21 Thoughts Of A College Student In The Middle Of An Undergrad Research Project

21 Thoughts Of A College Student In The Middle Of An Undergrad Research Project

You have a love/hate relationship with conducting research.

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No matter what field you are studying, getting involved in a research project as an undergraduate student is highly recommended, and in some cases, even required to earn your degree. There are definitely pros and cons to pursuing any research project. Some days, it feels like there are more cons than you can even keep track of as you question yourself for the one-millionth time. However, the skills that you attain through the pursuit of a research project, especially as an undergraduate preparing for graduate school, is imperative.

As you work through the planning stages, actually starting the project, reading about the topic, collecting data, developing a relationship with your project advisor, justifying your current involvement with the project in interviews and scholarship applications, and describing all that your project entails to friends and family, you are constantly learning while also growing a deep love for what you are investing a portion of your time into.

Here are 21 thoughts that a college student who is in the middle of an undergraduate research project has (on the daily).

1. What do I even want to research?

Figuring out my interests and coming up with a plan of research pursuit is very time consuming (we haven't even gotten to the true time-consuming part yet).

2. I have a topic, but now it's time to narrow this down.

Focus it in to make the project more manageable... makes sense.

3. I was told to connect this to a broader context right after I was told to narrow it down.

So I just narrowed it down, but now I have to reconnect it to a broader realm?

4. Securing funds for this should be interesting. 

How???

5. I have to complete how many modules for Human Subjects Training?!

About 80 percent of these don't even apply to my project.

6. The Institutional Review Board is very, very, very particular.

About every little detail.

7. I've identified a faculty member as my research advisor, but I don't really know for sure how this is going to go. 

The first impression seemed OK, but only time will tell.

8. If I read one more peer-reviewed article about this subject, I'm probably going to freak out.

I'm reading all day, everyday, all night, every night.

9. Oh look, here's another article!

You would think I would be tired of reading at this point, yet a new finding never fails to excite me.

10. Did the IRB really send my project proposal back for another round of revisions?

Super peticular.

11. My project is my baby.

Too bad this is only one aspect of my undergraduate career, and I have a bunch of other responsibilities that I cannot neglect.

12. Will this project ever get finished?

Some days you make better progress than others. Some days you feel like you are getting nowhere. Some days you think you have everything all lined up to finish and some days you are thrown for a total loop. That's just research.

13. These skills are important for grad school.

Graduate school is all about pursuing research, so this is good practice for the next level. Always remind yourself this.

14. I'm getting pretty good at writing recruitment and consent forms. 

This is especially important if your research involves data collected from human subjects.

15. There are so many minuscule details that go into a single project.

I've got to be forgetting something! (You wonder this daily.)

16. All of this work for a single credit hour. 

Hey, it may be a single credit hour, or in some cases, several semesters worth of project planning and then project pursuit, before actually enrolling in the project course; yet, these skills you are attaining throughout the process are priceless and will be carried with you throughout the duration of your life.

17. There are so many potential problems that could arise during data collection.

That's all part of REsearch... you learn, apply, and try again.

18. I just spent three hours writing, revising, and editing one section of my paper... AGAIN!

19. I am so thankful for my project advisor. 

I couldn't imagine how this project would be possible without them.

20. I really love my project. 

After all of the time invested in this, it is apparent how much it truly means to me when somebody asks about school and all I want to talk about is this research. (Even though this is not how I felt about the project when I first started it!)

21. I don't want this experience to end. 

You never thought that you'd think this.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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6 Things Marketing Majors Know To Be True

You might think marketing majors are just a bunch of creatives who don't know what they want to do with their lives, but you're wrong.

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Yes, we're creative, and we also know what we want to do when we "grow up". Marketing is a practice that is so essential to the operation of every organization. Whether that organization is selling a product, or seeking support, marketing is just the tool to make that happen. I think a lot of times, the purpose of marketing is misunderstood, and many are misinformed about what it really is. As a marketing major, this can be a bit frustrating. People studying marketing are the future of many of these organizations. Here are just a few things that are true for many marketing majors.

1. *Watches a movie/TV show* "product placement...product placement...product. placement."

Once you've learned the concept of product placement, your experience while watching anything is changed forever. You'll begin to notice it every single time, while thinking to yourself, "you can't fool me".

2. You're constantly critiquing ads.

Once you've taken a class in advertising, you suddenly feel like you have all the answers to what makes a "good" advertisement. Whether this is true or not, we often find ourselves critiquing different advertisements we see, either out loud or just simply in our heads. For this reason, we really don't mind commercials all that much.

3. When you tell people your major they say: "so you just wanna sell people stuff?"

No. If you really want to annoy someone studying marketing, try asking them something along these lines. It's basically like asking an engineer if they just want to build stuff. There is a distinction between sales and marketing. Marketing is essential in generating sales, but it is not the same thing.

4. You roll your eyes at the fact that everyone thinks they can go into marketing.

A lot of people with degrees in who knows what often say: "I'll just get a job in marketing". With the large need for marketing professionals, there are many jobs available, but good marketing really does take training and education. It's the strategy that leads to the success of a good marketing campaign, so it is a little frustrating when people think marketing is so easy.

You don't understand why you need so much math.

Coming from Clemson, I had to take SO MUCH math. Everything from statistics, to marketing research (which makes sense), to accounting and finance. While this may not apply to those who want to go into the research side of things, us creatives are just perplexed by it. We don't feel the need to keep taking math related courses. Don't get me wrong, I do see the value in (some of) them now, but in the moment, I was miserable.

6. You're a creative.

A lot of people who desire to go into marketing are creative types who just want to apply that creativity to their future career. Creatives can be more than artists; we have the ability to contribute great things to organizations, and it is often through marketing that we can do so.

When you're a marketing major, there are just some things you become extremely aware of, and you start to see the world through a different lens. Say what you want about people studying marketing, but it is essential to all organizations, and not just anyone can do it.

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