Advice to Admitted Students: How to Make the Most of Your Princeton Preview Experience

To admitted students in the Class of 2022, congratulations! On Monday and Tuesday, the first group of you will visit campus for Princeton Preview. Preview is a chance for admitted students, both decided and undecided, to have a better look at Princeton, and the entire campus community is excited to welcome you to campus. The University hosts a range of activities to explore academics, extracurriculars, and residential college life during Preview. Though the schedule is often packed, the Board has the following recommendations for you to make the most of your Preview experience.

Starting with academics, the University typically gives prefrosh a suggested list of courses to visit during Preview. This list, however, is far from comprehensive and does not showcase the full diversity and depth of courses offered at Princeton. If you have time, browse the University’s course offerings online and don’t limit yourself to the guide offered at Preview in deciding which classes to visit. You can sit in on any lecture class and can contact professors if there is a seminar that you would like to attend. Chances are, the professor will let you attend class. The Board recommends visiting as many classes as fit into your schedule because academics will be the core of your Princeton experience. While Preview technically lasts two days, the majority of scheduled activities are on Monday. This makes Tuesday a great opportunity to attend more classes if you will be staying on campus prior to traveling home.

Since much of Princeton’s academic life takes place outside of the classroom, as students often study together and collaborate on assignments, it is also worthwhile to visit the departmental buildings of majors in which you are interested. Prospective Economics majors can stop by the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building to see students working on problem sets together in office hours. The Woodrow Wilson School is housed in Robertson Hall; take note of the many flyers posted around the building advertising the lectures and talks the Woodrow Wilson School hosts for its students and the campus at large. East Pyne is the home of many of the humanities departments; stop by to see students reading for class in one of Princeton’s most beautiful libraries, Chancellor Green. Pre-frosh interested in the sciences or engineering should take a walk to Frick and the E-Quad. Preview is a unique opportunity to roam campus, explore, and picture yourself where you might be spending the bulk of your next four years

Turning to extracurriculars, one of the main events on the first afternoon of Preview is the activities fair. Representatives from countless student groups set up tables in Dillon Gym. The board highly encourages pre-frosh visit the fair to see the incredible diversity of student-led groups on campus, from publications, to club sports, to performing arts groups, to religious and cultural groups, and more. This is your best opportunity to speak with current Princeton students who share an interest with you, and even sign for listservs of groups that you are interested in for the fall (although don’t feel obligated to put your email down!). If there is a group you wanted to learn more about but was not at the fair, feel free to Google the group, find the contact information of their leadership, and email with any questions – current Princetonians are happy to answer your questions during and after Preview as you make your decision. 

A highlight of Preview is the Inside of Princeton Arts Show at Richardson Auditorium. The show is a display of the many different performance groups at Princeton. Every year, current Princeton students try to attend along with the prefrosh and space runs out, which shows you how popular the show is. So make sure you go! Acapella arch sings are another unique Princeton tradition, and many groups will be hosting them for Preview. If you able to attend one, it will be well worth your time.

Finally, try get a sense for Princeton’s campus life. Princeton is unique from many other schools in its close-knit residential college system and the fact that nearly 100% of students live on campus all four years, which makes for a strong sense of campus community. All underclassmen live and eat in residential dining halls, while upperclassmen are able to choose between a variety of dining and housing options. Preview is a chance to experience residential college life through your host and sharing dining hall meals with them. Eating clubs will also be open for tours during Preview. The clubs are a large part of social life at Princeton for all students and a large part of community life for the majority of upperclassmen who join a club. You may not have learned as much about eating clubs during the application process, so we encourage you to go on the eating club tours to get any questions you have about the clubs answered. Between residential colleges and eating clubs, it can be easy to forget that there is a vibrant town outside of the campus. Take a trip to Nassau Street if you have time – visit the UStore to purchase some new Princeton gear, stop by Labyrinth Books where students purchase all their coursebooks, and visit favorite eateries like Small World Coffee, the Bent Spoon, Frutta Bowls, Milk & Cookies, and more.

Princeton Preview is most importantly an opportunity to meet current Princeton students and other prospective students. Current students as well as faculty members will be happy to talk to you and answer questions. Make the most out of Preview; ask as many questions as you can to fully understand if Princeton is right for you. Congratulations on your acceptance, and have a wonderful time at Preview!