Scholar Check-in: Julie Kwong
I am having a great time here at Princeton! Move-in day was a success and I had my family and relatives there to help the process move smoothly and comfortably. I live in Buyers Hall in Rockefeller (Rocky) College, possibly the most convenient location to live because of its accessibility to the street of convenience stores and restaurants and the campus’s main centers. I arrived and spent the first night camping, on campus, with my Outdoor Action (OA) group in preparation for what was to come in the next week. I have made many new friends through the camping trip and they are all so friendly and supportive as well. I have to say that the camping trip was the greatest thing ever! We went to Shenandoah Valley in VA, which was about a 5-hour bus ride from Princeton.
Although at times it was difficult to hike for hours on end, I felt so wonderful in the end knowing that I had accomplished the trail/goal. We hiked about 4-5 miles per day, set up tents in the woods, and spent a lot of time getting to know each other and just enjoyed the environment and new experience. I was really challenged on the trip since I am not athletic at all. But here I am today, proud to say that I hiked a total of at least 20 miles last week! I feel so great and have made friends that I know I will keep for a long time. I broke out of my shell a bit, too, as I participated in games that I normally wouldn’t find interesting (because they are humiliating and a bit embarrassing). We all shared innumerable laughs, learned a lot about how to live in the outdoors, and picked up some new games.
Specifically, I learned to play a little bit of the ukulele and really bonded with the other students as we cooked, ate, slept, and did everything else together! On one of the nights, we even decided to squeeze all seven of us into a tent that is only meant for five! We were that comfortable and close with each other! In addition, the leaders were so open and fun. Things could only get better! The trip was awesome and I wish I could go back and do it again! After the trip, we came back to a lot of orientation events on campus, ranging from art performances to lectures on public safety. All of these sessions were extremely informative and helpful and I met a lot of people who gave me advice on how to choose classes and how to balance academics with social life. I also went to the eating clubs with my friends, which host parties that serve alcohol at night. However, I didn’t enjoy them because all the people did was stand around getting drunk. My camp leader told us that the parties will be much more fun during the year.
This Sunday there is going to be a lawn party (concert) with the band Third Eye Blind! I am excited to attend my very first concert! I have met some great people in my hall as well and our RCA is so nice, fun, and extremely helpful with everything! I have no idea how everything is working out in my favor. I feel extremely grateful! In addition, I feel pretty certain on pursuing a Math major since it is such a versatile field. If I wanted to go into finance, I could, or even become a math teacher like I have always wanted! I could also get a certificate in education as well as in finance. But for now, as many upperclassmen have suggested, I am going to fulfill my general education requirements by choosing courses I am interested in learning more about, not necessarily choosing courses to fulfill particular certificates. I enrolled in classes yesterday and am signed up for classes between 11a.m. to about 3p.m., which includes Spanish, Math, Writing Seminar, and an English poetry course. I am excited to see what is to come and experience the real college academic life.
On another note, the campus is absolutely gorgeous! I constantly find myself staring at the buildings and snapping shots of random landscapes. There is still so much more to see and learn here, making this the most perfect educational environment for me. Not to mention, the food in the dining halls is so delicious and presents a lot of variety! The next four years here will no doubt be four years to remember for the rest of my life!