The Princeton Perspective Project (PPP) is an initiative by Princeton students against the expectation of “effortless perfection.” Our seasonal series in partnership with PPP interviewed professors, undergraduate students, and graduate students to hear their thoughts on expectations, challenges, failures, and growth through it all. In this segment of our Seasonal Series, we hear from Cara Khalifeh, the Treasurer of the Princeton Perspective Project.
Effortless Perfection at Princeton: The “Perfect” Thesis is Really Hard Work
My final senior thesis!
I’ve always loved reading through senior thesis titles and thinking “Wow, that’s clever,” “That’s genius,” “I wonder how they came up with that.” The senior thesis, which many seniors refer to as a full-blown novel, is supposed to be a senior’s finest work and proudest possession. It looks impressive in its black book with gold font. It is 115 pages. It has fancy acknowledgments. As a first-year/sophomore, and even as a high schooler on tour, I was in awe at how seniors could create such a perfect paper. It isn’t until now that I know the answer: hard work.Continue reading Effortless Perfection at Princeton: The “Perfect” Thesis is Really Hard Work
An Interview with Kelly Finke on Finding your Way in Research and the Meaning of Failure
For this post in our collaboration with Princeton Perspectives Project I dusted off my blog-writing skills and had the pleasure of interviewing 2nd year EEB PhD student Kelly Finke. She uses computational biology techniques to study collective human behavior in Professor Corina Tarnita’s lab.Continue reading An Interview with Kelly Finke on Finding your Way in Research and the Meaning of Failure
Introducing the Sophomore Research Seminars: An Interview with Professor Emma Ljung
With course selection coming around the corner, the sheer number of opportunities can be overwhelming. Choosing courses can be doubly challenging for rising sophomores who are finishing up their prerequisite courses and trying to figure out what they even want to major in. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce a new and exciting opportunity for students interested in research—the Sophomore Research Seminars.Continue reading Introducing the Sophomore Research Seminars: An Interview with Professor Emma Ljung
A Guide to Your Next Museum Visit
As someone who has loved museums for as long as I can remember, it feels heretical to even admit that my own brother considers most museums to be boring. The older sister in me has not let this go easily, and, in fact, I’ve been practicing my art of persuasion through getting my friends and family into museums even when they are hesitant. If you, too, are hoping to convince someone to join you at a museum or maybe are looking for a way to get more out of museums yourself, here is some of my hard-earned advice.Continue reading A Guide to Your Next Museum Visit
Wintersession: A Fun Chance to Discover New Interests
The start of a new semester can be an adjustment, especially after a long and relaxing break. In the spring, I often end up feeling overwhelmed by internship applications, which Amaya recently wrote about. A few weeks ago, though, I found myself overwhelmed in a far more positive manner; I came back to campus early this year for Wintersession, and was amazed by the huge selection of opportunities both on and off campus. Wintersession is a recent Princeton initiative, giving students the chance to teach and participate in workshops, classes, and trips during the last two weeks of winter break. This past Wintersession, some of the offerings included a class on blacksmithing and a skiing trip. Free, short-term programs are the perfect chance to step out of your learning comfort zone. A particularly engaging class could spark your interest in an unfamiliar (or even underexplored!) topic, opening up new avenues for potential research.Continue reading Wintersession: A Fun Chance to Discover New Interests
Experiences in the ReMatch+ Program: An Interview with Kasey Shashaty ’23 – Part 2
Last spring, I interviewed Kasey Shashaty. In this second part of my interview, we discuss specific challenges in her transition between virtual and in-person research and reflections on how this experience in the PULSe Lab has influenced her perspective on research and her plans for the future.
Kasey Shashaty got her jumpstart in research through the ReMatch+ program organized by the Office of Undergraduate Research. ReMatch+ is a summer mentorship program that pairs first-year and second-year students with a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow as they work on a summer research project. Read on to learn more about her research experience!Continue reading Experiences in the ReMatch+ Program: An Interview with Kasey Shashaty ’23 – Part 2
iFly and I Rest: Making the Most of Winter Break
Winter break is long and much-needed. It is a time to relax, rejuvenate, and reflect on the semester. In this post, I will give advice on how to make the most of the next few months, but I recognize that you know yourself best and should choose to spend your break in whatever way makes you happiest. Without further ado, here are my takeaways from the last 3 winter breaks:Continue reading iFly and I Rest: Making the Most of Winter Break
No Experience Necessary: An Interview with Delaan Nedd ’25
Delaan Nedd ’25 (second from the left in the top row) and the Bocarsly Lab. Photo from Bocarsly Lab News.
As we enter December, it seems like summer is far, far away, but it’s a good time to start thinking about summer plans if you haven’t already. If you’re interested in research, there are numerous summer research programs whose applications are currently open (the Office of Undergraduate Research has a great list here).
For students with no experience with research, just getting started can be daunting. I wanted to hear from students whose first hands-on exposure to research was through Princeton’s research programs, so I interviewed Delaan Nedd ‘25. Delaan spent this past summer in the Princeton Department of Chemistry’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Chemistry (SURF-C) program. SURF-C is a nine-week program for first and second-year undergraduate students to work on cutting-edge chemistry research alongside Princeton faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and other undergrads. What’s exciting is that the research Delaan contributed to during SURF-C was recently published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Dalton Transactions journal—check out the full paper here!
In this interview, we discuss his experience with on-campus summer research both in and out of the lab, as well as how the summer further informed his academic and career interests.Continue reading No Experience Necessary: An Interview with Delaan Nedd ’25
Research During the Academic Year: Tips for Time Management & Pursuing your Passions
Whether you’re trying to free up your summer to enjoy one of Princeton’s other fully-funded programs, or maybe pave the way for more advanced summer or independent research opportunities, it’s understandable why you might want to get a head start on research during the academic year. But, with jam-packed class schedules, multiple labs, essays to write, and hopefully squeezing in some time for yourself, it can feel impossible to do research on top of life at Princeton. So, how do students do it? Can you really spend 8-10 hours per week on research and still find work-life balance? In short, it depends. The number of classes you’re taking, extracurriculars, and your own unique circumstances all factor into whether research during the academic year is sustainable for your class schedule. For some, research can be a valuable addition to their academic schedules. But, like anything at Princeton, it requires careful planning, time management, and clarifying your own values. Here are three tips for striking balance with research during the academic year.Continue reading Research During the Academic Year: Tips for Time Management & Pursuing your Passions