I am an undergraduate in the U.S. and have worked part time (~15-20 hrs/week) for a research group at my institution for about 5 months now. Since beginning the research I have enjoyed every aspect of it. I have gotten to read literature, submit an abstract to a conference and even work on an open source software project. I love what we have been doing so far, and can not imagine not doing research in my future. Therefore, I am considering applying for a Phd in the next application cycle.
However, it worries me that I am in a honeymoon phase of research, using the definition from here:
The short amount of time at the beginning of a new relationship, activity, or pursuit when everything goes well and seems to be free of problems.
I am a very passionate person and, as a computer scientist, know all too well the love of starting a new project only to become deflated and uninterested after the preliminary work.
There are numerous posts on this site similar to "Is a Phd/research right for me?" (, ) and "How to deal with burnout/loss of interest in research?" (, ). The existence of the latter questions seems to suggest that a honeymoon phase exists in research.
So my questions are:
Is this sort of phase common in research? Should I be worried about it?
How can I assure myself that this is not a fleeting pursuit? That I will still enjoy research in 5 years?
I understand the latter question might be difficult to answer, but are there any objective tasks I can carry to further explore if research is right for me (i.e. more breadth in research-based tasks)? Also personal anecdotes of how you decided your love of research was permanent would help.