Goodbye Prefrosh, Hello Reunions

The University hardly waited for the prefrosh to leave before they began setting up for Reunions, plural, with a capital R. Expect to start seeing full fences go up soon, making it impossible to take shortcuts (unless you’re particularly good at hopping the ten-foot-tall wooden blockades meant to keep strangers out and beer-wielding alum in).

[caption id="attachment_12676" align="aligncenter" width="515" caption="Taking down the Prefrosh Tent even as the electricity posts for Reunions fences go up"]Taking down the Prefrosh Tent even the electricity posts for Reunions fences go up[/caption]

Preview Weekend Round 2

Preview weekend round 2 has now come and gone. Already forgotten how awesome it was? Here’s a video of the prefrosh exiting Richardson Auditorium at Alexander Beach (lesson number one, prefrosh: Alexander Beach is not an actual beach) Thursday afternoon. If you watch long enough, you can hear them blasting “Call Me Maybe” on the loudspeakers—nothing like a little Carly Rae Jepsen to welcome you to Princeton.

Prefrosh Get A True Taste of Life at Princeton: Firestone

Wait, are prefrosh starting to realize that every weekend at Princeton isn’t like Preview? That probably explains why a bunch of them streamed into Firestone Library this afternoon, hoping to get a taste of real Princeton life–living in the library.

Haven't seen Firestone this festive since Dean's Date

But apparently, the librarians at Firestone were way ahead of them. They decorated the library with balloons and gave away free candy, doughnuts, and tours. (No advice on how to avoid asbestos or outlines of escape routes from the C-floor were offered, however.)

One prefrosh was overheard saying, “I have a thing for libraries.” Let’s just hope he’s got a thing for carrels too.

The Prefrosh Are Coming! The Prefrosh Are Coming!

Last week, we showed you pictures of admissions officers doling out the fate of thousands of high schoolers. But the admissions officers can’t rest just yet. Now, they’re busy getting ready for the arrival of the new Princeton young’uns at Preview in two weeks. Friday afternoon, they were spotted filming students in Forbes for their admissions video. And, well, it seems that they were desperate for student participants:

Admissions Vid

So much so that they came over to my table at lunch to beg us to be in their video. After the admissions officer introduced himself—“Have I bothered you guys yet? No? Okay, good”—he asked if we would move to the lobby to be filmed. When we all hesitated, he quickly responded with a, “Well, without my boss, Janet Rapelye, you guys wouldn’t be here.” True story. But did he just guilt-trip us? I think he did.

So, fair warning, you might find a camera in your face in the next few days. But, hey, it’s for a good cause:

21 Questions With … the Prefrosh of 2015


Pre-frosh bonding sesh.

Pre-frosh bonding shenanigans.

[Editor’s Note: I am extremely excited to reveal our first-ever 21 Questions with a composite person! Here, one collective prefrosh answers all our questions.]

What were you doing 72 minutes before the admit decisions came out?
Since I’m a sleep deprived senior, I was taking a nice nap.  There was no way I could have waited three hours between school and the decision time.

Favorite Princetonian?
Uh … my host, John Lack.

In one sentence, what did you do all day?
I relaxed, you know, got mango-ed at the lassi study break and then Frist-ed it up.

When’s bedtime?
11:00 PM.  I’m efficient.

Do you believe in Santa?
No.  When I was in third grade, my parents told me that they put the presents under the tree.  I was heartbroken for about an hour or so, but I let it go.  I mean, how would Santa get to all the houses?  Quantum physics?

What do you do to unwind?
Lately I’ve been going back to NFL Street 2.  It’s a PlayStation 2 game.

Guilty pleasure?
I like to eat food.  When there’s food in front of me, I can’t stop.  The dining halls, man, next year I’m going to get fat.

Continue reading…

IN PRINT: On prefrosh impressions, and undocumented students at Princeton

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The most recent issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly has two articles that shed some light on what life at Princeton is like.

  1. According to some pre-frosh, the world outside Fitzrandolph Gate thinks we are “squares,” with “windswept hair,” “weird shorts,” and “boat shoes and everything.” This may in fact be true.
  2. More serious, but also true: From navigating financial aid applications without a Social Security number to being unable to study abroad, undocumented students at Princeton face more obstacles to graduation than a few pesky Dean’s Dates. Yet they’ve gone on to great things. The Princeton DREAM team, which began at a dinner at Professor Patricia Fernandez-Kelly’s home, recently organized a week of events to raise awareness of the plight of thousands of undocumented students in the United States. The team supports the DREAM Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for eligible undocumented youth who complete a college degree or two years of military service.

Read these articles and more in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

A Unique Organism

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Not quite as cute as these."]Not quite as cute as these.[/caption]

Biannually, the Princeton University campus is overrun by a unique organism. Here are some salient facts:

Lifespan: Generally between April 1 – May 1.

Habitat: Maybe here for the next four years. Maybe not.

Status: Endangered. Due to intense intraspecies competition, only 8.18% even make it to this phase of life.

Diet: Dining hall food that’s seemingly a lot more delicious these two weeks than the rest of the year.

