As I returned from spring break, I realized that it has been one year since I was accepted to Princeton. Time flies! It seems as if it was just yesterday when I was trying to select a college. To look back on where I was, I will write flashbacks to spring 2016 (–).
Sunday (3/26)— I returned to campus after an exhausting trip to France and Spain. It felt good to sleep for 10 hours.
Monday— I received an e-mail from an alumnus that commended my article in the Princeton Tory. He graduated from Princeton in the 1950s and currently lives in Brazil.
Thursday— The big day has arrived. Every March 30 or 31, all of the Ivy League schools release their admissions statistics at 5:00 pm EST. As always, each class is “the most competitive and selective class in the school’s history.” I received the good news that someone from CR had been accepted to Princeton.
Friday— I was on staff for the Princeton Debate Panel’s Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Debate Tournament. It is one of the foremost collegiate debate tournaments in the country with teams coming to it from as far away as Stanford, Cambridge, and Oxford. Near the end, I watched one of the quarterfinal debates in which William and Mary went against Stanford on the motion, “This House believes that property rights exist.” Stanford won, but I was impressed by one woman debater from William and Mary named Jerusalem Demsas. More on her in a later post.
–One year ago, I received my acceptance to Princeton. Where has the time gone?
Sunday (4/2)— As usual, I went to a Forbes Sunday brunch and indulged in the chocolate fountain. While walking back, I noticed a man running naked through one of the courtyards as part of rush for a fraternity. I guess they do exist at Princeton.
Tuesday— I attended the weekly Princeton Environmental Institute lecture. In the evening, I went to a Whig-Clio dinner with federal district court judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. She provided some interesting insight on the work of a judge.
–I went to the Robertson Scholars weekend at UNC-Chapel Hill. It was a lot of fun. By the end of it, I was sold on going to UNC, provided that I received the scholarship.
Friday— I went to my first debate tournament at Swarthmore College outside of Philadelphia.
–I received word that I had not received the Robertson scholarship. It was official; I was going to Princeton.
Tuesday (4/11)— The Whig-Clio hosts a series of speech tournaments throughout each year under the Woodrow Wilson Honorary Debate Panel. They range in types from debates to oratoricals. Freshmen can compete in the Walter E. Hope debate and speech contests against their classmates. I chose the speech contest because it was judged based upon style instead of the speech’s content. I was assigned the topic, “This House believes that individuals should give away all of their wealth above $5 million.” The judges gave me 10 minutes to prepare a 5 minute speech. I delivered it in my usual manner with hand gestures and slow movements to emphasize points. Ultimately, I placed second and won $50. When I asked for feedback, the judges critiqued the substance of my speech, not its delivery. I was a bit puzzled by this. Still, $50 won is $50 earned.
Wednesday— I attended a lecture by the French ambassador to the U.S., Gérard Araud. He began by discussing France’s presidential election and said that there was a good chance that Marine Le Pen would win. He was rooting for Emmanuel Macron. Then, he moved to Syria before taking questions from the audience.
Thursday— In the afternoon, I went to a lecture by Carter Roberts, a Princeton alumnus and CEO of the World Wildlife Foundation. He talked about environmentalism and the need to reduce carbon emissions. The talk was overwhelmingly positive about how many corporations are already taking steps to become greener. He mentioned that his roommate at Princeton was writer Michael Lewis. Afterward, I went to a private dinner for the Princeton Conservation Society with him and professor David Wilcove at Mistral.