May

Finally!

Astonishingly, we have almost made it through the year. One more reading period, one more series of finals, one more lawn party weekend, and your student will be a sophomore.

We hope it has been a productive year; full of challenges and surprises, growth and opportunity, friends and hard work. Your student has enjoyed their classes, become accustomed to the Princeton culture, found a compatible group of peers, and learned a tremendous amount about independence and responsibility. There have likely been some occasional potholes along this road—perhaps even a crevasse from time to time—but both you and your student are familiar with the terrain now, and it will be much easier from here on out.

The end of the year comes quickly now: the last week of classes; dean’s date and the accompanying revelry; then finals, move-out, and commencement. Your student will be moving at a very fast pace, trying to complete all of their work, saying goodbye to new friends, and packing up all their effects. They’ll need to be reminded to pick up boxes, figure out where to store their things, and clean up their room before departing campus. It’s quite possible they will be upset at the prospect of being separated from their sweetheart all summer. They will be sad when they bid farewell to senior teammates. 

In any case, your student will be one quarter of the way through their Princeton experience, and in a few short years you will be the one attending commencement with your own graduating senior. 

We look forward to seeing your student back at Princeton next September, and wish you all a happy and productive summer. 

What your student may experience:

  • The second round of reading period and exams. This means late nights, likely stress, possible exhaustion, and too much caffeine.
  • Spring lawn parties (the weekend between reading period and finals) are the big blow-out event of the year. The eating clubs host bands, and there is a significant amount of alcohol consumption. There is also significant pressure on students (especially women) to invest in multiple outfits for the weekend, which can be financially challenging for some.
  • Packing and moving out…and making sure their rooms are left in a reasonable state.
  • Saying goodbye to some friends, and “au revoir” to others.

What you can do to help:

  • As usual, watch for signs of overload, and send your student to University Health Services or the college office if you think they’re pushing too hard.
  • Remind your student to be careful during lawn parties, and be aware of the peer pressure to dress the part.
  • Make certain your student does not leave packing and cleaning until the very last minute. Students will be charged for any damage that has been done to their room, and there may be disciplinary action if the situation is particularly egregious.
  • If they are home for the summer, make sure they feel welcome, and set ground rules to make life as smooth as possible for everyone.