Thursday, February 23, 2017

Risk and Reward: Independent Research

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I always thought research was reserved for science majors. I watched my roommate over a year ago do research with her professor about flies and enzymes and sort of dismissed the idea that I’d ever be able to do such a thing myself. When the summer research deadline came around last year, I decided I was going to structure something different. I was going to apply the principles of hard sciences to the social.

I started talking to one of my favorite professors and came up with an idea that combined two of my loves: narrative, and personal heritage. My project would talk to individuals who left their countries to come to New York, and ask them why. I was confident. I was excited.

It was to my dismay when I found I wasn’t accepted for a summer research grant. I started talking to more professors. I was committed to my research and refused to let it die. I ended up continuing to pursue my research as an independent study in the fall.

My research ended up being bilingual in English and French. I wrote nearly 25 pages and never thought that was something I’d be able to accomplish in a different language. Research  gave me the confidence to be inquisitive, and made me realize I wanted to pursue a writing based profession. For that, I have Fordham to thank.

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