After completing my first month here at Princeton, I officially feel like a college student. Between balancing the rigorous academics, a full-time hockey commitment, and everything else that comes along with being a freshman (including the hectic social scene), I found it difficult to even find the time to write this entry. However, with over one month down, I can also confidently say that I love school and couldn’t be any happier.
If you ever hear someone say, “the hardest part about the ivy leagues is getting in,” tell them they are 100% wrong. Coming from an academically rigorous boarding school I feel generally well prepared for the extensive workload, but the pace of the classes, lectures and assignments presents a constant challenge. I think my Chinese class has already covered more material in four weeks than we did my entire senior year of high school. The workload is definitely manageable if you avoid the many traps of distraction and procrastination, but I still often find myself studying and completing assignments on Friday nights (something I could never have imagined doing in high school). However, in my opinion, one of the best parts of Princeton so far has been the professors, preceptors, and multitude of resources at your disposal to help you succeed academically. Despite the fact that my professors’ and preceptors’ office hours usually conflict with hockey practice times, they have been incredibly flexible in making themselves available at other times that fit my schedule. Princeton also has a free tutoring center called McGraw, and, from the advice of many teammates, I have already learned how helpful it is to take advantage of this service.
After fitness testing finally came to an end about two weeks into the school year (thank God!), our season (even though it did not officially begin until September 29) quickly fell into full swing. On the Saturday after our first official practice our team went on a bonding trip to Philadelphia. We began the trip with a practice in Philly, and then hosted a community service event for local female hockey players. We split into two teams and scrimmaged alongside the kids, whose ages ranged from around eight to 14. After our on-ice session, we gathered in the locker room for a Q&A period, signed autographs on pennants for the girls, and boarded the bus to head into the city for a fun afternoon. We enjoyed lunch at Terminal Market and took part in a team scavenger hunt. The day was a ton of fun, brought everyone closer together and was definitely a nice reward for the hard work we put in during preseason!
With our first scrimmage coming up this Sunday against Cornell, I am really looking forward to the season finally beginning. We have an exhibition game against Team China on Monday and then our first official game on the 20th against Providence. I’m not sure how it will feel to skate on the ice at Baker Rink in my first real game wearing the Princeton logo, but it is something I have been dreaming about for as long as I can remember and I couldn’t be more excited!