I Worked as a Laboratory Intern And Here's What Happened

I Worked as a Laboratory Intern And Here's What Happened

"We are constantly faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems." - Lee Iacocca
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Working as a laboratory intern has allowed me to genuinely comprehend the value of persistence.

The first day of my internship was simply terrifying. Overwhelmed by the labyrinth of hallways and endless rows of industrial freezers, I felt submerged by the weight of such daunting unfamiliarity. Foreign scientific terms, such as “immunohistochemistry” and “hippocampus,” clouded my curiosity and caused me to initially approach such an incredible opportunity with fear.

After this first day, I felt defeated. However, I knew that I could not let my feelings of intimidation overshadow this priceless opportunity to learn. This initial feeling of hopelessness is what springboarded my personal journey to confidence. That night, I sat down at my dining room table and thought. I pictured myself on the soccer field, never fearing any opponent that tried to prevent me from scoring a goal. I knew that there was a layer of confidence rooted deeply within myself, and this was my chance to let that confidence free in another realm of my life. With that in mind, I felt ready to take this educational opportunity by the reigns and liberate my intellectual curiosity.

When my week-long intensive safety training was completed, I began to absorb every snippet of knowledge that was available to me in the laboratory. Rather than embracing my seemingly-terrifying surroundings with a sense of fear, I began to appreciate this new environment as a gateway for exploration. With this new measure of courage, I also met some incredible people. Rather than keeping to myself and working in isolation, I began to introduce myself to other interns and collaborate on fascinating projects. By overcoming my first sense of intimidation, I not only formed strong friendships, but I discovered bravery in myself that I had not previously acknowledged.

After a few weeks of working in the electrophysiology laboratory, I discovered things that truly captivated me and encouraged me to persistently work for a result. My interest truly took hold when I independently operated a vibratome for the first time. When I initially laid eyes on this piece of equipment, I perceived it as a terrifying machine that I would never be allowed to touch. However, I remained firm in my decision to embrace every opportunity with courage; with this in mind, I was ready. I slipped on my latex gloves with confidence and felt empowered to conquer any lingering sense of apprehension.

My experience as a laboratory intern has catalyzed my yearning to not only venture into the world of science, but to also embrace any situation with a determined mind. Through my countless adventures in the lab, I now feel emboldened to approach any situation with both confidence and curiosity. While this internship originally seemed absolutely terrifying, I found an inner sense of conviction to defeat my fears and wholeheartedly embrace such an incredible experience.

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When People Respond to My Major With 'You Better Have a Rich Husband'

The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

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This past week I have been working at the local elementary school's art camp as an assistant teacher. I've been helping with the camp for three years, and I've worked at a preschool as well. Now I'm in college at the University of North Alabama as an Elementary Education major. More and more lately, I'm getting a sour face when I tell people that I'm an education major." Be prepared to be poor," they say. "You better get a rich husband."

But I'm here to argue against the preconceived notion that I have picked my career based solely upon the fact that I won't make as much as a doctor or engineer. Is this the mindset that you want the people who are teaching your children to have? If so, good luck to you and your family. I've been incredibly blessed by my short time spent with kids so far. Working with children has greatly improved my life and I'll tell you why.

Working with kids is not easy by any definition; I think that's something we can all agree with. But isn't that what makes it so wonderful? I've always heard that being a teacher takes a special kind of person, but I wholeheartedly believe that working with kids makes you into a special person. The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

I know you could see this one coming: kids are patience builders.

Coming from a perfectionist who began teaching with a low tolerance for anything that went wrong, I've learned a lot about patience. Children are just learning, just beginning their lives. They haven't had enough experience to shape their conscious or moral standards. In their eyes, they have two models to form their foundation upon: their parents, and those around them. So how can we expect anything less than occasionally acting out or making mistakes? Maybe we're the ones they're modeling their silly behavior after at times. Kids may get into more trouble than we prefer, but we love them all the same.

Kids are, sometimes brutally, unquestionably honest.

