21 Thoughts A College Student Has While Doing Research

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

You have a love/hate relationship with conducting research.


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. 


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.

Popular Right Now

21 Things You Say To Your Roommate If You Two Are Practically A Married Couple

Until I made this list, I didn't realize how absurdly close my roommate and I were. #sorrynotsorry

Let's be real: you and your roommate have said these things at least one to each other.

1. "Can you turn the light off?"

2. "We probably shouldn't go out for dinner again...right?"

*Complains about not having money* *Spends $8 on Chipotle three times a week*

3. "I always pick where we go"

This is a fight you have with your roommate almost every day when you're roommate is as indecisive as mine.

4. "Do you have my keys?"

5. "Can you pick me up?"

6. "Is it hot in here?"

7. "Does this outfit look stupid?"

The answer is usually yes. No offense.

8. "Can you throw this out for me?"

9. "Can we get ice cream?"

10. "I need coffee."

This text is usually sent when you know your roomie is out running errands... errands you know are near a Starbucks.

11. "Can you tell me what happened?"

12. "Are you asleep?"

There have been times where I couldn't tell if you were asleep or dead... and I had to say this out loud to check if you were alive.

13. "Check your DM's."

*Cracks up in the middle of nowhere* *Catches a weird stare from your roomie across the room*

14. "Can you plug this in for me?"

15. "Can you pick a movie?"

Another instance where "I always pick" happens.

16. "Look at this girl's Instagram."

*Chucks phone across the room at roommate*

17. "Can you call me?"

18. "Can we meet up?"

19. "Can you help me find my phone?"

*Tries to leave the house to do something* *Loses phone* Every. Time.

20. "What should we do tonight?"

*Tries to get ready to do something fun* *Ends up staying in for another girls' night*

21. "Why isn't everyone as great as us?"


Cover Image Credit: Juliarose Genuardi

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Tips To Prepare For Your Freshman Year Of College

Tips and tricks for college freshman year.


Obviously, I am not an expert on college life yet, being that I am only a high school senior. Barely hanging on these last couple weeks of school. I have been preparing for my freshman year of college since the start of my senior year. It is an overwhelming, stressful process and it takes a lot of preparation and time to get it all done. I wanted to give some tips and advice on how I started my process and how I have gotten through it. Starting a new chapter can be really scary, especially if you have no idea what you are doing, I am the oldest sibling in my family, and I am the first to go through this crazy process called college. Though I was uncertain exactly what I needed to do and how to do it, I figured it out and here's how I did it.

1. Have a planner

This is going to be your best friend. It helps you keep your life organized (or at least it makes you feel like you do) and assures you that you meet deadlines. Since I can remember I have always used a planner and it helps me so much. I wouldn't know what to do without it. I have all the dates for when things need to be turned in- like housing and such, and also I have up to when classes start next fall. A planner is so helpful and would recommend getting one if you don't have one already.

2. Talk to friends about their experience

This has honestly been one of the top life savors. I have gotten so much advice from my friends that are in college and they give me the inside scoop and what to do and what not to do.

3. Do your research

Research the school, research clubs and activities that you may be interested in. Get familiar with what is on and off campus.

4. Visit the campus

Photo by Olivia Holler

I am lucky enough that I am only an hour and a half away from campus and it doesn't take long to get there so I just go when I feel like it. But visiting and being on campus several times defiantly has made me feel more comfortable and more at ease than I would be if I had not visited at all.

5. Embrace times with friends and family

Photo By Olivia Holler

This is the last summer with you In your house as a full time member. Embrace it! Be with your friends and family as much as you can. You are going to miss them just as much as you are going to miss them.

6. Start doing things on your own

I am already pretty independent but I struggled like starting to make my own dinners because I have been fortunate enough where my parent always took care of dinner. But now they are making me responsible for making my own dinner. Which was a really tough life altering thing for me. It may not seem like it but it was for me. But start doing your own laundry. making your own dinner, getting things yourself etc.

7. Make list

This and my planner have been my saving grace. If I didn't have it there was going to be no progress on the thing called college.

8. Manage your time

This is pretty self explanatory, there is a lot to do during the college process. Be sure not to procrastinate and know when things are due so you can get everything on time.

9. Take summer classes if needed

If you know you are going to be behind in a class, take some summer classes. For example, I am a little behind in math, and I have to take all the way up to college algebra in order to graduate college. Well, I knew I didn't want to take math all four years of college and I knew I was behind. So I am taking some summer courses to not only finish with math earlier but just to be ahead of the game.

10.  Gather everything you need for college!

Make sure you have everything you need for the big day. Set apart some days before move in day to take time and pack whatever you may need so you don't forget anything.

Related Content

Facebook Comments