Courtesy Peter Severson ’09


When you asked what place on campus speaks to the spirit of my Princeton (cover story, May 17), I spent a while combing through images of friends, buildings, seasons, events, and nature. The image that most captured my attention was a simple one: a picture of my freshman-year dorm room (Buyers Hall B12), taken shortly before I was to leave campus for the summer. It’s strewn with items that call to mind the person I was as a Princeton freshman — from posters of Chapel Choir concerts to my trusty (and heavy) old HP laptop, to books, boxes of food, and a board filled with pictures from back home. Of all the places I could’ve chosen, this one speaks to me the most. 

It was my safe harbor in a year of transition, from my bucolic home on the plains of South Dakota to the bustling East Coast energy of New Jersey. It’s the dorm where I met two roommates (Minh Nguyen-Dang ’09 and Mike Vincent ’10) who came from remarkably different backgrounds than I did, and who would become good friends that I’d room with all four years. It was the base camp beyond which I could explore all that was new, challenging, and beautiful about Princeton, which would soon grow into a true home away from home, a place for which I will always experience deep gratitude.