Another Kind of Service: Research Study Participation

Another Kind Of Service: Research Study Participation

The compensation is just a bonus, I swear.

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Attending a large research university like Emory, there are plenty of opportunities to partake in research. Most often, first-year undergraduates enter the institution eager to join a lab and partake in research. Wise upperclassmen know that is easier said than done. Once upon a time, I was an eager first year at Emory searching for the same opportunities. Along the way, I discovered that dedicating myself to a lab was not the only way to express my love for science or contribute to research. Volunteering my time as a participant in various studies around campus was a great way to feel involved and learn more about my own interests.

Labs and research groups advertise for volunteers all around campus. I was interested in the idea of contributing to a study that had the potential to help millions of other people in the future. Sometimes, service is not volunteering at the hospital or pulling out weeds at a community garden. Anytime you take time out of your day for a cause greater than yourself, it is a service to others.

Participating in research studies also helped me find what I was interested in studying. I found myself leaning towards many psychology and sociology based labs because I was intrigued by the research they were conducting. I learned about different conditions for which I was unaware of the symptoms and how they affect a person's life. Additionally, reading through the consent forms made me appreciate the thought and time it takes to set up an experimental design and have a project approved. All these research studies made me realize that doing research can be exciting, but the intensive background work was not the lifestyle or career I wanted for myself in the future. I was able to discover this earlier rather than later because of my participation in research studies.

Moreover, research studies provide a plethora of incentives to entice people to volunteer. A gift card or cash for a short thirty-minute survey or test seems like an excellent deal. Studies that have longer time frames for participation have higher amounts of cash. Sometimes, these studies can simply be done through your phone for a period of two weeks to months. We are all on our phones the majority of the time anyway, except this way you make money by answering a few questions. I have received plenty of money or gift cards that helped me buy books or food. Compensation is not only in the form of money either. Biological studies may require blood tests or vital signs. These studies are essentially a free check-up.

Depending on your medical conditions, physical traits, time constraints, and preferences, there will be a research study looking for volunteers of your demographic. Research and science are not only for STEM majors or professors. Being a volunteer in a research study allows you to be a part of the scientific process, not just the person reading the results in a newspaper article later.

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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The Lazy Girls' Guide To Spring Cleaning

Here's to washing, drying and sorting away the year's mess!

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Some look to spring cleaning as a time of renewal while others (more like me) dread the absolute thought this. A time where we sort through piles of empty collected water bottles and tightly fitted clothes all while cleaning crevices we had no idea could even collect so much dust.

A time where we find knick-knacks we had no recollection of buying and missing items that absolutely can't be replaced. This my friends -- is spring cleaning.

All in all, a dueling time indeed, I'm here to give you lazy girls like me a guide to get the most out of this year's polish.

 1. Crank on your favorite jams

This can be a show you have been daring to binge all semester or simply a YouTube, Apple or Spotify playlist.

2. Eliminate Distractions

Don't procrastinate ! Yes I know, its a pretty day outside-- perfect enough for a stroll through the downtown mall but we cant let this distract us from the task at hand.

3. Configure a plan

Planner

Try to start from the bottom and work your way up. Little task that are easily completed can come first while you can devote most of your energy and time to the larger tasks.

4. Don't be afraid to let it go.

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Is it really cleaning If we hoard all of our old belongings ?

5. Donate or Sell!

We all have a ton of clothing that we either can't fit anymore or just don't have the desire to wear and furniture that we just don't seem to need -- so why not donate them? Local places like Plato's, Goodwill, The Salvation Army , Habitat for Humanity etc. would love to buy and receive gently used items !

6. Actually CLEAN!

If you're going to commit to spring cleaning -- actually clean! This means dusting , moping, vacuuming, scrubbing and shampooing.

By the end of these 6 easy steps, I am pretty sure you will feel an overwhelming amount of exhaustion. With that will come replenishment, a much needed revamp and most importantly a clean space.

I mean truly, is there anything better than returning to a clean home?

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