After 8 weeks, it comes to a close.
So, what I’ve learned:
- Time management is key. I still don’t have time management under my belt, which is pretty frustrating. Even ‘til the end, I couldn’t plan my time accordingly, which led to me trying to get into lab over many weekends. No joke, it’s essential. I actually found myself running around like there was no tomorrow sometimes because of some test I forgot to do. Countless times I’ve found myself running to grab dinner before all the restaurants closed at 7 PM. I’ve had some pretty close calls.
- Fruit flies are pretty cute. I think this is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes, I just wish they were more cooperative. I didn’t mean to behead you, you just wouldn’t stay still!
- Control experiments are very important.
- Patience is key. There’s a lot of waiting. Many times, in lab, I’ll find myself staring out into the distance, because I’m just waiting for that 4:00 mark to tell me to go check up on my flies again, or I’m waiting for a specific day so I can actually do a test.
- 8 weeks is not enough time for substantial results. So, I knew this from the beginning (more like I thought I knew this). I was also told this by many people. However, once the 6-week mark came, it really hit me that, results just weren’t going to be a huge part of my poster, which is fine. I might have been a bit disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to see the fruits of all my work, but I mean oh well, what can you do? Tell the flies stories so that they’ll want to come out of their pupa faster and mate even faster? If only.
- Mistakes happen. And oh boy were there a lot of mistakes made. There would be times I would forget to label something and then I’d have to throw the whole vial away and then there were also times where I would put one male in an all-female vial and biology would happen and a few days later I would see pupae at the bottom of the vial. Curses.
- Analogies are your friends. They really are, especially when explaining things to your parents who are curious about what you’re doing over the summer.
- Things don’t necessarily go my way. Frustration is just part of the research experience. I mean why did I assume they were going to in the first place?
There are probably a lot of other points I’m missing, but these are the essentials.
At least by the end of this, I’ll have had my fun with all of these fruit flies and actually learned how to distinguish males from females with the naked eye (I know, very impressive). One of my favorite parts about being part of this lab is finding the abnormalities and just staring in wonder, thinking, “wow, science is pretty weird…but very cool”. I’m grateful for this opportunity and for doing things I never imagined myself doing.
It’s been fun.
I guess, to be continued…