This is new to me. Everything here. My first research experience has been a whirlwind of pipetting and centrifuging and following protocol this past week–a routine of mundane tasks in the lab that, to me, have yet to seem so familiar. Walking into the lab every morning, I am a mix of feelings of curiosity and intimidation and excitement. The novelty makes it all a little frightening, and I’m not sure if I’m more scared or excited each day. But there’s something comforting in the work I’ve done so far in the lab. I enjoy how concrete it is. How grounded. Everything I do, I’m doing for a reason. Each step I take acts like little puzzle pieces that slowly, gradually, with effort and dedication, come together to form a bold and beautiful picture.
This summer, I plan to leave this experience without regrets. I want to learn what it means to be a researcher. I want to be unafraid of asking questions, no matter how silly they may seem. I want to understand and contribute to our work, to come out of it feeling not as though I was temporary, but rather that I’d become an important part of the lab. I hope to build deep connections and lasting relationships with the members of the lab, and that I’ll be able to continue with them in the fall if all turns out well. Maybe, I might even be able to help discover something unheard of before.
But overall, I’m looking forward to coming out of this experience with a greater knowledge of who I am and who I want to be. At the end of these eight weeks, being immersed in a snapshot of a life centered around research, I may realize this as the setting in which I belong or, on the other hand, where I don’t want to be. I might find new interests that will inspire me, or aversions that will deter me. I might draw new possibilities for myself, a blend of what I’ve wanted in the past and what I will have come to want afterwards. This summer will be dedicated to understanding the kind of things that I want to do, and the topics I am passionate about. Before now, without the proper experience, I’ve been blindly grasping at possibilities I think might stick. With BSURF, I’m excited to have the opportunity to truly get to know this part of me better. This summer may not turn out exactly as I hope but I’ll be grateful for it anyway, because whatever my experience will be–good or bad–it will have still have brought me that much closer.