Krista Goebel '18 - Introduction


Krista Goebel '18

Hi, All! 

I am thrilled to be back for a third year of blogging! For those who don't know me, my name is Krista, and I'm a junior Psychology & English double major here at Amherst from just outside Philadelphia, PA, where I enjoy soft pretzels and cheesesteaks that simply aren’t made the same anywhere else. I am very involved in music at Amherst; I sing for The Sabrinas (one of two all-female a cappella groups on page here!), take harp lessons, and have played flute for the orchestra, the pit orchestra, for woodwind chamber groups, and for music thesis performances. I have many jobs on campus that I love--reading mentor through Reader to Reader, babysitter, tour guide, research assistant in the Peer Relationships Psychology lab, and (last but not least!) blogger for Admissions. Though I am not a varsity or club athlete, I find lots of ways to stay physically active on campus, including getting involved with intramural volleyball, yoga club, and the table tennis club.  

I'm going to say right off the bat that I love Amherst, and I cannot wait to show you why that is through these blog posts. Amherst has given me the tools and freedom to grow, both by broadening my horizons to new experiences and by deepening and sometimes transforming my understanding of old ones. I love that as I grow and change in ways I never could have anticipated, Amherst has every resource necessary to support and facilitate my growth. If you have any questions, please feel welcome to email me any time at If you come onto campus for a tour or visit, please let me know because I'd love to meet you if our schedules allow it! I'll be the girl with the little blue backpack running around trying to pack as many things into the day as possible. Happy reading!

Colder Weather

I believe what's weighing on a lot of Amherst students' minds right now is the changing season. We had a pretty warm, mild fall, but the last week or so has taken us all off guard because it's been so cold and windy. Also, folks, the sun goes down before 4:30pm nowadays! How, might you ask, do students cope with the cold? I can't speak for all students, but here are some of my strategies for staying warm:

1) Drink hot beverages while Val sitting. You mustn't underestimate the warmth and comfort that accompanies sipping some of Val's hot chocolate, tea, or coffee with friends while watching the wind blow the leaves around outside. Val is open all day, so that you can spend as long as you want in there, accumulating as many mugs of hot beverages as your heart desires.

2) Bake! There's nothing better than eating some nice warm cookies or pie on a cold day. Not all the dorms have kitchens, but many do! You can invite a bunch of friends to pitch in to buy ingredients. Baking is currently on my mind because yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to learn to bake an apple pie the proper way with one of Amherst's very own chefs. Here are some pictures from the afternoon, which truly warmed my heart!

  Apple pie!!

                   Apple crumble! Note the beautiful, ridged edges. 

Krista in Val hat

                                Me ft. Val Dining Services hat!

Pie Lesson

      "Don't be afraid to use a lot of flour"

Pies Baking

So many pies!!! (I don't pick up the finished product until later today, but I'm sure it will be beautiful)

3) Remind yourself of warmer times. This might not work for everyone, but as a Psychology major, I truly believe in the power of positive thinking! Surrounding myself with summer-like things makes me feel warm and happy. As a treat to myself, I've gone to Amherst Nails a couple times semester, and I've gotten bright-colored nail polish with flower designs. I also took the PVTA bus over to Smith College a couple weeks ago with my family during Amherst's family weekend for Smith's annual chrysanthemum show. They created a tiny, breathtaking piece of summer there! 

Happy nails

               My friend Olivia and I got our nails done, and the fourth finger has a beautiful flower design. 

Family at the chrysanthemum show

   My family (minus my brother Eddie!) at the Smith College chrysanthemum show

4) Hang out by the fire pit. Over the summer, we built a new fire pit right outside of our student center, and on many nights, there's a fire going. You can stop by to warm up and even make a s'more if you want to! It's really easy to sign up to use the fire pit with your friends or with a club/team that you're involved with.  

5) Check out the Sabrinas' youtube page. Okay, so this one isn't so much about staying warm. But here's the link to my a cappella group singing "Colder Weather", which inspired the title for this post! You can also check out some of our other songs... there are definitely some about warmer weather, such as "Summertime" :)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


What's a senior thesis?

Hi, everybody! I’m back and ready to share with you about my first month as a senior! 

Senior year started on a very sentimental note. I spent the summer here, doing Psychology research, so the summer really rolled right into the new school year. The summer began with Commencement in May, where I said goodbye to so many of my graduating friends, and then ended with Orientation in late August, where I welcomed the new incoming first-year students to Amherst and helped lead their Orientation activities. Seeing my friends whom I’d known since the beginning of my Amherst experience graduate made me realize how quickly my own graduation was approaching, and leading Orientation made me realize how long ago my own Orientation was and how far I’ve come. If you come to Amherst, I would recommend both going to Commencement and leading Orientation before you graduate—It gave me new insight into how short my time at Amherst is and how impactful it’s been.

So now, when I mentioned my summer research, I already alluded to the big event of my fall semester (also alluded to in this post’s title…): my senior thesis! Senior theses all look very different, depending on which department you are writing one for, but they all involve working on a long-term project closely with a thesis advisor. For instance, music theses can take the form of an original composition, a long research paper, or a performance. Science theses generally involve completing first-hand research with a professor and writing up a literature review, methodology, results, and a discussion of the results in the form of a long paper. This happens to be the setup of my thesis. I am working with Dr. Carolyn M. Palmquist in the Child Learning and Development Lab. I am studying how invoking overconfidence in 8-10 year-old children affects their help-seeking behavior during a searching game, and whether any individual differences in children predict their behavior during the game. I finished my data collection over the summer, and now I have finished writing up my methodology and results sections. Next up: my Discussion! Most departments do not require students to write a thesis; rather, successfully completing a thesis earns students an honors degree. If you have any general questions about writing a thesis or would like to know more about my thesis, please shoot me an email! :) (Or, if you are interested in hearing me ramble a little bit more about my experience writing a thesis, you can read my responses to an interview on the topic here)

One of the most exciting parts so far about writing my thesis was that I was able to present my research at the Cognitive Development Society Conference in Portland, Oregon. During the conference, I met so many other researchers and learned about all of the most recent research in cognitive development. When I presented my poster, I received lots of helpful feedback. Also, amazing--Amherst funded the whole trip! Triply amazing, when the conference was over, I still had a little bit of time to explore Portland :) 

me presenting my research at the CDS conference

                                Presenting my thesis research at the CDS conference in Portland, OR

Danielle and I on our way to Portland

             My friend Danielle and I on our way to Portland!

Japanese Garden of Portland, Oregon

  Japanese Garden of Portland, OR


My main goal for this semester (besides completing a huge bulk of my thesis!) is to give myself ample time to enjoy all the things I love most about Amherst: my amazing friends, long conversations in Valentine dining hall, going to random lectures, events, and activities that peak my interest, and taking advantage of all the different opportunities here to try new things. I am very determined to stay on track and really have my thesis in good shape by the end of the semester so that I can truly relax and enjoy my last semester here at Amherst.

Here are some of the fun things I've enjoyed so far this year at Amherst:

Roller Skating

                                             Roller skating with my friend Keziah at Hampshire Mall!

Apple picking

                                                              Apple picking with some friends!

Homecoming Bonfire Performance

                                 Performing with my a cappella group at the annual homecoming bonfire!