Whether you’re jumping onto the wagon of a research project or are pursuing a research assignment in a course, professors will often assign readings of journal articles as a way to familiarize students with ongoing research in the field. However, for newcomers to a topic, tackling the understanding of a literature review can often be difficult with the influx of new vocabulary and complex, dense information on the topic all at once. Here are some tips on how you can tackle the difficulty of journal reading.
As course selection begins, you might find yourself searching endlessly through the Course Offerings webpage, trying to craft the perfect schedule for next semester. You’re probably weighing a number of different factors— the professor, the class topic, the reading list, the different requirements it fulfills— and trying to balance these in the best way possible.There is another possibility here, which you can’t find in the course offerings: reading courses. Not advertised on department websites or listed with course offerings, reading courses are some of Princeton’s hidden academic gems. The University defines a reading course as a specially designed course not normally offered as part of the curriculum that is arranged between a student and a faculty member. These courses count for academic credit, and focus on a topic of the student’s choosing. If you’ve ever dreamed about designing your own course, this is your opportunity.
McCosh Courtyard in NovemberContinue reading Reading Courses: A Guide
It’s always a mixed bag of emotions when it comes to course selection. Personally, I find the period between when the next semester’s courses are released and before the course selection date to be especially fun—I can play around with the different ideal schedules (potentially having no-class Fridays and no night classes), look ahead to the rest of the courses that I’ll be taking during my time here, and discover new classes. Whether people end up choosing to take classes to fulfill requirements, classes that interest them, or classes that could teach them important skills, an important aspect in choosing courses for the upcoming semester is course planning. TigerApps is a group of student developers that builds apps to improve the campus life experience for Princeton students. One of the TigerApps created is ReCal, which is the most popular way to aid in course planning and ensure a smooth process for course selection. Recently, TigerJunction ReCal+, an application for course planning inspired by ReCal and designed to be an “improved” version, has made its rounds among students. As course selection season is upon us, I wanted to take the opportunity to show how I plan my courses for the next semester and provide an in-depth comparison between ReCal and TigerJunction ReCal+ to inform how other students plan their courses for the upcoming semesters.Continue reading TigerJunction vs ReCal: How I Plan My Courses for the Next Semester
Unfortunately, many of us will experience burnout sometime during our four years here at Princeton. For those of you who may not have heard this term before, the definition is in its name: burnout involves losing that spark of motivation that previously might have kept you pushing forward through your workload. Keep in mind that burnout is distinct from things like anxiety or depression that may also be impacting your academic performance in a similar way. If you think you are struggling with these instead, you can contact Princeton’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) to seek longer-term professional help. They also offer urgent consultations for more immediate situations. Burnout specifically deals much more with the ebbs and flows that can happen as stress builds over the course of a semester. Thankfully, there are many ways to combat and minimize the negative effects of burnout. If you have a few overdue assignments, slept through a few lectures, or just generally feel you are not quite as on top of things as you may have been when the semester began, here are some of my tips for getting out of an academic slump.Continue reading In a Mid-Semester Slump? Here are Five Tips to Bounce Back from Burnout
2024 Program Applications Are Open!
The Global Health Program hosts a wide variety of research internships on global health topics each summer. They provide a fully-funded experience for students of all class years and backgrounds to explore urgent health issues in regions all around the world. This eye-opening summer will help you learn about the differences in healthcare access and treatment globally, and contribute to impactful solutions. I had the incredible opportunity to conduct research and data analysis on Type II Diabetes treatment in Malaysia while interning at the University of Malaysia for the 2023 Internships in Global Health Program. Here are a few of the biggest takeaways and highlights of my internship so that you can get excited about the 2024 program!Continue reading Why Internships in Global Health?
Last summer, I went abroad on a fully-funded internship doing astrophysics research at Cardiff University, in Cardiff, Wales, UK. This experience not only solidified my career decision to pursue astrophysics research, but also gave me a unique immersion into Wales and Welsh culture as well as the broader United Kingdom. If you are curious about research abroad, read on!Continue reading Doing Summer Research Abroad (Princeton IIP)
This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to be a research intern in the Princeton Department of Geosciences through the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) Internship Program. As a rising college sophomore who had spent half of my high school years during the coronavirus pandemic, I was eager to seek out an opportunity that would allow me to engage in an in-person laboratory research experience, and this was it.
Even before stepping foot on campus, I had already heard of the challenges that came with the Writing Seminar, the first-year writing requirement. Students are able to rank by preference several Writing Seminars covering different topics, which have included topics such as WRI 116: Sustainable Futures and WRI 159: Gray Matter. In each of these Writing Seminars, students develop their writing skills through a research focus, writing three research papers throughout the semester. As Writing Seminars are such a widely discussed topic for first-years and there is an abundance of advice from juniors and seniors floating around, I wanted to write a more detailed article specifically about what I did to learn how to write.Continue reading My Personal Tips for Success in Writing Seminar
If you want to take your research in the humanities to the next level while here at Princeton, one of the best ways you can do that is by availing yourself of Princeton’s Special Collections. Home to vast stockpiles of manuscripts, rare books, coins, and other materials, Special Collections is a great place for students who want to pursue rigorous and impressive humanities research while making use of the excellent resources that Princeton has to offer. Many of these articles were donated by benefactors or acquired by the university specifically so that they could be researched by professors, students, and other researchers. In this article, I’ll present some reasons why you might consider checking out Special Collections, and then follow that up with a basic “how to” for when you visit.
A manuscript of an Ethiopic Synaxarion in Special CollectionsContinue reading Researching in Princeton’s Special Collections
When doing research as an undergraduate, sometimes the work you are doing and topics you study may be very familiar to you, other times you may be totally unfamiliar with what is going on. Maybe you even have some previous experience but the topic of the project is way above anything you’ve done before—you might be working with a physics professor on something really advanced like quantum field theory or condensed matter, which you have never taken a class on and are expected to now work on and understand what’s going on during your project. This can happen a lot in any field, not just STEM, where your professor may have spent years studying something that you are expected to contribute to after having taken maybe a few classes in it, if that. Some professors may work more often with graduate students, so they may assume that you know “basic” things about your field that you as an undergrad have just encountered for the first time: you could be working with an Art History professor who focuses on Late Antiquity, and they start throwing around terms and common symbols that you aren’t able to easily recognize.
Regardless of the circumstances, this situation comes up a lot in undergraduate research. The fortunate thing is that tons of professors are willing to work with students who have no prior experience in the subject, but you still have to wrestle with “catching up” as you try to somewhat understand anything that you’re actually doing. Here are some tips to try to get acclimated with difficult, unfamiliar topics that may be well above your current depth as an undergraduate.Continue reading How to Tackle Research Topics “Beyond Your Depth” as an Undergraduate