who helped me polish my resume and land an incredible summer opportunity. With their support, I had a wonderful experience working for Magma Partners during my first-year summer: a venture capital investment fund that focused on supporting fintech and insurtech startups in Latin America. 

Finally, when I worried about adjusting to life in the United States I found a robust community at the Davis International Center. The Davis IC helped me effectively transition to living in a new culture. It allowed me to surround myself with people who found the same things about the United States to be different from their home countries and Davis IC empowered us to adapt to them together. I can certainly say that although Princeton has been a challenging experience, I was able to navigate through it well, without being afraid of failure. I proudly wear orange and black as I know that here I’m always surrounded by the right people who will help me succeed no matter what obstacle I encounter.

Coming to Princeton from Kenya

Hello! My name is Yujin Angolio and I am an international student from Nairobi, Kenya. I am a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering concentrator in the Great Class of 2023.


Yujin Angolio holding the national flag of Kenya

Coming to Princeton from Kenya was definitely both daunting and exciting. As I bade my parents farewell, I could feel my heart begin to quiver. I would miss them. I would miss my siblings and my friends. I would miss my country and its people. I would miss the food and culture. I would miss hearing people speak Swahili and their vernacular languages. I would miss more things than I could think of at the time. Even so, I was comforted by their words of encouragement: “More than we wish you could stay with us, we wish that you be brave and confident as you go out into the world. You are not alone. God is always with you.


Yujin Angolio on the right side of her friend Tiffany

It was the faith I knew my loved ones had in me that would keep me going. On the countless days I felt homesick, I would reminisce about the times spent together with family and friends and smile. The phone calls, WhatsApp chats and Zoom calls with them helped me through the homesickness while also allowing me to keep connected with people at home. With all the activities and programs that Princeton brings, one may occasionally lose focus of important things like relationships and faith. It takes a great deal of intentionality to shut out all the noise and decide to take time to pursue those meaningful things. If I had the chance, I would caution my younger self that doing so is not as easy as it sounds. I would tell myself: 

“As the days roll by, and you feel like life is slowly taking a toll on you, remember to pause and do those very things you think you are ‘too busy’ for. The call with a friend from home, the dinner in the dining hall with a friend from Princeton, the prayer in the morning before you dash off to class, the stroll around campus as you watch the leaves fall around you, the quiet reflection and meditation time before you go to bed...those things. Take the time do those things because that is ultimately where you find strength, life, assurance, and comfort. 

Yes, there are things you miss, but there’s certainly much more that you will gain!”


A Guide to the Residential College Office Staff

Right on your first day at Princeton, you’ll have a wonderful support system in your residential college: the dorm you’re assigned before you move in. But your residential college is more than just a place to sleep-- it’s a vibrant community with plenty of resources in place to support you. It all starts with getting to know two professors.

One is the Head of College: each residential college has a Princeton professor who is an advising resource for all first and second-year students. In Forbes, my college head has been Professor Maria Garlock, a bridge enthusiast who lives right next door from Forbes. She often hosts cooking get-togethers and special dinners at her home. 

Forbes College exterior

Together, with another professor who is the Dean of College, they organize college engagement events like tea & pastries during midterms week or sushi night leading up to course selection. Dean Caddeau, the head of my residential college Forbes, often brings his puppies to campus and is also very involved in the Princeton Garden Project among other sustainability initiatives. 

While the Head works primarily with first and second years, the Dean advises juniors and seniors in their independent work. Even after you may leave your residential college after sophomore year to live in junior and senior housing, your residential college will still look after you! 

You’ll also have a Director of Student Life (DSL) and a Director of Studies in your residential college. They advise on academics, well-being and your life outside of classes. Our DSL is a great resource for virtually anything, from getting better sleep to resolving roommate conflicts. Your Director of Studies is great for course scheduling questions or help with managing your workload. 

Each college office will also have a program coordinator and office coordinator who are integral in keeping operations running smoothly, organizing student events on the ground, and taking charge of every day. You’ll see them every time you enter the college office, and they’re the friendliest faces you could see! 

Together, the coordinators, directors, the Dean and the Head of College organize so many activities that make each residential college feel like home. Whether it’s the weekly study breaks, gear giveaways, sushi, advising sessions, outdoor carnivals, or more, the college office really keeps us all going.

Princeton’s Transfers: Small in Numbers, Big in Support

Princeton transfer students come from a range of backgrounds. Some are married with children. Others have earned badges of adulthood, like paying a mortgage or caring for elderly parents. Bodies and minds worn by military service may yield medical emergencies that conflict with final exams. These considerations exist on what are arguably transfers’ two heaviest burdens: 1) adjusting from the standards of another institution to the expectations of Princeton and 2) acclimating to Princeton’s culture as adults with life experiences. I do not intend to say that non-transfer students never face these issues. Some do. But for transfers, these are not just possibilities. They are common.


Xander dressed in a U.S. Marines uniform standing next to a friend

I know this because I have witnessed these events first-hand. I also know from my own transition to Princeton—which was much more difficult than I had expected.

I transferred to Princeton in 2020, when the world was on proverbial fire. I anticipated my first year at Princeton would be intellectually challenging—and it certainly was—but I greatly underestimated the social transition. During the 2020-21 academic year Princeton classes and activities were fully remote and while Princeton’s many resources made me feel academically supported, I initially felt socially isolated. The things that helped me endure two remote semesters at Princeton—besides my partner, Jenna, and our dog, Bishop (love you both!)—were the Princeton Transfer Association and its members.


