Long term thinking

Traveling all day with a phone that is out of battery gives you a lot of time to think about the preceding and proceeding days. The preceding days were filled with an interview at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Bob Krueger and his colleagues, nights were spent watching The Good Place with my grad student host. The proceeding days will be filled with exams and homework that have been neglected in favor of focusing on interviews and preparation for the next stage of my education.

The next stage of my education definitely involves research, a fact that was cemented in part by the Dietrich Honors Fellowship program. This summer was the first time I got to spend all of my time doing research (whether it was in my lab or on my personal project). I found it really fulfilling to sit down and do the work of preparing my study and manuscript during the summer, and I realized that studying personality was something I wanted to continue.

In order to continue on this path, I applied to PhD programs that would allow me to research personality disorders. In both my personal statement and on the interviews I’ve had for programs, I have talked about my senior project. I’ve talked about the rational, the study design, how I’m paying participants, how I came up with the idea, and every other aspect of my project ad nauseam. This is a good thing, however, considering my whole summer was preparation for just these types of questions. Writing my introduction and methods was just practice for these interviews, where my intellect is judged by my ability to succinctly and intelligently discuss my previous work.

Even though my senior thesis isn’t done yet, I am already flaunting the skills and knowledge that this process has taught me. The study is about to be launched through Qualtrics, and it is just today that I finalized the last details with our representatives at Qualtrics and gave them the go-ahead to launch the survey. While data is being collected, I am going to continue editing my introduction and methods and work on figuring out the syntax needed to run my analyses. Once the data is collected (in a couple weeks time), I will analyze my results and try to understand what they mean in the context of the broader literature on personality and addiction. I can’t wait to see what my contribution can be to the field of personality, both in this senior thesis, and in graduate school.