Letter from the Editor

By Marie-Rose Sheinerman


Dear ’26,

College is the perfect time to reach outside your comfort zone and explore a new side of yourself, or so we’re all told. I took that advice to heart during my first week on campus. With no experience at all, I decided to audition for two improv comedy groups on campus — and was promptly rejected. Sophomore year, I vied for a spot in an exclusive eating club, applied for a prestigious creative non-fiction course, and aspired to co-lead the news section of The Daily Princetonian — and got rejected each time. And no matter how much I denied it at the time, all three rejections stung.

It feels counterintuitive to introduce myself, your community paper’s editor-in-chief, with the moments I’ve failed on this campus. But the truth is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to feel surrounded by success from the moment you step on campus as newly-minted Princetonians. We attend a university that has six affiliates among last year’s Nobel laureates, boasts a third of the U.S. Supreme Court among its alumni, and accepts 3.98 percent of applicants (or at least it did for the Class of 2025, when those rates were last disclosed.)

It has taken me time to understand that growth — the vital academic, personal, and social growth that college years afford — comes from your successes, sure, but perhaps even more so from the times you fall short of your own goals. As an assistant opinion editor, Audrey Chau, argues in these pages, “Princeton students, who are often defined by their successes, need to fail early and fail often.”

For my part, I will never regret the times when I reached for new opportunities and failed. Because that very act of reaching brought me success as well, though perhaps not the kind I envisioned in the moment. I’ve found an authentic community on campus, friends who push me to be the best version of myself, and an organization through which I feel I can make meaning.

We at The Daily Princetonian try to reflect the humanity in our community. Like everyone else, we don’t always succeed, but at our best we can reflect the stories of students just like you and me: students navigating the task of building this temporary home, fighting to bring their full selves to the communities they love, and pushing for a campus that strives each day to live up to the ideals it professes.

As an independent, student-run newspaper, our staff is you: future engineers and artists, economists and biologists, aspiring athletes and architects. This fall, I urge you to come join us: Apply to our staff, submit tips, send guest op-eds and letters. Or don’t. More importantly, challenge yourself at least once in your first few weeks to fail: If you succeed at that, this campus will be the better for it.

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