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Working in Princeton: Expectations vs. Reality

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCNJ chapter.

Princeton is a short drive away from The College of New Jersey, making it a common place for our students to spend the day, grab a bite to eat, or even get a job. When I tell people on our campus that I work in Princeton, they give me a look of approval – their mind thinking something along the lines of ‘oh, you fancy huh?’ Although I’d like to say Princeton is the place to work, that’s just not the case.


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Expectation: The commute is easy – it’s only a 15 minute drive down the pike!

Reality: Driving 15 in a 45, in a single lane highway, behind a soccer mom with an absurd amount of bumper stickers.


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Expectation: The walk through town into work being nothing short of breathtaking.

Reality: The time it took finding a parking spot left you with no option but to full on sprint to your workplace.


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Expectation: Meeting intellectuals of all kinds while at work – truly broadening horizons.

Reality: More than half on the people that come into your workplace are tourists asking you where something is in broken English.


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Expectation: You’ll try out all the delicious restaurants and bakeries after work or while on your break.

Reality: The only place you actually go to is Dunkin Donuts.


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Expectation: You have a bunch of cool co-workers who go to Princeton and invite you to once-in-a-lifetime events.

Reality: Majority of your coworkers are from TCNJ or Rider, and are down-to-earth, awesome people that you don’t need to go to extravagant events with to enjoy them!


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Kyra Mackesy graduated The College of New Jersey with a BA in Journalism and Professional Writing and a minor in Criminology in 2019. While at TCNJ, she was an active member of their Her Campus chapter, holding a wide array of positions: President and Campus Correspondent, Editor-in-Chief, Senior Editor, Marketing and Publicity Director, and Social Media Manager. She loved seeing her chapter grow throughout her four years in college, and will remain an active Her Campus Alumni.