Undergraduate spotlight: Veizi pulls her weight, on the water and in the lab

Friday, Mar 27, 2020
by Scott Lyon

Artemis Veizi discovered rowing as a high school student. She had been an athlete most of her life, but pulling a boat through water with a team of girls was an entirely new idea. In that first slog through winter training, it was tough — physically, mentally.

"If you love it in those first couple months, you'll love it till the end," she said. By her senior year, she was captain of the crew.

Now she competes for Princeton on the women's lightweight rowing team. As a sophomore, she has also started down the path to become an electrical engineer, intrigued by the challenges of designing circuits and systems. After taking some computer science courses, in high school and in her first year at Princeton, she found herself wondering, at a deeper level, how the computer actually worked.

"When I finally started figuring it out, it really hooked me," she said.

For Veizi, the two pursuits — rowing and engineering — complement each other, serving her drive to win and her desire to learn at the highest levels.

At times, in her past, she has struggled keep academics from becoming competitive instead of being about the learning experience. Rowing gives her the outlet she needs to put everything she has into winning — and to leave it on the water. Having a demanding schedule and physical routine, she finds she's a better student in the classroom and lab.

"If I didn't have rowing, that competitive side might become unhealthy," she said. "Having a team is so special. Having this bond where you're competing against each other but also together against another team."

Veizi also found the "built-in support system" on her Princeton rowing team has helped her adjust fluidly to campus life. Her older teammates act as mentors, answering tough questions and guiding her through some of the thorny details of being a student athlete. While she acknowledges the social sacrifices required to maintain such a rigorous schedule, Veizi finds the  benefits of combining team camaraderie and academic success more than balance the scales. She wouldn't have it any other way.