The Wavy Girls’ Guide to Research: Picking a Topic

Happy Saturday everyone and welcome to the Wavy Girls’ Guide to Research series! I’ve started this series to encourage and prepare other girls to venture into their own research project not only as an academic challenge but also as a journey of self-discovery and improvement. Research doesn’t just have to involve books and old documents- as you open your eyes to the world around you, you unconsciously discover more about yourself. I mentioned in my last blog post about traveling to Mexico this summer to conduct research on Marian Devotion in Monterrey, but I saved the best details for this series.

As a Math and Econ Major I didn’t believe I was capable of doing research at the same level as a lot of my peers; not only was I intimidated by the fact that I’ve barely touched upon these topics, I just didn’t have any confidence in my academic abilities. Research was this huge complicated and scary concept for me that I thought only grad students and scientists attempted, however this misconception was challenged after reading Umberto Eco’s How to Write a Thesis (a book that I highly recommend you read before going down the research route). Eco eloquently breaks down the steps of beginning your own study in such a simple manner that I felt motivated to take on my own research project. I started to see research as an opportunity to complement my STEM-heavy courses with a more humanities-based approach, something that ignited my interest and pushed me to learn more about doing research.

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Side Hustle: 16 Scholarships to Apply for This Week

I know you procrastinate but hey, I understand! Procrastinating is something everyone falls victim to once in a while (more often than we’d like to admit), especially when temptations like Netflix exist. However, the pressure of waiting until last minute can drive you to write some of the best essays and can actually be helpful on certain occasions. While I don’t encourage procrastination if you are one of those who wait until the night something’s due then check out this list of scholarships: you have a whole week, and some of them take minutes!

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A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Younger Self,

I am not the person you wanted me to be, in fact I think in some aspects I am the complete opposite of what you envisioned. I’m not what you dreamed of, but let me tell you that you will be grateful for that and that it’s probably for the best you did not get what you wanted. You’re actually not going to get a lot of the things that you wanted but I am still here, alive and more than satisfied with the cards I’ve been dealt. You heard that right: rejection will become a huge part of your life, but you need to learn to look past it and continue with your endeavors. Rejection will not only make you a tougher person with greater aspirations and a greater drive, but it will also steer you towards the direction you’re meant to take.

I want to tell you to please be kind to yourself and realize that if you cannot accomplish everything you plan for yourself that is okay. Stop beating yourself up over situations that were out of your control. You are so forgiving with others but you need to learn how to forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself but stop over-indulging so much. You really need to stop looking at things in black and white and allow yourself to be in the middle. You really don’t realize how easier life becomes when you stop aiming for extremes.

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You’re an Adult… Now What?

If you’re like me and get yourself stuck in a lot of tricky situations your first resort is to look for an adult, but at this point in life I’ve come to realize that I am an adult. With this realizations comes the fact that the world does not revolve around me and I have to take responsibility for all of my actions and their respective repercussions. Sad, I know! With that being said I also have all the freedom in the world to finally engage in my interests and pursue what I’ve always wanted to do, so I guess being 20 isn’t as scary as it seems to be. It’s time for us wavy girls to leave our comfort zones and discover what the world has in store for us and what baggage should be permanently left behind.

You always used to say “When I grow up, I want to do so and so and be so and so.” Well, guess what? You’re a grown up now; have you met all those lofty dreams you proposed as an idealist 7-year-old who also believed Lindsay Lohan had a real twin in The Parent Trap? I’m not saying all those dreams were idle desires derived from having a wild imagination; there certainly had to be some realistic and fully manageable goals that are not too late to reach, and it is also never too late to create new ones. Do not, however, confuse these goals with temporary tasks. The goals I’m talking about are those that you continuously contribute to and that will lead you to the life you’ve always wanted to achieve, and that not only look good on a resume or when introducing yourself to a colleague or at a party but that also factor into your happiness and well-being.

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