Way back when this program started, I wrote on my expectations for this summer. TL;DR I was excited about the chance to really tryout research for the first time in my life. This once far off and mysterious world was about to become my present reality. As the program wraps up, I am again asked to reflect, now on how my expectations compare to reality. My answer: I couldn’t have imagined how truly wonderful a world hid behind the doors of research!
As I look back on these past eight weeks, I am really stunned at everything I have learned and done. While I was certainly excited about mechanobiology before this summer, getting the chance to actually dive into this field has stoked a passion in me. While I knew a little bit about scientific techniques, getting to go hands-on and do my own research has greatly expanded my toolset to investigate and explore the biological realm. While I had learned a little bit about what a career in science was like, getting to see the lives and apprentice under passionate researchers who actually live in the magnificent world of research has deepened my understanding of what it means to be those who dive into the unknown and expand mankind’s understanding of the biological world.
All in all, I feel like I have finally entered this “aquarium” of research and my wonder has only grown since I stepped into its waters. And while I am still eons away from being a full researcher and there is still a lot for me to learn, I am fired up about being a researcher and am ready to bulldoze through the trials of this path to achieve this dream of mine. And so, to Curtis for his truly incredible mentorship, to Professor Hoffman for his guidance and encouragement, to Dr. Grunwald and Dr. Harrell for offering me this opportunity and strengthening me in walking this path, and to everyone who has helped me along the way, all I can say is thank you.