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Guest Fraya_Tormenta

Princeton, NJ

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I've seen the Hibben and Magie Apartment Buildings. The apartments are nice, spacious, and the views from the balconies are great.

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I have a dilemma - and I'd really appreciate the views of anyone who knows anything about Princeton accomodation, or who is facing a similar choice, or who just has any thoughts on this matter!

I'm going to Princeton next autumn to start a PhD in Classics; I have to apply for university accomodation by April 15th - but I'm torn about what sort of accomodation I should apply for.

The choice is between an apartment of my own, or a room in the Graduate College. I've been living in college accomodation broadly similar to that in the Princeton Graduate College for the last four years - and although I've had a great university experience I'm getting fed up with sharing kitchens and bathrooms - so the prospect of a whole apartment of my own, which I can furnish myself, and with a kitchen all my own, is incredibly exciting for me. BUT the graduate college sells itself as the social hub of graduate life - and so I feel like the best way to meet people and make friends outside my programme could be to live there.

BUT in order to live in the graduate college you have to buy into a meal plan, and eat (or pay for anyway) the majority of meals in the canteen there. I think it could be nice and social to meet people for breakfast or whatever - but still the prospect of cafeteria meals for a year fills me with dread. Particularly since there are no real cooking facilities in the college - 3 kitchens between 420 people! I've never had that degree of control over my lifestyle - my undergrad accomodation always had a kitchen as well as a cafeteria in college, which there was no obligation to frequent. Also in the Grad College I would probably have a roommate - which I think I might find quite invasive and wearing.

So basically the lifestyle of the Graduate College doesn't really appeal to me at all - I find the idea of adults living in a boarding school atmosphere that is more communal/controlling than anything I've ever seen at any British undergraduate institution a little odd. And I've been told that the apartment accomodation is really attractive; the graduate college is neo-gothic - kind of attractive, but a bit kitsch in my opinion. They're both about the same distance from the campus. But - I am really keen to meet a wide range of people, and also don't feel quite ready to settle into a retiring academic lifestyle just yet - I'm only 21 and still have some partying in me, I think. So the Grad College could be perfect for that. I don't want to have a perfect, tastefully furnished apartment if I spend my whole time sitting in it on my own! I'm coming from the UK, and know no one in America, so am quite keen to make a few friends at this university! But then again, I'm not sure if eating bad food and having zero personal space for a year is a price worth paying for a more clearly routed social life - part of me is telling myself that I'll be able to meet people outside of the GC anyway if I just make a bit of an effort...

So, if anyone has read all this - thank you! And I'd really appreciate any views at all on this!

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All I'll say is that Princeton has some of the best cafeteria food in the country. Seriously. It won an award a few years ago for its food. I can't recall ever going hungry while living there.

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hellogoodbye:

I'm in a similar situation. I would prefer the apartment style graduate housing option, but GS does sound more social. From what I've heard, some of the rooms in GS are spacious but others are somewhat cramped and have shared bathrooms. I'm living in a fabulous cosmopolitan city at the moment, so moving to ptown is going to be a shock! I haven't decided which option to pick as first choice...Also, trying to decide if I want to get a car. It would be handy for groceries and make it easier for me to visit friends in Maryland/DC, but I don't know if the cost is worth it.

any other views on the +/- of GS vs apartment style housing ???

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Has anyone been inside one of the grad college rooms? Is it right to assume "double" means that you share a bathroom, NOT a bedroom with someone else? Is it also right to assume that all of the rooms have a single twin-sized bed? I can't seem to access the floor plans - how big are the rooms exactly?

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I've seen the rooms in the Grad College and their kinda small. I would say the rooms are comparable to college dorm rooms. But for the price, it's not that bad. I guess it depends on the type of social life you're looking for, the amount of personal space you need/want, and the amount of $$$ you want to spend on living accomodations.

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I emailed grad housing a few weeks ago; they replied that new students will be emailed (via your princeton email address) housing assignments mid-summer. To me, the question is how to set up your email address...?!?!

I keep meaning to call IT, but haven't...

Do you have any info on that..?

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I called the housing office back in April and they estimated having housing assignments ready in June. It's probably a little out-dated, though. As far as setting up Princeton e-mail addresses, it looks like we'll have to wait until mid-June for those, also.

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I have been wait listed at Princeton, and at this point I think it's my top choice. For those of you who have been accepted, do you have any sense yet whether you might decline or accept? I'm just trying to figure out what my chances are!

If you would prefer not to comment publicly on this, please feel free to PM me.

Thanks!

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I'm looking for 2 bdr married housing at Princeton. Any recommendations between Butler, Lawrence, Maggie etc ?

Priorities are :

- space

- newer building

- proximity to Grad school (CS dept.)

I looked at the housing plans, but without making a trip there I can't seem to make up my mind. Help appreciated.

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I'm looking for 2 bdr married housing at Princeton. Any recommendations between Butler, Lawrence, Maggie etc ?

Priorities are :

- space

- newer building

- proximity to Grad school (CS dept.)

I looked at the housing plans, but without making a trip there I can't seem to make up my mind. Help appreciated.

