Thanks for reading up until this point. The past two months have been a wonderful, informational experience and I’d like to share a few things as I reflect upon my summer as a McKearn Fellow. We’ve been asked to consider a few adjectives as we write about this experience.
- Challenging: This research program has taught me something important for life – time management. It is has been quite difficult to balance aspects of my project, lab hour requirements, studying for the GRE, preparing for graduate school applications, and personal time. It has been essential to take time to reflect, rewind, and relax this summer given we have been very busy working on our professional development, civic engagement, and research skills.
- Exciting: I have been very excited to see my project be complete! As weeks flew by, I become more and more eager to have results and complete the project. Also, some certain events were exciting throughout the program. Some of these included meeting with established NIU donors and alumni, attending NIU Night at US Cellular Field, and attending etiquette training in Chicago.
- Daunting: At first, the idea of completing a simple Honor’s Thesis in eight weeks was daunting to me. As I went through each week, the list of things to complete ended up being less and less demanding. Coupled with my time management skills, the whole project was able to be done without immense amount of stress.
- Inspiring/Rewarding: At each step of the way, something has been inspiring or rewarding. Even if it was a simple ‘Nice job!’ on a draft submission or envisioning the completion of my project, I felt inspired each week. My mentor and the graduate students provided me with positive and constructive feedback, as well as the McKearn team and my partner Ashley! My appreciation goes to all the individuals who have looked at my work along the way.
The research skills I have developed and refined this summer will help me with GraduateSchool in the field of Psychology, and potentially my career later in life. I have learned what it takes to write and conduct an Honors Thesis project, and experienced a bit of what GraduateSchool will be like. The single, most important thing I am taking away from my experience as a McKearn Fellow is that time management and priorities allow an individual to complete anything you set your mind to. Budgeting time and setting goals are excellent ways to accomplish all necessary tasks for the job.
It has been a wonderful eight weeks, and I can’t wait to present my research on Thursday. I look forward to see the development of the program in coming years, and share my experiences. I have learned a lot, developed skills, and created memories I will cherish for life. I want to thank all those who have helped me, listened to me, gave me advice, and inspired me to push on.
If you’re interested in following my project from start to finish, take a look at my E-Portfolio at https://sites.google.com/a/students.niu.edu/boddy_le_mckearn/!
Thanks for reading!