Research matters

| Lisa Waldera

Lisa Waldera (25) is a master’s student Communication Studies from Bremen, Germany. For three years now, she’s been living on campus. Next to her study, she regularly visits the cinema and enjoys concerts of all music genres. Every other week she writes about her life at the University of Twente.

Photo by: Annabel Jeuring

Over the course of my study, I lost my passion for research and science. It became overshadowed by deadlines and exams. I did not learn to learn anymore but to answer the questions at the end of the module. Thinking back, I barely remember the topics I was reading about during my Bachelor. Certainly not the individual theories we discussed. But lately, I am using my lockdown spare time to listen to audio books. This way I avoid the negative news and headlines that fill my social media timelines and, at the same time, learn about new fascinating topics and fields. I was hitting the books Sapiens and The rise and fall of the dinosaurs. 20 hours listening time each. Both books heavily rely on scientific studies to support their arguments. Afterwards, I almost felt like an expert on anthropology and paleontology. I rediscovered my passion for science.

During the weekend, I was talking with two of my friends. One has just finished her Bachelor, the other one is finishing her master’s thesis at the UT. Just like me. We ended up talking about what we would like to do after our studies. Internship, traineeship, full-time position, PhD? The possibilities seem endless.

I was confronted with the big unknown after my thesis. What would I actually like to do next? So, I told my friends that I would like to work in the research field. This was met with astonishment and even more questions. How could I even consider this after losing all interest in science during my study? Do you know that PhD students are working day and night? Or that their depression rates are extremely high? I felt discouraged. But I do not want to become a PhD student. At least not right after graduation. Keep working under the pressure of deadlines. After almost five years of non-stop studying, I am not planning on jumping right into the next four-year project.

But research is what I am trained for. I will have to find another way to contribute to the scientific field. Maybe start off as a research assistant. All I know is that I want to work on research studies that are meaningful to the world. Interesting studies that will be cited during university courses and students do remember later. Or ones that will be citied in books and inspire the next student to rediscover their passion for experimental designs and methodology.

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