Much Needed Guidance from Dr. Lefkowitz

One of the things I look forward to the most each week are the faculty talks. I always find it valuable to be able to look into the life of a researcher and hear about their journey through life, especially since I don’t really know if I should take a path similar to theirs. They have all been great, but I think the faculty talk that stood out to me the most was Dr. Robert Lefkowitz’s.

Dr. Lefkowitz, unlike other faculty speakers, right off the bat said he wouldn’t be talking much about his own research, but of his life. That immediately stood out to me. During all of BSURF I have been going back and forth over if I really want to pursue research as a career, and I’ve been looking all over for guidance and advice. Somehow, I knew at that moment that Dr. Lefkowitz would give some to me.

As Dr. Lefkowitz spoke to us, I found myself seeing parallels between him and I. At first, he didn’t even like research and was very sure that he would become a doctor. I can admit that that was my mindset all throughout my freshman year and before I applied to this program. He ended up doing research so he wouldn’t have to serve in the Vietnam War (which is probably something I would do in his shoes too, to be honest) and still wasn’t very fond of research. And yet, after he left he found himself missing research and being in a lab.

My summer doing research has been one I can’t forget. And I think that I will find myself like Dr. Lefkowitz — missing research and wanting to come back. His talk opened my eyes to the fact that it won’t all be great at first. The research you do won’t always be successful. You’re not always going to know what you want to do and sometimes you will think you have your life all figured out, and then it takes a different turn than you expected. Who knows, maybe I’ll only become a doctor, or maybe I’ll be a doctor and do research. The thought of not knowing which path will be mine scares me. But Dr. Lefkowitz’s talk helped me to learn and accept that fact, and it’ll be one of the major things I take out of being apart of BSURF.

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