We’re starting the year off with Reading Period, a time where students here prepare for their upcoming finals. The end of the semester is near!
What are Residential Colleges?
The residential colleges at Princeton are six groups of dormitories that provide housing, dining, and community for students. All first- and second-year students are required to live in one of the colleges, which really helps you get adjusted to college life. Many of the friends that I have made are from my residential college, as it is the place I go to for meals (most often), to hangout, and to sleep. Each residential college also has its own team of faculty, staff, and student leaders to provide resources to students. There are a variety of activities organized by each college, ranging from academic advising meetings to study breaks—we recently had a study break where puppies and kittens from a nearby animal shelter were brought in for the students to meet! Some other activities include Trivia Night, Fall Fest, and trips to Broadway shows.
Anastasia on Broadway
The six residential colleges are: Butler, Forbes, Mathey, Rockefeller, Whitman, and Wilson. Personally, I am in Forbes (4BZ!!) and I love it. Since the housing for first-years is basically random, you have no idea which college you will end up living in. But don’t worry, all of the colleges are great, so you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Top row (from left to right): Wilson, Rockefeller, Forbes
Bottom row (from left to right): Butler, Mathey, Whitman
RCAs and PAAs
Residential College Advisers (RCAs) are upperclassmen students who live in the residential colleges, serving as advisers (as suggested by their title) for underclassmen. They help foster and maintain the community of the residential colleges, as they make sure each student feels included and engaged. Each RCA is assigned a group of freshmen advisees (known as “zees”) for the year. The RCA lives in close proximity to each of their zees, as they are a close resource for freshmen to come to for any questions or help, whether they pertain to academics, personal experience, or daily life.
I absolutely love my RCA; he is a fun, witty, thoughtful, compassionate, and overall amazing individual. He always makes time for each of us zees, including weekly study breaks where we all come to have tons of food, play games, and just talk with one another.
Peer Academic Advisers (PAAs) are also students who serve as advisers to underclassmen. Like RCAs, PAAs are assigned to a group of zees. Although they do not always live in the residential colleges, they make time to hold advising sessions and join study breaks. Just as their title suggests, they help their zees map out course selection and specialize in giving advice pertaining to academic life.
A Zee Group is simply the name of the group of zees with the same RCA, and is an even tighter community within the residential colleges. The individuals in your zee group are the ones who live closest to you, so you’ll be seeing them a lot. For me, my Zee Group is made up of everyone on my floor, which is 11 people (not including our RCA).
The floor where my Zee Group and I live
My Zee Group was the first bunch of individuals I met once I got to campus, and I have since gotten the chance to get to know them over the course of the semester, whether it was through orientation activities, study breaks, or simply running into each other in the hall. It’s always nice to have close friends be literally close by!
That’s all for now!
To go along with the new year, here is an interesting video about New Year’s Resolutions. Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year once again!