A Day in the Life of a Princeton Student: Summer Edition

*Note: all photos are mine. 

Princeton University’s campus is (obviously) most active during the school year, but there’s still plenty going on in the summer. Many Princeton students stay to take classes, conduct research, or work. This summer, I’m staying on campus to do an internship (via Princeton) at a law firm. I’ve enjoyed it so much so far that I wanted to share with you guys what my typical summer weekday looks like in this post. This will be the first in my Day in the Life college series, so look for more in the future. Enjoy! 

View of Streicker Bridge

7:30AM: I usually wake up from 7:00-7:30AM on weekdays to run before it gets too hot outside. I often run from Streicker Bridge on campus, which leads to the Delaware & Raritan towpath, to Harrison Street in the Princeton neighborhood. This is the standard route for students who run shorter distances (about 3 miles). However, I have some friends who run as much as 6-8 miles a day. Props to them, but 3 miles does the job for me. It’s just enough to make me feel awake and dynamic for the rest of the day, and gives me an appetite to actually eat breakfast. The Princeton Running Club has a list of other routes around town that you can check out here if you’re interested.

Kitchen in Wendell Hall, Whitman College 

8:20AM: After my run, I return to my room in Whitman, where I’m living for the summer, to change and eat. I make a quick breakfast in the kitchen located across from my dorm. 

Just a note–not all housing in the summer on campus guarantees easy access to a kitchen. I just happened to luck out this year 🙂 

Firestone Library

9:00AM: My internship is virtual, so I don’t go to an office for work. Instead, I walk from my dorm to Firestone Library to do my assignments. I prefer to work in libraries because I often get distracted whenever I’m in my dorm too long. 

The Elfers Reading Room in Firestone Library (left), close up of the windows in Elfers (right) 

9:02AM: I climb up to the third floor of the library to the Elfers Reading Room in Firestone. I don’t usually study here during the school year, but I’ve been going to Elfers over the summer for a change of scenery. Over the past few weeks, I’ve really come to love it. The big windows are amazing since they give the room a nice, airy feel and plentiful sunshine, especially on summer days. Also, it’s a completely silent study area, which I appreciate since I usually work well without background noise. The chairs are also super comfortable. I would say it’s definitely one of the best study spots at the University. 

Picture of my workspace in Elfers Reading Room

9:03AM: Although my work day doesn’t start until 9am PST (which is 12pm at Princeton) since my internship is located in California, I decide to get a head start on some assignments. I also look over my planner to remind myself of upcoming Zoom meetings for the day. The firm’s still doing orientation for the interns, so it’s a long day of Zoom.

Whitman Dining Hall (I got there right when it opened, so there weren’t many people there yet) 

11:30AM: I go to the Whitman Dining Hall, which is the only one open in the summer, to grab lunch before my workday starts at 12pm. I forgot to take a picture of the food since I was in such a rush. Whoops. 

Doing Zoom calls in a private meeting room in Firestone 

12PM: I walk back to Firestone and go to a private meeting room to do several Zoom calls for my internship. As I mentioned earlier, the interns at the firm are still doing orientation, so the meetings are about stuff like intern expectations and overviews of legal terms and processes. 

Food from Amazing Thai: spicy chicken dish I forgot the name of (upper left), Drunken Noodles with beef (upper right), Pad Thai with chicken (bottom center) 

7:30PM: Our orientation meetings ended early that day at 7PM, so I got dinner with my friends at a restaurant called Amazing Thai on Nassau Street afterwards. I usually don’t go to Nassau every day, but I was getting tired of the dining hall food. I ordered Pad Thai with chicken (bottommost center), while one of my friends ordered Drunken Noodles with beef (upper right) and the other ordered the spiciest dish on the menu (upper left, I forgot what it was called). The waitress even warned him that it was going to be extremely spicy, but he took the challenge. Impressively, he ended up finishing the whole thing, although it seemed pretty painful. 

View of pathway outside Whitman College during sunset 

8:30PM: After chatting and eating for a bit, I walk with my friends back to campus. I snapped a picture of the sunset on the return home. Isn’t it beautiful?? 

Watching the NBA playoffs 

9PM: We end up at Whitman, where there’s several lounge rooms with TVs to watch the NBA playoffs. Honestly, I didn’t really know much about basketball before that night, and I didn’t really learn much afterwards either. My friends explained some rules to me that I quickly forgot, but there is one thing I still remember to this day: Steph Curry is really good. 

Pool table in Blair Hall basement 

11PM: After the game (which the Warriors won), we walked to the pool room Blair Hall basement, a three-ish minute walk from Whitman. Initially, I am horrendous, but I eventually scored some points by the end of the night. Some mutual friends also joined us. 

12AM: Exhausted from a long day of Zoom and friends, I walk back to my room and sleep. It was a wonderful day! 

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