It all depends on how much you want to spend. Since you mentioned an interest in living in a newer apartment building, I'd suggest New Lawrence or Old Lawrence. The New Lawrence apartments are modern, clean, and spacious, but they're also more expensive. The only problem is that you might have a hard time getting one of these apartments because they tend to be first on most people's lists. I prefer Old Lawrence because the apartments are big, clean, a cheaper than New Lawrence, and the school is renovating all the kitchens. In terms of proximity, there is a very efficient shuttle system that all grad students use. The school has recently updated the transportation system and the shuttles leave pretty regularly. Hope this helps!

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Does anyone have any information or experience of spouses finding jobs in or around Princeton?

Also, (said without having made a campus visit) someone described Princeton as a town/university with a big group of blond pony-tailed entitled kids. Is that true, not true? Whats the graduate community really like?

Anyone particularly happy/unhappy in/at Princeton and care to share why?

Anything appreciated! PMs welcome.

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Does anyone have any information or experience of spouses finding jobs in or around Princeton?

It's pretty commutable from either Philadelphia (where I go to school) and NYC - recession aside, presumably your spouse should be able to find something in cities of that size!

Princeton itself seems to be pretty much one nice suburb with a university, nearby pharmaceutical companies, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I am sure there are other things....but none that have crossed my own radar.

EDIT: In going back and reading some of your earlier posts, mims3382, I really think you should consider living in Philadelphia and driving up to Princeton on the days that you have class. I think it would be much, much easier for your husband to find not just a job but also a social network of other Japanese expats in a major city; although I'm sure that there are many foreign nationals at either school you're considering, it also sounds like he is at a very different stage in life than the average grad student. And Philly is much more affordable and livable (IMHO, anyway) than NYC.

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I have a dog, so that knocks me out of the single housing. Not married. Knocks me out of the family housing. Are they any other options, does anyone know, for seminarians at Princeton? I would really like to avoid selling plasma to pay for housing. PM's welcome.

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Does anyone have any information or experience of spouses finding jobs in or around Princeton?

Also, (said without having made a campus visit) someone described Princeton as a town/university with a big group of blond pony-tailed entitled kids. Is that true, not true? Whats the graduate community really like?

Anyone particularly happy/unhappy in/at Princeton and care to share why?

Anything appreciated! PMs welcome.

Blond pony=tailed entitled children have to go to school, too, you know. I live in Princeton, and have to say that during the summer it has its share of madras and seersucker, but it's not that bad. It has a pretty substantial mexican community, and towards West Windsor it's insanely international (Canal Point apartments has quite the variety).

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Yes, that comment was in poor taste, and I do apologize if I offended anyone. It came at a time when I had to make an impossible decision and when 2 different said the exactly same thing about the place totally unsolicited.

I did visit though in April, and it looks like a wonderful place to be and I was so pleasantly surprised to see how much diversity there is. I'm sure it's a great place to live!

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hey,

does anyone know of a place to buy beer (and take it home...) near campus? just got here, and can't find anywhere that sells beer except for at the grocery stores which are a bit far to walk (or drive during rush hour).

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Triumph Brewery also sells beer by the bottle. Hold on to the bottle for a discount the next time you want it filled. :)

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Hi,

Does anyone know how the Butler apts are like? I know the rent excludes utilities so I should prob add $200 on top of the stated cost. But are the apts well-maintained and comfy enough for a married couple, one of whom will be in grad school and the other working in NYC? Not too cold in winter wIth heating, faucets and sockets all work, nice location near campus and transit, etc. Thanks!

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Hi,

Does anyone know how the Butler apts are like? I know the rent excludes utilities so I should prob add $200 on top of the stated cost. But are the apts well-maintained and comfy enough for a married couple, one of whom will be in grad school and the other working in NYC? Not too cold in winter wIth heating, faucets and sockets all work, nice location near campus and transit, etc. Thanks!

Never lived in Butler Apts myself, but had many friends who did and loved to complain about it. It's certainly one of the most affordable living options in Princeton, but bear in mind that it was constructed as *temporary* housing and somehow managed to never get torn down/rebuilt/renovated. Friends all complained of the poor insulation, how unbearably cold the floors were in the winter, etc.

Location-wise, it's not exactly the most convenient place, but not too bad if you have a bicycle. I'd say around 40min walk to campus? 15min bike? There's a shuttle, but it can sometimes take a while.

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Does anyone know how lame the gay scene is at Princeton (as in the University... I already know there's nothing going on in the town)? I assume they have the GLBT center and what not, but I'm talking more about opportunities for meeting other gay graduate students and stuff? Most of my friends aren't gay and that's fine, but it's always nice to have gay friends, and it seems like not living in a city could be a huge limitation. Anything anyone? You can PM me as well.

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Does anyone know how lame the gay scene is at Princeton (as in the University... I already know there's nothing going on in the town)? I assume they have the GLBT center and what not, but I'm talking more about opportunities for meeting other gay graduate students and stuff? Most of my friends aren't gay and that's fine, but it's always nice to have gay friends, and it seems like not living in a city could be a huge limitation. Anything anyone? You can PM me as well.

I want to know about the gay scene at Princeton too. I guess now we know that there'd be at least two hypothetical new gay grad students in the fall! ;)

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