5 Lessons Learned from my First Taste of Research

(Image credit http://www.inveralmondchs.org)

 

My summer research ended today. It was supposed to end last week. However, my mentor requested that I stay an extra week in order to work with my co-worker, whose last week was this week.

Wow. I’m not sure how to feel. Relieved that I can sleep in? I’m not sure I’ll be able to rest, with this nagging feeling of incomplete work. Don’t get me wrong, it was an incredibly productive 9 weeks. My mentor, co-worker and I discovered a lot during these few months.

Here are some things that I have learned from this research:

 

1. IT NEVER ENDS.

Science is never complete, it seems. Once you find something, you have to test it. You have to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke, some crazy hopeful accident. When you’re done testing it, you have to figure out how it applies to other things. Once you find how it applies, you have to test if that application works. It’s a never ending cycle of discovery and innovation. Despite the repetitive labor, the results of experimentation always seem to hold new surprises. It makes you thirst for more. It’s a dopamine that your body never grows accustomed to, so you will do it over and over.

More below…

 

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Roommates

(Image credit lucyannmoll)

 

My college sent the housing information for its students yesterday. Having gone to a two year boarding school for my final years of high school, the roommate craze failed to excite me a second time. Having gone to a science and mathematics oriented high school, I now had expectations of what I preferred in a roommate.

I won’t lie, many girls from my high school are attending my college as well. If I was so worried, why didn’t I ask them to live with me? The answer to that… Is that I figured a new roommate would be easier. How silly of me. I lived with these girls peacefully (for the most part) for two years. Now, we will be living on the same campus for another four years. We went to a NERD HIGH SCHOOL together, threw away our extracurricular lives together, ate the same greasy food together, sobbed over failed tests together… Yet I still thought that a stranger would be a more suitable living partner.

Granted, while at this boarding school I learned what kind of roommates were suitable and what kind were not. For convenience, I have made a few simple lists (see below the break).

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MCAT: it sucks to be young

I did some quick research on the MCAT a while ago. I was vaguely aware of the new MCAT 2015 draft. However, I never really delved into it until I read my college’s Pre-Med advisory sheet, which highlighted (in my less professional wording):0 “ATTENTION!!! THERE WILL BE A NEW MCAT IN 2015!!!!! AFTER 2015 THIS PAPER WILL BE COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY USELESS!!!!!”

Who will take the MCAT2015 exam?

If you plan to apply to medical school with a goal to start in the fall of 2016, this is the exam to consider. If you are applying for medical school with a start date before the fall of 2016, please visit the Web site for the current MCAT exam for more information.

Barely, just barely… Required to take the MCAT 2015. Drat.

More MCAT 2015 comments below…

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The Careers I Used to Dream of

(image credit community.ca.com)

 

“What jobs have you considered as an undergrad besides a physician-scientist?”

 

Well… The answer to that is A LOT. I never dreamt of that feminine fantasy of joining royalty, but allow me to provide you with an extensive timeline:

 

1st Grade – veterinarian. I loved animals and I wanted to save all of the animals in the world. Later, my father told me that the only thing vets do is put animals to sleep. Childhood dreams? Crushed.

3rd grade – rapper. At this point in my life, I believed that I had what modern day people call “swag.” I still fail to understand where that cocky behavior came from.

5th grade – scientist. I did not even know what scientists did, I just thought that only smart people could be scientists. I suppose there was a tinge of rebellion laced in there as well.

6th grade – writer. I wrote many embarassing, awful, downright idiotic plays around this time. I cast all of my friends as characters and made them do terrible things.

 

Hmm, pretty broad already right? But wait, there’s more…

 

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The Beginning

(image credit fhwc.net)

 

Three months, one day 18 year old.

One month, six days high school graduate.

Twenty five days until my summer research program ends.

One month, fourteen days until I start my undergraduate education.

 

These numbers seemed much bigger when I was younger (not to say I am old and aged, because, well, I’m NOT yet).

 

This post designates the beginning of my journey. “Where are you going, young traveler?” you may ponder. The answer is idealistic, ignorant, naive but simple: this post marks the start of my mission to obtain an MD-PhD.

 

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