the “f” stands for “financial aid fund”
We have amazing plans for our Second Virtual Reunions as we celebrate the nearing end of the pandemic and our tenacious Terrace community looks forward to more normal times when we can see each other in person.
We hope you will donate to our Financial Aid Fund. We especially appreciate recurring donations, as this will ensure future Womblings will enjoy our club, Terrace, for years to come.
Financial Aid FAQ
Everyone needs a community. Our lives are filled with stressors that we can’t handle alone—we need a support system. For my first couple years at Princeton, I bounced around different communities not quite finding the fit for me. That was until I had the honor of joining Terrace F Club. Suddenly, I was surrounded by like minded peers. As the first practicing Sikh to join Terrace, you might think I would feel ‘different’ from others, but in fact the opposite was true. I felt more welcome among my fellow Terrans than in any other group at the university. I did not know it when I joined but one of Terrace’s classic phrases is “every Terran is a Terran.” How true that would turn out to be. Perhaps it was Terrace’s great aid program that allowed people who would otherwise be forced to not join any club due to cost that created this catalyst for acceptance. Coming from one of the lower socioeconomic classes, many of my friends tended to also struggle with finances. It was perhaps natural, then, that most of my friends also gravitated towards Terrace where the staff was willing to work with students to try and make the expenses work.
I generally conceive of my Princeton experience in two halves: The pre-Terrace era and the post-Terrace era. Academically, socially, and mentally, everything improved for me once I found my community. The Terrace library culture was a boon to me during my work as everyone encouraged each other. The social culture kept me motivated to keep working hard. This was the support I needed to make it through that I could not find elsewhere. The strength of this culture proved itself as the pandemic descended on us all. The week of March 14th when campus was evacuated was a surreal period of time that is impossible to describe in words. It exists in my memory as a series of emotions that I have never felt before and perhaps will never feel again. What I can say, though, is that the Terrace community came together in those feverish days as a community ground for support and grieving. A unified spirit that lamented the great peril that was set to ravage the world and the fact that, for many of us, those few days would be the last we spend together. For some, the very real idea that some may not live to see their first reunions. I have never felt more welcome than when some 30 or 40 members left their hand prints above the Terrace TV room entrance—a signal to those who will come that we lost precious time together but that our spirits will forever remain enshrined with the club. This sounds hyperbolic, but the discord and Zoom events through the pandemic have shown that the Terrace community remains united.
In my time I tried to give back to the Terrace community. You could often find me bringing down dishes and cups or working duty. I also applied to and became a Peer Mental Health Advisor for the club, a position that has allowed me to bring a variety of meditative practices to the wider community. None of this would have been possible had I not been able to receive financial aid and afford membership. Trying to conceive of my time at Princeton without Terrace would be like trying to imagine Harry Potter without Gryffindor, or the Lord of the Rings without the Shire. Sure, it’s possible but all of what’s important would be lost. The plot lines would have adapted, the story would climax and end, but the spirit would all be lost. I am forever indebted to the Terrace F Club.
First coming to Princeton, many students fall victim to imposter syndrome, myself included. The feeling of not fitting in, being good enough, or unique enough for Princeton is an almost universal experience and one very close to my heart. Sophomore year especially is a time when many Princeton students experience a crisis of identity. When I was a sophomore, my friends and I, for the most part, joined different eating clubs. I didn’t think I would join an eating club at all – in fact, I didn’t have the money to join a lot of the other leisure clubs and activities my peers joined. I supported myself throughout college, as my mom worked as a special-ed aide and barely made ends meet. I had to work multiple jobs to get through Princeton, and I rarely felt joining an eating club would be possible.
I joined Terrace on a whim Sophomore spring with one of my friends who convinced me to join. I remember not knowing anyone when I went the first night, but I instantly felt welcome in the club. I quickly attended all the events, ate all possible meals I could there, and made friends who I still keep in touch with today. Before Terrace, I felt like I didn’t have an identity at Princeton, a group I really belonged with. However, the ability to join Terrace helped shape my entire Princeton experience.
Before joining Terrace, I didn’t have a group of friends there, didn’t know any members, and didn’t frequent the club. That still surprises me to this day because that club became one of my homes on campus. I studied in the library on the second floor almost every night. I spent every night out in the basement of the club, and later became the duty chair of Terrace. I repped my plethora of gear around campus. I convinced many of my friends to join in the grades below me and always advocated for the club. I helped with events, and joined whenever I could.
I truly love Terrace and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to join through financial aid. Having a place on campus I felt was home, and I felt like I could be myself, was irreplaceable.
During my four years at Princeton, I felt more relaxed, safe, and welcome at Terrace than at any other place on campus. Day to day, Terrace was a place to enjoy awesome food, to connect with friends, and to focus in the upstairs library with many coffee refills on hand. These habitual parts of life at Terrace were so rewarding and fulfilling because they were always founded on the care of Terrace’s staff, its officers, and its community. Terrace’s community is small enough to know and recognize every member of the club, a closeness that lends each Terran an identity as a member of our club. Terrans always look out for each other, whether across the lunch table or across the main dining room on a night out. My happiest memories from Princeton are from Terrace, but even more importantly, some of the most stressful and even fearful experiences at Princeton were resolved or alleviated by the help of the Terrace community, and even the sheer comfort of being within Terrace’s walls.
As a student dependent on University financial aid and multiple campus jobs in order to make my studies at Princeton feasible, Terrace F. Club’s financial aid program was the most important blessing and influence on my wellbeing as an upperclassman. My upperclassman years would have been drastically different without the rich community at Terrace F. Club and the positive influence Terrans have had in my personal growth. Most importantly, Terrace very much became a home within Princeton for me, and thus my Princeton experience is inseparable from my experiences at Terrace. The club’s financial aid program made it possible for me to remain a member at a time when it appeared financially impossible for me, and for that I am very grateful. Financial aid at Terrace is more than financial support; for students such as myself, the financial aid program indirectly provides for our wellbeing, health, and even safety via the genuine care of the Terrace community.