Alas, fall break is over; but it’s not too soon to reminisce. During our time off, the semester finally began to decelerate (at least until finals come around). For the first time in over 6 weeks, I had time to catch up with friends whom midterms shielded me from. I was able to relax and watch Sunday Night Football without the stack of problem sets on my desk reminding me of my academic responsibilities. And perhaps most importantly, fall break presented an opportunity for me to take on a new kind of research project, as I reflect on yet another quarter at Princeton.
So far, these mid-year “introspective research” projects have really helped me improve my overall experience here. While classes are in session, I usually can’t afford to take a few days off to reflect on life, but when I get the opportunity, I take it immediately. Just as scientific researchers go through several trials to improve their projects, I find it immensely helpful to periodically sit back and think about how I can continuously improve my quality of life in the Orange Bubble. After all, the subject of this ‘project’ is me – I’m the experiment that can be infinitely refined. But unlike laboratory research where finding novel ideas is difficult, it’s really quite simple to give oneself effective advice going forward. All it takes is a little bit of self-reflection and time spent towards developing a plan for the future.