The End of the Road

Before my journey at Duke began, I never thought I would do research. I saw research as just working with mice 24/7 and doing menial tasks, not anything special at all that I would enjoy. And yet, something in my head told me to try it anyway. I thought, I go to Duke, a university with so many opportunities to cash in on. What kind of student would I be if I didn’t do exactly that, and see if research really was all that I expected it to be? And next thing you know, I became apart of BSURF for the summer.

For one, research was not what I expected. First, I worked with flies and not mice (which was great because I still have yet to get over my slight fear of mice). Secondly, the tasks I did were in fact meaningful and were always important to my overall project or someone else’s. Also, everyone in my lab was welcoming and easy to speak to, which created a fun environment for me to make myself at home in the lab.

I learned a lot about myself and what I like and dislike about science. For example, while I do think the research I’ve done is interesting and will make an impact on humans someday, I realized that I do still love neuroimmunology and I think I would enjoy research that was more medicine related. Additionally, I want the research I do to directly affect patient lives in relatively short time spans (not sure what that really entails yet).

But overall, what I will take away from BSURF is that it’s okay to not know. In the beginning of this program I hoped that by the end I would have an answer as to whether I want to pursue research as a career alongside becoming a doctor. And now that I am at the end, I still don’t have an answer. However, by hearing from various faculty speakers, especially doctors that have been in my position, I realized that I just have to roll with the punches of life and take everything one step at a time. I’ve accepted that I won’t figure everything out now, and maybe with more experience  with research, my path in life will become more clear.

All in all, I appreciate the summer I’ve had. Although I have  more questions that answers, I don’t regret my decision to participate in BSURF and I’m glad I got to be surrounded by great scientists all summer.

A big thank you to Dr. Grunwald, Jason, my lab (especially Dr. Volkan, Bryson, and Ambika), and my fellow BSURFers for making this summer a great one! Thank you to Trinity College for funding my research. And of course, thank you to everyone that has taken the time to read my blog posts. 🙂

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