This was the semester I dreaded all summer. The semester I signed up for three research classes. Ugh. What was I thinking?
It’s tedious. It’s boring. It takes forever. And do you really learn anything at the end? Probably not. You learn that you ARE capable of pulling three all nighters in a row. And Jimmy John’s WILL deliver to the library at 12:00 AM while you finish your 26 page paper.
But this semester was different. It wasn’t just ten papers on what the internet said about this random controversial topic. Everything about research changed when it was something that I actually wanted to research. This research combined what I was passionate about and what I would be doing with my career.
The three classes I had allowed me to choose one topic instead of three. This was WONDERFUL. Not because I was doing less work, but because I could take triple the time to learn everything there is to know about my topic. I came up with two things I could never get sick of: music and advertising. And to my surprise, that’s totally something you can research.
I didn’t just go on the internet and read what all the people on Google had to say. That’s what set this project apart from the rest. I learned how to use the library’s databases, I found out how to run a focus group (mind you, my voice was GONE for that part). I also sent out a survey to find out exactly what people think about music in advertising.
The best part? The results surprised me. I was shocked when what I thought would happen didn’t actually happen. I liked seeing what real people in real time had to say about the topic. After finishing that 26 page paper, I felt like I really learned something.
There’s nothing that students hate more than research. But when you change the assignment to something they can be passionate about and that can serve them in their careers, it completely changes the dynamic. This semester and my professors changed my mind about research. So here are my words of wisdom to all the future research students: IT’S NOT THAT BAD.