Research!

Hello Everyone!

It’s Jillian!  I hope you’re all doing well!

This past week has been an exciting one here at Luther!  Last Friday night I went to the Messiah, which was beautifully performed by the choirs, soloists, and symphony.  There were lots of other cool events that also took place on campus, including a flashlight Easter egg hunt on the baseball field, a planetarium show, and an inspiring lecture by a Holocaust survivor.  In addition, we officially heard the news that Nick Jonas will be performing at Luther for the big spring concert this year.  While I’m largely unfamiliar with Nick Jonas’s music, his photo was plastered in about 30% of girls’ lockers when I was in the sixth grade.  So it’s a pretty big deal. 

But for me, the thing I was most involved in this week was working on psychology research!

I am currently a psychology major here at Luther, so I was really excited when the opportunity arose for me to join my professor’s research team.  I’m currently helping two fellow students who have previous research experience.  So far, I’ve been doing data collection – administering surveys and making copies and things.  I’m really excited to continue learning more about the research process and seeing what the results show once we analyze the data!  The whole experience is entirely new to me, so it’s a lot of fun.

Last semester, I was able to experience psychology studies from the other side of things – acting as a participant rather than on the research team.  That was a really neat experience too; I loved trying to guess what each study was assessing.  Students come up with some really creative things to test!  As a participant, I have solved puzzles, watched videos, and played memory games.  I loved that experience, so I was eager to explore psychology research further.

I feel so fortunate that I have the opportunity to do so, even as a first-year student.  At a lot of big schools, research opportunities are reserved for upperclassmen or even graduate students, so it’s wonderful to be able to begin earlier.  Research experience can be really helpful when applying for REUs and graduate school, and it’s also a fun experience unlike any I’ve ever had before.

If you’re interested in research at Luther, the professors here are more than willing to help you get started on that path, whether your interests lie in psychology or elsewhere.

As always, if you have any questions about Luther or my experiences, feel free to ask in the comments – I’ll be sure to get back to you!

And now, I’m off to sleep!

Here's a picture of some deer I saw walking back from my dorm after research one night. There were five in all, but I wasn't able to get a good photo of all of them. This is only tangentially related to the post, but I thought it was cool anyway.

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