Conversations over Lunch: The Research You’ve Started Without Even Realizing

There’s nothing very special about the statement that lunch is fun – who doesn’t enjoy it? What I’ve found more surprising is that even with all the thought provoking classes I’ve taken at Princeton, lunch is consistently one of the most interesting parts of my day. Whether relaying key points from a particularly great morning lecture, talking about our new favorite YouTube video, or filling each other in about weekend plans, my friends and I use lunch as a chance to share our latest finds. What I recently began to consider is that this universal desire to start a conversation around our latest discoveries sits at the core of the research process.

Image with a sun flare in the front of Forbes College.
On this particular day, Hiba and I had lunch at Forbes.
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Making Use of Office Hours

With classes in full swing, I thought I would share my thoughts on what is a woefully underused resource at Princeton: office hours. Going to office hours has been an extremely valuable tool for me in completing problem sets, studying for tests and exams, and connecting with professors. So read ahead for some advice and observations I’ve made!

Consult your department’s website or syllabus for professors’ office hour availabilities—faculty try hard to make themselves available because office hours can be a very valuable resource!
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Underclassmen: Make the Most of Thesis Season!

March Madness takes on a whole new meaning for Princeton seniors, who are working hard to stay ahead of upcoming thesis deadlines. With submission dates as early as next week, many seniors spent their spring breaks finishing up data collection, editing their drafts, and attending thesis-geared events (like bootcamps).

The pollen on my doorstep scared me multiple times over break.

I spent my break watching basketball, being terrified of pollen every time I left my house, and sleeping for over 12 hours a day… But, now that I’m back on campus I thought it would be a good idea to ask seniors a few questions about their projects. Until this semester, I knew almost nothing about the thesis process that defines senior life in the months before graduation. Previously, most of my conversations with my senior friends would go something like:

Me: Hey, how’s the thesis coming along?

Senior: (Groan)

Me: You’ll get through it! Only a few more weeks!

And so I thought it might be time for me to ask more meaningful questions (given that my previous interactions only seemed to remind everyone of all the work they had left).

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