It’s almost hard to believe that 2 months can seem to go by so quickly and yet have been filled with such a variety of ideas, people, and experiences. It’s really helped to put into perspective where I want to go with my future career plans, though I still imagine that they’re liable to change.
Most importantly, I think, is that this summer has really solidified the idea that I want to continue doing research into the foreseeable future. One of my worries was what I’d do if it turned out that being in a lab was more a nightmare than a dream, even though I was pretty certain that a laboratory environment would be the one for me. Luckily, I was correct and I found it to be great, particularly that I’m only really working closely with a small group of people with an overall goal, but each part of the goal is handled fairly independently by each person with some overlapping reliance on others. The flexible schedule with some routine but enough variation to keep things from becoming stale is also an appealing aspect.
It’s also helped me really consider where I want to go with my education in biology. I thought that perhaps I would find my love for genetics once again by being in the lab I’m currently in, but I’ve found that maybe that won’t be the case. Actually, during the summer I’ve looked into other subjects thanks in part to the speakers we heard throughout the summer and I really think I might want to learn more about microbiology, behavior, and the application of biology in industry. While I know that’s bound to change again, this summer has really renewed and invigorated my love for science. I do plan to remain in the lab I’m in to see if maybe I need more time and exposure to the ideas central to the research since it is fairly interesting and two months doesn’t seem like enough time to really come to a sound conclusion (and also my somewhat distant feeling about the research might come from the lack of progress over the past two months. It can be a bit difficult to engage a subject when you’re main exposure to it has been its stubbornness to cooperate).
As far as my ideas about science, I can’t really say how they’ve changed in any particular way. There have been no real “ah-ha!” moments over this past summer, but it’s not as if those moments happen particularly often. Many of the ideas I’ve heard this past summer have been ones I’ve heard before said in a slightly different way or from a different perspective, but with the same central idea. However, that’s not to say that my ideas and perspectives haven’t changed. They have, but in a way that is more nebulous and hard to express concisely. It’s like when you look back over the past year or so of your life and you know you’ve changed and grew since then, but the growth is small across such a variety of aspects that each by itself seems like hardly anything and there are too many to really spend your time considering each one, but together they seem to produce some sense of change. But overall, I can say that I feel closer to what makes science, science, whether it be because of the people who have changed it, understanding its principles, respecting its power to bring forth knowledge about our world, just from being able to be a small, small part of it for a short time, or a number of other things.
Science is amazing, and even though sometimes I, like many of us, need a bit of a break from reading and thinking and talking about it, I hope I don’t ever lose sight of that.