Survey stalking for dummies

After three years of papers, exams and methodology courses, the dreaded moment has finally arrived. I am one click away from publishing my thesis survey, two from sharing it with all my Facebook friends. But those clicks are not the hardest part; the worst is what comes next.

Every year around this time, Facebook and LinkedIn get flooded with requests to fill out surveys. ‘Help me graduate!’ ‘Sharing is caring!’ ‘You will have my eternal gratitude!’ And then come the ‘personal’ direct messages from people who’ve realized that just sharing and waiting isn’t going to cut it: “Hey Joyce (who’s Joyce??), long time no see! Could you take a moment to fill out my survey? It’s only 10 minutes, I promise! Thank you loooaaads!<3<3” Yes, they are annoying. But you fill them out anyway, because you know you desperately need the karma points for when your own time comes. Post25.1

Well, my time has come. In March, my fellow third years and I started our Bachelor Thesis, and after coming up with a research proposal, writing a theoretical framework and devising a clever methodology, it’s now time to get those data. There’s no point in denying it any longer. In the upcoming weeks, most of us are gonna have to swallow our pride and beg for survey responses, experiment participants, interviewees, and focus groups, while we wonder why we didn’t choose for content analysis like any other self-respecting soul. Well. Too late for that. We’re committed now. It’s time to start digging through our Facebook lists, in search for friends, family members, vague acquaintances and strangers that fit our criteria and can get us to our minimum sample size.

The scary prospect of stalking strangers aside though, the whole thesis experience has not been as intimidating to me as three years of anticipation made it seem. Sure, it’s a lot of work. Yes, the deadlines are quite close together and of course there has been the occasional moment where I looked at my work after a long day of writing and wondered if all of it actually ever made sense. But is that really all that different from all the other papers and assignments we’ve been writing for ages? Not really. If anything it’s more enjoyable, because you get to really explore a topic that interests you and find all the answers yourself. And knowing that there is a Bachelor’s degree waiting at the finish line really helps, too. I can’t speak for everyone and I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the weeks to come, but so far my thesis adventure has been quite a fun ride.

We can do it, fellow third-years. Let’s get stalking!

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