Well, folks, the Prince has done it again. The annual tradition of the “Frosh Survey” has made itself known to the class of 2027, urging them to surrender their financial aid status, course of study, and ROTC participation to the grubby hands of Prince staffers.
The “About” section of the Frosh Survey takes great pains to portray the survey as ethical and thorough, or at the very least transparent. They laud the “months-long” process of compiling data from the 60% of frosh who filled out the survey, the offering of a “decline to answer” option on more sensitive questions, and the dedication of the 24-person data team (which, by the way, includes at least one person this author made out with in the Charter basement, showing questionable judgment on all sides). Despite the Prince’s insistence that they used “discretion” in presenting the data, the four graphics chosen to represent the Frosh Survey on their Instagram are as follows.
- “Sex by AP Classes.” Rude at best and perverted at worst. A statistic only creeps or my very Catholic mother would care about.
- “Fitting In: At my high school I felt… (1: Like an outsider to 5: Like an insider).” Could also be phrased as: On a scale of 1-5, how much of a loser were you? Tsk tsk, Prince—it’s as if you anticipated that the frosh were extremely unlikable. Projection, perhaps.
- “Age of first smartphone.” This is just uninteresting.
- A pie chart depicting percentage of frosh who have had some, none, or all of these illicit activities/substances recreationally: sex, alcohol, weed, tobacco (analog or digital), hard drugs, or a fake ID. What are you, Daily Princetonian, cops? Or worse, narcs? I mean, I knew that, but I didn’t expect you to reveal this to the frosh so soon. Also, who cares?
Despite the claims that the Frosh Survey is published for the purpose of “initiating dialogue for the greater Princeton community while preserving the stories of this consummately unique class,” the Prince’s “hope that it is, and continues to be, a whole lot of fun” is far more evident in the way they present the survey to readers (and/or Instagram followers). Who, after all, doesn’t want to be privy to the sex lives and high school bullying of 18-year-olds? The obvious answer is most anyone 19 years or older, although maybe I overestimate the maturity of Princeton students. I think the Prince is really seeking confirmation that frosh are still sacrificing as much fun as we did in high school. Year after year, their suspicions that Princeton students are boring virgins are confirmed by the Frosh Survey and masked by lackluster attempts to market it as a serious reflection on demographics. Don’t we all have better things to do than revel in our own increased coolness? Seriously, get a hobby. Or better yet, conduct a study that includes sex by years of participation in campus journalism.