Kilroy was here

I fluctuate between wanting to obsessively chronicle everything, and hating getting photos of myself taken + trying to “live in the moment.” In case it’s not super obvious by my recent blog posts, right now I’m in the former state, after maybe a few years in the latter. I’ve realized that the desire to make an impact on the world can manifest in smaller ways than a choice of career path, like when I went on vacation and realized that the only/main way I could “leave a mark” on a place that felt meaningful and transformative to me was to take a bunch of photos. I don’t think that’s the main reason other people take photos in a place, but I also know that I’m not alone in wanting to touch the places and things and people that have touched me. (That’s why Kilroy existed! That’s probably also a big reason why this blog exists…) Part of this shift is

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Everything is connected

(More stream of consciousness than my usual blog posts, inspired by some poetry I’ve been reading and life!!!) Things that you do are not isolated. This is why small things can have big effects. Like parenting. And also proving things to yourself. That’s why I like taking walks so much. Everything is a metaphor. The cliché of the journey is more important than the destination. That’s why I do weird things on my walks too, like turn around abruptly, walk backwards, skip, sing, etc. I know this is true because I’ve seen the effects of standing up for myself in one area of my life manifest in others.

Julia’s tips and strategies for gift-giving

I love buying presents for other people and would consider myself pretty good at it too. Gift-giving is one of my love languages 😊. For some reason, my mom finds buying presents really difficult and is pretty bad at it, so I wanted to write this post to teach my mom and other people who aren’t good at gift-giving the heuristics that I use. This post is going to be a combination of theory, tips, and general strategies, rather than me listing specific gift ideas. To begin, what is a present (i.e., what distinguishes it from something you would buy for another person in a normal context)? And what are you trying to accomplish by giving this person a present? I think it’s really important to think through these questions for yourself before starting the process of picking a present. Here are my answers: I think a present is a combination of both the present itself (e.g., a physical object, a

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The feeling of anxiety at Princeton

To give some context on why I’m writing this post: I have selective memory repression/loss and a form of aphantasia where I can’t relive past emotions (I briefly talked about this in my last video), and I’ve been feeling a lot of pre-nostalgia about my time at Princeton, so I want to record as much as I can while I’m still living it. The level of anxiety I feel about my work at Princeton is insane and probably extremely unhealthy, despite me taking countermeasures like taking regular walks and making task lists. When I’m in an anxious time (midterms, weeks where I have a lot due—usually right before breaks) it’s difficult for me to sleep well, which is rarely a problem for me at other times. I can’t fall asleep because I’m thinking and maybe feeling guilty about all the work that I need to do/could be doing, and my sleep is restless because I wake up periodically in the

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How do we know who we are?

Something I’ve been thinking about recently is the question of how much of what we think/”know” about ourselves is a consequence of what others have said about us, and how much of it is from first principles. I was surprised when two of my classes this week touched on this question. In my Attitudes and Persuasion seminar, we were discussing the difference between explicit and implicit attitudes, and which one is one’s “real” attitude. There is actually no consensus in the field about whether or not explicit and implicit attitudes are even internally represented separately. Explicit attitudes are ones that can be measured using surveys, like Likert scales, and are known to us. Implicit attitudes are commonly measured using the implicit association test, and use responses that are automatic/out of our control in some way (like muscle activity in the face, heart rate, etc.). There was one study on racial attitudes that examined body language as well as implicit and explicit attitudes

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Fall semester (so far) in review

I’m taking 5 classes this semester, and something that’s been surprisingly nice is that I have a pretty regular schedule (and no classes on Fridays). Monday through Thursday, I have a class 11-12:30, a one hour lunch break, and then either a 1.5 or 3 hour-long class. I realized that having a consistent daily schedule really helps with establishing a regular sleep schedule and morning routine. Usually, I wake up a bit before my alarm at 9:20 (unless I go to bed late/am super tired, in which case I wake up later and skip breakfast), and have a slow and relaxed morning in. Usually I have time to walk to class early and either journal by the Woody Woo fountain or reflect inside the Richard Serra sculpture. In terms of my classes…they’re definitely a lot of work as a whole, which I kind of touched on in my last post. I’ll just go through them one by one. World Drama

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Doing pomodoros is changing my life

For people who don’t know what pomodoros are, they’re basically alternating periods of work + break (usually 25 min working / 5 min break), and there are a bunch of desktop and mobile pomodoro apps that you can get. I’ve known about pomodoros for a pretty long time but only started doing them after learning more about them when I took the Learning How to Learn online course while I was at RC. Even then, I never fully incorporate them into my work until this past month. I feel like doing pomodoros has changed my life in a big time way, by making me more aware of both the passage of time and my own mental state. For instance, now I can set daily goals for myself like “work on cos pset for 3 pomodoros,” which allows me not only to break down big (and undesirable) tasks into manageable daily chunks, but also to become more aware of how long it

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What it means to be a nice girl

Basically, putting the needs of others before your own. For instance: Doing the “right thing” even if you don’t want to Letting other people encroach on your personal space and boundaries, and not standing up for yourself and your needs until they’ve egregiously overstepped  Second-guessing yourself and your intuitions while giving others the benefit of the doubt Comforting others (and taking on their emotional/etc. burdens!) even when you’re not in the right/best mental state to do so Doing things that are inconvenient, annoying, or downright bad to you because they make someone else’s life (even slightly) better   Fuck being a nice girl.