Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Rachel Newman ’16

Paramus, New Jersey • Psychology View Profile

Back to Thesis

But first, here's how it started

With the beginning of my senior year upon me, the inevitable has come: thesis. I meet this reality with a strange feeling. I actually got a chance to sort of start my thesis a few months back because my super awesome adviser took me into his Princeton lab as an assistant over the summer so I could learn the ropes. So in a way I should be familiar with how this goes, right?

Maybe.

This summer, I would safely say I had an experience I don’t think I could ever repeat. Like I said, I worked on campus in a lab, but that was only half the picture. This came hand-in-hand with a whole strange mix of other crazy adventures that make just sitting in Princeton and plugging away at research seem like a confusing new experience.

I spent about half my time this summer on a bike. I’ll explain.

Basically, I was planning to spend this summer off campus getting some pre-grad school logistics out of the way. I planned to do that back home, but when I got the invitation to stay at Princeton, I knew I had to find a way to make it work. I took a look at how to make that possible, and realized that it meant getting from Princeton to West Windsor, where I had a daily commitment. This is sort of tough to do when you don’t have a car, which I don’t (because, as I’m learning in my Urban Sociology class, public transportation in the suburbs is...not so great).

Luckily, my adviser lent me his wife’s bike. It casually meant biking 60 miles a week, though. My adviser sat with me for almost an hour trying to find the safest and most efficient route on Google maps. Like I said, the coolest.  

So I had a lot more work going on than thesis when I started it, and am still sort of learning to disassociate the dread of thesis from the other ridiculousness that I got accustomed to this summer. I wonder which will be more tiring, but for now, I am happy to say I haven’t touched a bicycle since August.