Every student is cursed by how mundane a discipline could get when sitting behind a desk. As a student majoring in Psychology, I wasn’t an exception. The traditional classroom environment was not challenging enough for me to learn more, so I decided to explore research in a field that interests me. By doing so, not only am I putting myself outside of my comfort zone to grow more, I also am getting first hand experience in conducting research and finding out whether I want to continue learning and working within that discipline. One of the main goals that I see myself reaching by conducting research as an undergrad is setting myself apart from other students when applying to graduate programs. Becoming an undergraduate researcher is arguably one of the best methods to standout as an applicant. That is because graduate programs know that you understand what it’s like to conduct research and can handle the pressure of it.
One of the many things I learned is that the weekly schedule is extremely tentative. Although time frames don’t change much, what happens within the time frame of researching changes depending on which stage you are at in researching and whether or not there are obstacles. Last week I spent 4 days working on my research. Three of those days were designing the experiment and the last was directed towards some readings that would help me better understand the topic. Next week, I’m spending the majority of my time trying to recruit participants to collect data. The research process is one with many stages, and each one has it’s own obstacles and lessons.