TTV Blog 9 – Excited Nervousness – Tanya Iwas

The past three months have been a wonderful period of growth for myself not only as a new university student but as a teen researcher as well. With only two more weeks to go until we begin focus groups, I am feeling both excited and nervous. The training we have received thus far has truly prepared me and put me in a comfortable position to confidently run a focus group.  

The feeling of nervousness simply comes from the fact that this is the first time I have ever participated in the research collection of focus groups, instead of being the student answering the research questions in focus groups.  

Back in October, Laila and I practiced conducting a mock focus group on three of her friends. Personally, I found this mock experience to be very helpful as I was able to pretend those students were real participants and test out how I would act in the real situation. I found myself using the focus group guide, but also asking many questions that are not mentioned in the guide. This was because I was asking them based on the participant’s answer and having them elaborate. I honestly surprised myself with how comfortable I was with asking additional questions and rewording them when I felt necessary. It was helpful that the mock participants were very friendly, which makes me wary of how the real participants will behave.  

Back in August, the thought of running a focus group with total strangers made me feel much more nervous than it does today. I didn’t think I would be prepared by November! However, thanks to our excellent training I can gladly say I no longer have that feeling of total nervousness. 

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