This is the first of a three-part series of profiles featuring undergraduates who have made a significant difference in the life of Princeton Writes in 2013-2014, its inaugural year. The profiles were prepared by Emily Reardon ’16.
Emily Reardon was raised in Little Silver, New Jersey, not more than 50 minutes east of Princeton, right along the Atlantic. While her life and travels, to this point, have not taken her far outside New Jersey and her small town, with their safety and sameness, she turned, at a young age, to creative writing. Through writing, she was able to journey around the county and inside the lives of all types of people – agoraphobics, college boys committing arson in Florida, an immigrant girl from Poland, a grocery store clerk from a forgotten town in the Midwest. Although she does have plans to travel abroad to Greece and England this summer, it was her imagination that first exposed her to the world outside her home state.
Emily’s interest in observing and understanding the lives of people drew her to sociology, especially its ethnographic aspects, and prompted her to make this field her concentration, with the hope of pursuing a creative thesis as well. For as long as she can remember, it has been her dream to write a novel, and by the end of 2016, she aspires to have one carefully bound, resting easy in her arms. In studying sociology, Emily hopes to become a better writer, too, or at least become more attuned to the nature of human interactions and organizations. Although uncertain of a career path, with no fixed plans past Princeton, she knows that writing will remain a constant presence in her life, believing, as she does, in both the extraordinary power of the written word and the challenge of adequately rendering every aspect of oneself on paper.
In addition to writing, Emily enjoys reading, swimming, and all things summer, working as a lifeguard for five years at a beach near her New Jersey home. At Princeton, she is involved in Community House, where she works with underserved schoolchildren, and it was this commitment to helping others realize their potential, coupled with her own love of writing, that brought her to Princeton Writes.
In her capacity as undergraduate fellow, Emily has helped program director John Weeren with the undergraduate development of the program, looking to introduce the student body to the multifaceted resources that Princeton Writes offers. This has included helping to create promotional materials, aiding in the organization of round table discussions on different aspects of writing, and participating in an undergraduate workshop, entitled Me, Myself, and I: Presenting Ourselves Effectively in Writing. Her time with Princeton Writes has been informative and has reinforced her love of writing. Above all, she hopes that she has helped the program as much as she knows she has learned in working with John and the other students she has met through Princeton Writes.