Xander with his partner Jenna standing on campus behind a black and orange sign that says "Politics"

“PTA,” as it is commonly referred to, is a transfer student-run organization with two main missions: to advocate for transfer-friendly policies and to strengthen the transfer community. Since its inception in early 2020, PTA has made great achievements in policy reform (none of which would have been possible without the transfer program director, Dr. Keith Shaw, campaigning in tandem). Community building, however, has been much more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was especially the case during the University’s remote year.

Fortunately, PTA was resilient and held many virtual events that allowed transfer students to remain connected. For example, PTA conducted virtual “coffee breaks,” or informal Zoom meetings where members of my cohort could speak to transfer students who knew how to navigate Princeton efficiently and wisely. I attended plenty of these sessions,  just to connect with other transfers. At nearly every coffee break that I attended, meetings quickly turned from Q&A to transfers getting to know one another. These meetings often replicated some of my favorite memories from community college: conversations that naturally and tangentially jumped from topic to topic.

My favorite organized events were PTA’s “Transfer Trivia” nights. During these Jeopardy-style trivia matches, I mingled with members of all three transfer cohorts and appreciated focusing on something other than coursework. Coffee breaks gave me a space to chat with other transfers, whereas trivia gave me an opportunity to talk trash (as all parties competing in trivia ought to do). This allowed me to forge genuine connections with others. (And a bonus was seeing Dr. Shaw flex his vast knowledge of politics, history and basketball.)

Above all else, the best resource was the small group of on-campus transfers. I moved around a lot while serving in the United States Marine Corps, so I was well-prepared for the cross-country move from Southern California to Princeton, New Jersey. But Jenna had never moved away from home. Homesickness and the isolation of the pandemic made her relocation terribly difficult. Thankfully, a few transfer students and their families welcomed us both warmly. Made safer by biweekly COVID testing, we got together routinely for bonfires and coffee. When in-person interaction was scarce, the transfer community ensured that we were not alone.

Without PTA and its community, my transition to Princeton would have been much worse, and Jenna would have found our move much more difficult. They reminded me that I was at Princeton to do more than read and write, and that Princeton was a place for families, too.

I am grateful to now be the vice president of the Association. With the help of the PTA board, I plan to continue advocating for transfers and strengthening our community. And when President Alejandro Garcia graduates in the spring, I hope to fill his shoes, continuing his legacy of guiding PTA and ensuring that Princeton is a place for transfers because of other transfers.

If you are a prospective transfer applicant reading this, do not put weight on the fact that my transfer experience was more challenging than anticipated. If admitted, your experience will certainly be better than mine because you will not be transferring during a time like 2020. And if you do find yourself in that position, do not worry. The Princeton Transfer Association and its community will be there for you—and any family you may bring—no matter what.


Xander standing in front of Nassau Hall

Transitioning from a Community College to Princeton

Transferring from the Miami Dade Honors College to Princeton University has been one of the best experiences of my life and attending Princeton has been a lifelong dream come true. However, at first, I didn’t know what to expect of  Ivy League coursework. I questioned if my educational background as a community college student was enough to succeed at Princeton. As you prepare to make this transition, you might also have these concerns, but as a senior and after two years at Princeton, I can assure you that you are in great hands. 

As part of Princeton’s second transfer cohort since the program’s relaunching in 2018, I’ve come to appreciate this University’s transfer program because it’s unlike any other in the country. With each cohort amounting to just a handful of students, we all receive personalized advising resources from the program’s director, Dr. Keith Shaw. By taking a transfer-based writing seminar course during our first semester with Dr. Shaw, the program offers opportunities to have regular check-ins with our adviser. Moreover, the program also integrates resources provided by the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP) , which assists first-generation  and/or lower income students in their transition to Princeton. The transfer program also introduces students to the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning and Writing Center, which offer tutoring and essay advising sessions.

Taking advantage of these resources has made the transition to a major four-year institution so much easier.  Rather than being thrown into a large transfer cohort, we’re guided each and every step of the way as we take on challenging classes and begin to engage in unique extracurricular opportunities. In a way, the transition is almost seamless. The program equips you with the necessary resources to easily integrate into Princeton’s broader student body, while adapting to the academic rigor.


Alejandro wearing a Princeton University shirt

 If it were not for the program’s one-on-one guidance and countless resources, I would not have been able to take advantage of Princeton’s many extracurricular opportunities.  A week into my very first semester, I began volunteering for the PACE Center’s ESL El Centro program, in which I taught several weekly English classes to Spanish-speaking members of our community. I felt as though I was able to balance my extracurricular commitments with a challenging set of courses. However, a few weeks into my second semester, the COVID-19 pandemic upended my plans and routine, as it did for countless other people. I struggled to find worthwhile summer internships and fellowships after evacuating campus and self-isolating at home in Miami, Florida. Yet, after having engaged for at least a full semester’s worth of coursework and having built connections with several faculty members, I found myself working for two different professors as a research assistant. Throughout the summer, I helped curate research data and built several coding data frames.

During that time, I also led the founding of the Princeton Transfer Association as the club’s president. Through the group, we have worked to further facilitate incoming transfer students’ transition by offering experienced transfer students’ insights during the orientation process and fostering a sense of community between each transfer cohort with community-building events. Additionally, Princeton's opportunities are available to all of its students, including transfers. At the start of my second year, I was also selected by one of Princeton’s most selective public policy fellowship programs, Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI). The program offers about six students every year the opportunity to partake in an internship with a federal government agency. SINSI helps students interested in public service and policy find a way to begin engaging with the federal government. 

Princeton’s transfer program offers a unique opportunity for students to not only make a transition from  community college to a four-year university, but it also helps students thrive in the process. The transfer program has created an environment in which students from any academic discipline and background can expect to overcome the academic obstacles within the classrooms of a world-class institution, while also benefiting from unmatched professional development opportunities.