It was during my second semester as a 3rd year student of communication. It was 7:30 in the morning of Monday and our first subject is Communication Research.
It was dreaded during the enrollment period. Why? Because 1. It’s research, which means tons of reading, writing, theories and stuff that adolescent people hate. 2. it’s handled by one of the best teachers of the department.
And during those times, best = hard to the average person’s mind.
Everyone was in an anxiety especially when the professor said “okay guys, pick your group and you’ll stick with them for the whole semester for your research paper.”
Everyone was panicking inside their minds. You’ll see who the best of friends are and who wants who. It was a jungle filled with cries of “Hey why don’t we team up?”
I’m not really anti-social in any form, I’m actually in good terms with everyone in my class and I was pretty sure that I could score a few good team mates of my own if I actually wanted to.
Well, IF I actually wanted to.
I think the gods were drunk the night before and decided that “Hey, why don’t we make Jordan think that he can handle this shit without a group?”
And so, the gods have willed it. I’ve submitted my list of members with only one name written on it. It was my name.
I decided to solo it.
Now before you think that I’m some kind of pretentious douche who wants to feel the glory of soloing something that others cannot (well I admit that’s a part.) please hear me out.
You see I have already decided what I wanted to research about beforehand.
What is it? Is it the application of the bandwagon theory into analyzing the internet behaviour of people? Or perhaps methods to analyze if a person is suicidal based on communication symbols that he/she is using?
Well no. What I wanted to research about was…
Yeah that’s right, Video Games.
I wanted to explore how a Video Game is actually a different “world” that has its own way of communicating and that different Video Games are actually different worlds with different symbols and different ways of communicating.
Or some really weird shit like that, I really just wanted to research about Video Games. That’s all there is to it.
So now you’re asking why I solo’d it.
Simple: I know that it’s a topic that only I would enjoy. You see, my class is filled with girls who are not really that much into gaming. So yeah, if I did group up with someone then I’m pretty sure they’ll be bored to death and we won’t be in the same wavelength.
I’m playing Moba games like League and Dota and I know that staying in the same wavelength as your team mates is very important when it comes to team oriented tasks. So there you have it, the circumstances decided that I should be solo.
How did it go?
During the middle and last stretch of the term where everything is filled with hectic schedules of work and deadlines, I can see that most of my batch mates are getting stressed with their own research papers. The research papers were being a “nuisance” to them.
What does this mean, I ask myself.
Compare a theory heavy thesis to my simple and down to earth research. Was it hard? Yes it’s hard. But was I stressed with my research? Good heavens no.
It was Video Games for Christ’s sake. I’ve lived with this shit way before I learned how to speak in English.
I was doing interviews to my fellow gamers, I was even involved in a social experiment at a certain website (twitch.tv) called twitch plays Pokemon. I talked to fellow gamers and even non-gamers about their thoughts and ideas about video games and gaming itself.
I was getting deeper, I was realizing a lot of things and I was having fuck tons of fun.
And then it hit me. Why do we make a thesis? Why do we do studies? Why do we do research?
Is it to pass? Is it to contribute something to the academy? Are research papers just a requirement that a student must do because the tradition says so?
I think not.
The reason as to why you should do research is because you actually love to study about something.
You love it, you want to know more about it, and you do a study about it. It’s that simple.
I soloed it, got an 87 (probably a B+ or a B- on other grading systems) and I feel like my Professor understood where I was coming from and what I want to do with this research.
I did it; I accomplished something that just started on a whim.
Now it’s almost the start of my senior year at college and we’re going to start another run filled with papers and shit. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I afraid? No.
Come at me bro.