Crazy girlfriend or just a stressed university student? – Research Proposal

No need to have a boyfriend to tell you you’re crazy, University parking will do the job for you.

From tears of joy and happy squeals when your car is parked, to tears of anger and aggravated voice box’ when you’re stuck in traffic; finding a car spot at University is a lot like having a partner who is bipolar. Following these emotional breakdowns; how is a university student supposed to deal with the stress of not only finding a car park but now also dealing with missing a class?
As a second-year university student, the struggle to manage the time and ideal transport situations have become dependent on how I have handled myself throughout the day. Therefore, through these personal experiences of dealing with missed classes, I have decided to narrow the research of finding a car park at a university to “How does service provision stress affect service participation?”

The research will be based on the emotional factors of stress, anxiety, anger, relief and (hopefully) happiness when driving to university. Students from the University of Wollongong will be the subjects surrounding this topic and be handpicked to complete a survey. The survey will include both open and closed questions to collect not only qualitative responses but quantitative results to differentiate those who don’t drive to university. These questions will also vary depending on information found through other research.


 

“Transport and infrastructure are the physical fabric that binds society together”

The importance of transport is a critical aspect for all students attending university – this either being public transport, driving, or walking. Therefore following my own personal research is the secondary sources from other universities and researchers who have conjoined similar theories between emotions and students. A clear example of this is a journal¹ written by Louise Crabtree, Christian Nold, Kaye Shumack, and Jason Tuckwell which highlights traffic and parking conditions surrounding the University of Western Sydney. Although this information is based around those certain areas, the article highlights where students feel more at ease, bored, and angered; exampling when students are more reluctant to let someone through, stop, or when they began to be distracted.

“Finding a parking spot on campus at the university has become a serious dilemma, as the university does not provide an adequate number of accessible spaces. The undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and even visitors search through limited options when it comes to on-campus parking”²

I have recently realised that staying awake past 11pm is no longer possible if I don’t want to feel fatigued and stressed the next day at university. Therefore, the above research can be explained through the emotional warnings our body gives off when indecisive decisions come along. The DMV site³ accurately explains how these negative emotions can lead to serious impairments whilst driving, for example, road rage and distractive behaviour can leave an individual feeling anxious about future decisions. Add these negative feelings with trying to concentrate in class and you end up with a moody adolescent who wonders if the car spot was worth even attending university.

Although as moody as I am, the aim of this research project is mainly for personal value as I overlook not only the emotional factors but also how students deal with concentrating under the stress of previous ordeals. Buzzfeed’s article “The 12 Emotional stages of finding a parking space” will help assist in understanding this better as it emphasises the practicality of driving with the majority of the Sydney population following. With plenty of metropolitan areas offering public transit, there still manages to be a large population of students under pressure for those who are forced to rise earlier, have no seat on the bus, and take a longer route than those who drove. Therefore, the adjustment to these circumstances still puts an individual in a sticky situation.

So what does it take for a student to relax?

These are the situations and compromises that I will have to overlook when studying the students at Wollongong University as it can cause a dilemma when reviewing who drives, walks, or takes public transport. Another factor that I will have to worry over is that stress is very common throughout university students, in fact, The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that in 2010 university students had a high rate of stress that is three times worse than the general population. It was said to believe that 83.9% of students were under pressure. This is a clear indication that it may not only be transportation services that put students under stress.

These simple and popular sources are a clear support to my investigation. I hope through these to achieve the results of understanding the pressures that students are under and hopefully assist in finding ways to undergo stress free alternatives.


  1.  Crabtree, L, Nold, C, Shumack, K, & Tuckewell, J 2011, ‘Transport mapping: emotional cartography, mobility and the body politics of place’, Global Media Journal, vol 1, pg12.
  2. University grossly oversells parking permits – The Review. 2016. University grossly oversells parking permits – The Review. [ONLINE] Available at: http://udreview.com/campus-parking-permits-triple-spaces/. [Accessed 22 March 2016].
  3.  How Emotions Affect Driving | DMV.org. 2016. How Emotions Affect Driving | DMV.org. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/driving-and-emotions.php. [Accessed 22March 2016].
  4.  The 12 Emotional Stages Of Finding A Parking Space. 2014. The 12 Emotional Stages Of Finding A Parking Space. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.buzzfeed.com/hondafit/emotional-stages-of-finding-a-parking-place#.ncYP3ayoJW. [Accessed 25 March 2016].
  5. Jane Collins, S. Stress stalks uni students, The Sydney Morning Herald. 2010. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/stress-stalks-uni-students-20101122-18467.html  
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Research proposal

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With every task being mandatory throughout University, every tear that has fallen from my eyes mean a little more each time I know that I’ve left my assignment too late. The idea that I’d be able to study on the bus ride from Sydney to Wollongong quickly fell through when I realised all I would be doing is catching up on sleep. From that moment (the second year of regretful bus journeys) on, driving seemed to be a more reliable alternative.

The question I have chosen has therefore generated over the fist 3 weeks of anger attacks and terrifying stalling moments as I wait for half-an-hour for a multi-storey parking spot.  It seems that the more “reliable” way has not only put myself and half the students at Wollongong University in unpredictable situations but also caused us to turn on one another for a car spot.


 

Through having the option to create a larger thesis through partner work meant that my primary question, “How long has it taken you to find parking at University?”, could be expanded to the partnering questions of “What lengths have you gone to get a parking?” or “How much are you willing to pay for a spot?” And hopefully, allow more information to be produced.

I’ve chosen this thesis due to having both experiences of taking public transport and driving. Therefore, the aim is to not only reassure myself that I’m not only one going through 10 extreme anger attacks in one day but to also understand what lengths students will go to to not miss a class and also what they find more comforting.

By researching student opinions, public interest and personal recordings through surveys, I will be able to compare the personal aspect of the proposal with secondary sources that other universities have researched. This will give me a deeper understanding and comparison between Universities and not just Wollongong students.

And to think that I thought assignments would only give me anxiety…

Curious Georgia

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“Both childhood and adolescence are ages full of curiosity, but where the child tends to be focused on investigating and exploring the world, the adolescent tends to be eager to experiment with and experience the worldly”

This probing feeling of knowing the unknown is the encouragement many of us need to explore the world, but whereas a child’s curiosity meant doing the opposite when told ‘no’, simply to gain an understanding of the world, an adolescent’s meant lurking through information that could ruin and change logical reasoning to many cases.

The saying “curiosity killed the cat” has become an overused thought throughout my family. But fortunately for myself, that never stopped me from adventuring out of that comfort zone and coming home with a new scar and another story. But with these memorable moments hold confronting and distressing stories that have left a mark on my persona and hidden the eccentricity of my life.
I believe that having an older sibling, who managed to get into trouble every day, kept my mind racing and body burning with the desire to follow his footsteps – hence the scars.

As I grew older, the curiosity of wanting to know everything started to become NEEDING to know everything, even if this meant being physically and emotionally hurt. The hunger to learn new things and disobey orders became an addiction as the thought of being kept away started to become maddening. In order to understand why I’m like this, I had to remember other personality traits, such as my stubbornness, which not only helps me get what I want but gets me into sticky situations.

So as I sit here and remember the day that passed, I continue to ask myself “when will my last life be?”