Student’s senior thesis enters third year of work

Come sophomore year, some students have not even decided on a major. One Eastern student not only had psychology picked as a major, but had also started work on his senior thesis.

Senior Michael Walk’s research project is a study on time use patterns of college students and how well they manage time.

“The better people manage their time, the better they do academically and the healthier they will be,” Walk said.

“Basically, I collected data from students who filled out journal logs about how they spend their time.”

Walk began his research sophomore year, but was inspired during his first year in the Templeton Honors College. He found students were complaining about how little time they had. He wondered if it was because there were too many demands on them or if they were just wasting their time.

Students in many psychology and sociology classes were given extra credit to log their time over a one-week period to help Walk with his project. They logged on to a website and categorized what they had spent their time doing. Walk reported that over 140 people finished the entire survey.

“I had to know what they were doing every minute of every day,” Walk said.

Walk also used the perception of time use inventory, which asked students how they think they spend their time. He plans to compare their answers with how their time was actually spent. A wellness evaluation survey was given to the participants to determine whether the students were holistically healthy and if the way they spent their time had any effects on their health.

Walk hopes his research will draw some conclusions and insights on the benefits of time management and the effects of how time is spent.

Walk first became interested in psychology in high school where he did a lot of problem-solving and counseling for friends.

“People are always really interesting,” he said. “Why we do things and why we don’t-it’s fascinating.”

Walk will graduate in December and take some time off from school to get married. He plans to attend graduate school in the future.

“A part of me just wants to get my masters and work as a clinician,” Walk said.

“Eventually I’d like to be a professor.”

Walk’s research project will be on display, along with other senior research projects, on December 3 at 7 p.m. in the Baird Library.

“I hope I find a significant result,” Walk added.

“Two years of research is a lot of work.”

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