That’s progress. I caught myself going off down the research rabbit hole, moving further away from the topic and even further away from finding the information I need to complete the assignment I’d set myself. That’s how I get overwhelmed with information, and turn simple tasks into major events that loom over me like imposing giants, threatening the very essence of my being. My problem – and it is a problem – is that I am genuinely interested in the topic I’m researching. It’s a problem because there is so much information out there and I want to learn it all. Now. This instance!
I went from the aim of examining whether the bi-products of mining a particular element pose a threat to potable water supplies, to reading scientific papers on said elements budget during mantle melting and crust formation! Absolutely fascinating but not necessary to know in terms of the original question posed.
What makes an undergraduate degree challenging for me is that I am expected to obtain a little knowledge across a broad area. Should my entire degree be focused on this one element I mentioned, then I would have no problem at all. I’m sure I would acquire a broad knowledge base but it would be centred around that one focal point. That would become my area of expertise. Ultimately, despite everyone in the British Isles becoming increasingly sick of experts (our former education secretary’s assertions, not mine. I kid you not), that is my ambition.
My first challenge? Learning how to become an academic ‘jack of all trades’ in order to prise open that door to specialisation.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to re-trace my footsteps out of this warren!