Predators: Um. I guess.

I speak, of course, of the elusive prefrosh (Adolescens hyperambitionis).

Often spotted in loyal packs of 5 or 6, not unlike other similar species, these fascinating creatures can be easily identified by their characteristic orange plumage, otherwise known as orange lanyard. Although some coyly tuck them into pockets in a misguided attempt at camouflage, their other telltale traits give them away: shrill mating calls of SAT scores and peer school comparisons, adorably vapid facial expressions (often a product of being hopelessly lost), snouts buried in trusty Preview packets, and the aforementioned  herd mentality. I know all this because I braved a weekend among them circa 2009. (Well, I was one of them.)

They are generally gentle and vulnerable creatures. (Except for one scoundrel my friend caught in the act of lighting posters on fire!!!) So if you come across them, be sure to extend a friendly hand in the name of science. I identified a lost trio — like I said, it’s never hard to tell — and shepherded them to their destination.

I felt like I was taking baby turtle hatchlings back to sea.

(image source:

Hey Princeton!: Pre-Frosh Edition


Some highlights (lowlights?) from weekend one:

HEY PREFROSH WHO LIKE TO FINISH EACH OTHERS’ SENTENCES!  How do you think Princeton is perceived by the outside world?
Prefrosh A: There’s like this elitist image –
Prefrosh B: Yeah, especially with the eating clubs –
Prefrosh A: The eating clubs are this big scary thing that no one understands –
Prefrosh B: Because other colleges have frats, which you can understand –
Prefrosh A: But it’s not obvious what “eating clubs” should entail –
Prefrosh B: Like, what’s an eating club?  People eating?  But it’s more than that, right?

HEY PREFROSH ARGUING WITH EACH OTHER!  I’m just gonna listen in for a bit before I interject!
Prefrosh C: Okay, then what would you say to my friend who got a 2300 on the SAT, worked his ass off for four years and didn’t even get into any of the top schools?
Prefrosh D: Try harder.
Whoa.  What are you guys talking about?
Prefrosh C: What we’re discussing is what’s better:  the system of admissions into schools in America or the system of admissions into schools in India and China.
India and China?
Prefrosh C: THANK YOU!
No, that was just, like, a restatement.
Prefrosh D: He was just repeating the last few words you said.

Continue reading…

When the prefrosh weather machine breaks down

The prefrosh are coming this weekend, and in recent years, the little kiddies have enjoyed absolutely gorgeous weather. For those of you who don’t know, the weather was so consistently amazing on these preview weekends that people started suspecting Shirley Tilghman kept a weather machine for the occasion. I mean, we’re talking brilliant mid-70s sunny kind of stuff.

But have you checked the weather report for this weekend? Awful, to say the least:

Welcome, prefrosh!

Welcome, prefrosh!

But, maybe Shirley knows what she’s doing — a new Penn study shows that cloudy weather might actually attract prefrosh. Weird?

Continue reading…

Dream colleges and money woes

[caption id="attachment_5071" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Princeton Preview 2010"]Princeton Preview 2010[/caption]

Remember when you were a high school senior, waiting nervously for that acceptance letter from Princeton? Well, it’s that time of year again. On April 1st (that’s this Thursday), at 5:00 p.m. EST, Ivy League applicants will receive their acceptances and rejections.

So, what are high school students and their parents thinking about this admissions season?

The Princeton Review released its annual College Hopes and Worries Survey on March 24.

With the Great Recession ongoing, the major worry is money.

  • 86% of applicants and their parents said financial aid is “very necessary.”
  • 68% said that the recession has affected their college decisions.
  • Due to the economy, 51% said they were applying to “more ‘financial aid safety’ schools,” 25% to “schools closer to home” and 24% to colleges “with lower sticker prices.”
  • 39% said their biggest worry was that they “will get into first-choice college, but won’t have sufficient funds/financial aid to attend.”

But if money wasn’t an issue?  What would be their dream college? Princeton ranked 4th among students, behind Stanford, Harvard and NYU. Among parents, we did a little better, ranking 2nd only to Stanford.

Go Away Prefrosh

You know it’s that time of year when the University erects a ridiculous circus tent on Alexander Beach, ruining pretty springtime vistas and impeding your drunken walk home from the Street. That’s right: hundreds of earnest and overeager 18 year-olds are about swarm all over campus and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The only thing a student can do to minimize contact with prefrosh is to not host them. It looks like many have decided to do just that, hence a somewhat urgent email today to Matheyites from Matt Frawley, Mathey’s DSL:

This Thursday over 700 pre-frosh will be arriving on campus, and though a good number of you have graciously signed up to be a host for one or more of those pre-frosh, we need MORE hosts. We are especially in need of male students to host.

So will this be an inconvenience? A bit.

Are you really too busy to host? Well, who isn’t!!

Nevertheless, students are giving back by hosting. Please take a moment to give serious consideration to this opportunity and help save a pre-frosh from going somewhere other than Princeton.


Ah, yes, appealing to our sense of civic duties as Princetonians. Sorry. Won’t work.