Hey you! Go drop those daily duties! BCM212 Reflection.

“I’m a realist. Yes, taking a year off life meant my friends are now a year ahead of me at Uni, but I don’t see myself as having fallen behind. Experiences abroad have allowed me to grow so much as a person and have greatly broadened my perspective. I was exposed to such a range of experiences that I don’t care so much about the little things anymore. I think that although taking the initial leap is scary, if you always dream of it but never do it, you’ll regret it.”

– Interview Participant No.2

 This post (yes, this one right here) marks the conclusion of my BCM212 project! As you (hopefully) already know, I have recently been undergoing a research project on ‘What prevents people from taking time off life in order to live to the fullest’ 

A key learning I take from this assignment: Never underestimate the importance of communicating with your audience and conducting ethical research techniques.

Through this assignment, I realised that just involving an audience wasn’t enough. These participants are stakeholders in my study!

As a result of this, I used my blog and Twitter account as a medium through which I could openly communicate with my participants. (What’s that? But how did my participants know to communicate with me this way?) GOOD QUESTION

Throw back to my questionnaire… before commencing questions, I stated that those who wish to keep updated can see updates at ‘THE PIN BOARD’ i.e. emmapinfold.wordpress.com or on my Twitter handle emma_pinfold.

In my secondary research, I ensured to read up on sources detailing ethical research practices. An example of this reading is the journal article ‘Conducting Respectful Research: A Critique of Practice’. This source acted as a Bible of sorts. A dictionary of all information surrounding ethical research techniques.  The article discusses the importance of ethical research and the implications on both the researcher and the study if improper techniques are used.

In my research, I ensured that participants understood that their valuable opinions were being put to use and that their time was appreciated. In my research, I also made the decision to have all participants remain anonymous. Before participants began both methodologies (Questionnaire and Interview) I ensured to provide a disclaimer that their answers provided will be used in my report, however that their identity will at all times remain anonymous. This was vital in ensuring that I was an ethical researcher at all times.

I also found critical judgement to be of great importance in my study. I gained majority of my methodology information from secondary sources, so it was imperative that I used close critical judgement of the articles, to ensure that the information was reliable. This process was made easy by using the CRAAP test, as taught in BCM212. The CRAAP test was introduced to us as a means to test the credibility of a source. The CRAAP test investigates the article’s Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose. If a source met the CRAAP criteria, I rendered it reliable and found it usable in my research.

My research also exposed me to the importance of flexibility! Throughout the course of my study, I found it necessary to trim and change my question and my research techniques in order to reach the most succinct results possible.

The findings: Success or Failure?
I consider my findings to be a success!
As hoped, I was able to conclude all posed questions within my research project.
Overall, my research concluded that 88% of people (as assumed from a sample of 100 people) have experienced the urge to take time off life. Of these 88%, only 45% actually pursue this urge to take time off life. The remaining 55% do not act on the urge to take time off for many reasons.

My research concluded that people are prevented from taking time life to pursue personal goals because of three primary reasons:

  • Commitments to work
  • Commitments to education
  • Lack of monetary resources

As stated in interview 1 however, those who experience the urge to take time off life but do not act on this urge know that they will regret not ‘taking the leap’ later in life.

Overall, this project has allowed me to grow both as a researcher and as a professional. Experience gained through conducting interviews and analysing findings has allowed me to expand my knowledge and widen my perspective to the concept of ‘taking time off life’.

Until next time, that’s this week Pinned.


Tilley. S, (1998) ‘Conducting Respectful Research: A Critique of Practice’ Canadian Journal of Education, Vol. 23, No. 3, pages. 316-328
Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1585942?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Accessed: 23/05/2017

California State University (2010) Evaluating Information Applying the CRAAP TestAvailable at: http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf 
ccessed: 23/05/2017




Take time off life…I dare you


My research project on ‘taking time off life in order to actually live’ is going very well!

Thus far, I have collected 70 survey responses which I have analysed in-depth in order to identify trends and patterns among responses. I have also conducted 2 interviews that provided extremely useful qualitative data for analysis.

Through my research, I am ensuring to remain ethically considerate and unbiased. I am now beginning the writing of my report itself and will have completed the process within 1-2 weeks.

My next post regarding this report will be an overall reflection on the research process and my final results!

Until next time, that’s this week Pinned.

Take time off life…Actually live! PROJECT UPDATE

As previously mentioned in post “How can we put life on hold in order to actually live it”, I am completing a research study on the concept of work/life balance.

Image: Giphy.com

Upon further investigation and critique, I have narrowed my question down to the following:

“What prevents people from taking time off life in order to live to the fullest?”

In editing my question, I have decided to focus more on the concept of taking time off in order to participate in activities that you cannot when at work, uni, school, etc.

Thus far in my research:

  • I have created and released a survey through which has gained 70+ responses and am in the process of analysing. (You can complete the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KDX2L2D ) I used my Twitter account (@emma_pinfold) to distribute my survey. I found that more participants completed my survey when my Tweets were written in a casual, friendly manner.
    See snapshots below.
    Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 9.19.26 pm
    Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 9.19.09 pm
  • Have begun approaching interview participants, which will be participating in an in-person interview in early May.
  • Have read and analysed several articles that aid in my understanding on the topic of work/life balance and taking time off life

Looking forward: 

Within the following few weeks, I will be finalising analysis of my survey results and beginning the format of my report. I will also be comparing and collating the results of interviews conducted with research previously gathered, including survey results and published articles. Extensive research conducted will create fluency and ease when creating my report.

More updates to come shortly!

Until next time, that’s this week Pinned.

How can we put life on hold in order to REALLY live?

Life of a uni student as expressed by graduates of the 80’s: “PARTY! PARTY!”
Life of a uni student as experienced (by me) in 2017: “How am I supposed to balance life? I’M STRESSED!”

I’ll be honest, I know this topic runs deep, however I’ve just worked a 35-hour week on top of Uni and as it has now reached Sunday night it’s safe to say I’m exhausted. Which again, leaves me thinking about how tempting it would be to take a year (six months even) (FINE I’d settle for three) off life to actually live it.

Source: Giphy.com

What brings me here?
I’m constantly reading up on volunteer abroad programs, but no matter how much research I do, I’m always met with the same result, that being “Emma, you can’t just take six months off life.” There’s always one reason or another why I can’t drop everything and live life for a while. Whether that reason be Uni, work, money or simply hesitance. So week after week, I tirelessly balance a part time job, university and life in general.

Source: melissaparisfitness.com

So to you I ask:
How to balance life, work and happiness. How can we put life on hold to actually live it?

Through my research project I will investigate how much work a student should take on, considering factors such as financial stability, mental and physical health and overall happiness. I intend to focus my research on two areas in conjunction with one another, those being workload of Uni students and reasons why we don’t put life on hold to actually live it. I intend to conduct my research by combining quantitative and qualitative methods, in order to gain the most in-depth results possible.

The approach and goal:
Although I’m aware of my own bias, I intend to approach this project with an open mind. I will investigate how much work students view as “too much” and why we tend to put off living life, for reasons other than “I just can’t right now”. Is there ever really a ‘good’ time to take time off life?

I am aware that not all students may have experienced the desire to take time off life, and the idea of ‘actually living life’ will be expressed differently by many, and that I am excited to uncover.

For further updates and to get involved with my research, follow me on Twitter @emma_pinfold

That’s this week, Pinned.