(Re)visiting Princeton

The whistle sounded behind me as I retraced my steps from the train station to Whitman College, lost in memories of a magical weekend. For two days, my younger sister, Angelina, had stayed with me on campus. That weekend, there was no such thing as homework—the only item on my agenda was to have fun with my best…

You May Say I’m a Dreamer

For the past three years, I’ve kept the same slip of paper pinned to the bulletin board in my dorm room. It reads: “I think guitar groups are becoming passé.” – Record Company Executive in his 1962 rejection letter, one of many sent to the unsigned Liverpool-based band known as The Beatles.  In 1963, The Beatles…

Winter Break

To an onlooker, it must have looked like I was auditioning for a Life Alert commercial—“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” With a sickening crack, my right foot twisted beneath me, sending me tumbling to my dorm room floor. Curling up in pain, I played the sound over and over in my mind,…

The Earth Has Music For Those Who Listen

On a warm spring night in California’s Palomar Mountains, a young man named Richard Preston stood beneath a sky full of stars. Slowly, he wandered toward a small white dome that stood out against the night’s cloak of darkness, lured by a combination of curiosity, elevator music, and laughter. Pausing in front of the astronomy…

A Cross-Section of Life

“These are the weird shapes that started everything.” Tucked away in Guyot Hall, the geosciences enclave of Princeton University, Associate Professor Adam Maloof examines the rock around which his entire career revolves. Embedded in the limestone exterior is what, upon first glance, could be mistaken for a series of hieroglyphs—and yet, this particular fossil predates…

Stop This Train

Lately, my life has been a smorgasbord of Who-What-When-Where-Whys. What internship or travel opportunity will I pursue during my last Princeton summer? Which job and fellowship applications will I be submitting next fall? What town will I call “home” two years from now? When will I stumble upon the man with whom I’ll build my future? Oftentimes, I crave…

The Golden Voyager Record of Princeton

It is half past midnight. Illuminated by the soft yellow glow of moonlight, Gothic towers touch the sky as if daring to poke holes in the night’s cloak of darkness. Inside these castle walls, hundreds of Princeton University students are scribbling and sighing and late-night snacking, but out here in the courtyard there is nothing…

The Pursuit of Passion

Last Thursday, halfway through the second lecture of a molecular biology course titled ”From DNA to Human Complexity,” I found myself fighting in vain to stifle an irrepressible smile. No, I had not just been struck by the sudden revelation that my life’s purpose is donning a lab coat and mapping genomes. (After this semester’s…

Shutter Speed

Exactly one year ago, I found myself cornered in Chancellor Green Library by none other than “The Tourist.” As she fumbled for the lens cap of her monstrous DSLR, I realized what was happening in a blinding flash of light. But it was too late. She’d caught me: the wild Princeton student in her natural…

Thank You, 2015

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” – Robin Sharma 2015 was a year of firsts. First time calling a new zip code “home” for the greater portion of 12 months, first vacation to Europe, first time crossing the equator into the Southern Hemisphere, first summer living on my own…

The Highways & Heartbeats to Home

Cocooned in my orange blanket-cape and clutching my quasi-IV of Emergen-C, all I want in this moment is my mom and dad. But there are highways and heartbeats between us—and maybe that’s the most frightening realization of all. I have reached a milestone in my life; no longer is “home” a concrete place in which…

A Peek Into Admissions at Princeton

Coming from a girl who mentioned schnitzel, Usain Bolt, “Defying Gravity,” JetBlue, Yugoslavia, Houdini, and lobsters all in the opening paragraph of her Common App essay, trust me when I say that I craved to attend a college that would accept me for me, quirks and all (and there were—and are—many). If they couldn’t handle…