If your hair is frizzy and sticking up everywhere, then they'll let you know that you look like a porcupine. Or why, they'll ask with a giggle, are those red bumps all over your face? I'm so thankful that I don't even have to keep myself humble; the kids do it for me… and I don't even have to ask! They will never hesitate to point out your flaws or mistakes, even if it's something that you're trying to conceal; you can never underestimate a child's observation skills. They continue to impress me every day.

They stay optimistic.

It doesn't matter if they've never painted before; they're going to paint a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex for their dad and he's going to love it. Being an optimistic person myself, it gives me high hopes to be around children who love life and look for the good in people. I think their optimism is quite contagious. If only I could catch onto being so excited about something that early in the morning.

Also, with children comes continuous laughter and fun.

Working with them brings out the 5-year-old in me (not that I don't act like I'm five years old all the time). Whether it's bringing inanimate objects to life or imaginary friends, kids know how to have fun no matter the circumstance. You have to be creative with them, constantly making up games and characters to keep up with their imagination. You kids keep me young... or age me twice as fast. You decide.

Their innocence is refreshing.

They haven't experienced the world yet to spoil their minds, and I continuously wish that I could be so innocent minded. In the words of Patrick Rothfuss, “When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind." You took the words right out of my mouth, Rothfuss. It's nice to be around little ones so untainted.

They're always there to lift you up.

There is truly no better feeling than a child making something for you, because they used their time and their resources that they could've spent doing anything else. When I have my own classroom, I'll be eager to display all of the gifts my kids have graciously given me. They love seeing their work hanging up because they know we treasure it. But the tangible gifts are only a small portion of what truly matters, which is the sentiment that I so often receive from kids. If I'm down and out, they can tell. If they run up and give me a hug or a smile so big, it never fails to brighten my day.

Lastly and most importantly, kids are authentic.

They're completely themselves, because the cruel world hasn't given them a reason not to be. They're unashamedly bold and that's something that we should all strive for. Kids are friends with whoever they want, and they don't distinguish each other by race or beliefs, but simply see each other for who they are. It's OK to be different. As the older generation, it's our job to set an example for our kids to be themselves and to love life.

Now you understand how interacting with students has shaped me as a person, and I'm sure those who have been around kids would agree. My passion for teaching has given me so much more than I ever thought it would, and I've barely gotten started. I can't wait to see how much I've grown as a person at the end of my journey.

So next time you cringe at the life decisions one has made because of financial reasons, consider that they have a huge heart for teaching and all that it entails. Maybe they're in it for more than simply the money. Never discredit an individual's passions because of your worldly attitude.

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Roommates, Love Them, Hate Them, You Still Have To Live With Them

We've all had our share of roommates, think about your wellbeing before committing to a new living situation.

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Some of us are fortunate enough to have a single, or maybe even live in suites if your college or residence area permits it. For me, I lived with a roommate during my freshman and sophomore years. Over the past two years I was fortunate enough to have roommates that I either enjoyed, or we "cohabited successfully".

Through this experience I learned the incredibly valuable experience that choosing just anyone to room with can cause difficulty in the long run. Choosing to live with your best friends can even become difficult. I think it is best to place a realistic lens on these decisions that may effect you for at least a year.

In dorms, it is much easier to switch, especially second semester. However, when you reach the point of moving off campus finding alternate housing is much more nuanced. Leases lock you into a contract, where you must pay your share of the rent. If you become delinquent on this it either falls on your roommates or cosigners, which I can tell you is definitely not fine. Thoughts and prayers for anyone left in that situation.

Subletting is the only option for relieving this issue, and let me tell you finding someone to fill a spot is definitely not always easy. I understand circumstance may change, and life completely changes our course at times. But truly think about who you are living with. I am definitely guilty of glorification.

In the end, you are most important and your education is part of you. Think about what you need in a roommate, and if things end up going badly, what effect will that have on your life and wellbeing. Personally, I have a lot of trouble sleeping. Honestly to the point where I probably seem like a snob, but I just need complete silence and darkness to sleep. Even then, there are times when I can't sleep.

Over the course of one semester, I probably slept for about 3 hours every night. Definitely not enough sleep for someone with a light schedule to function with, let alone a college student with an intense schedule and expectations. It was a time of maximum stress in my life, due to an extreme course load, and a lack of sleep definitely did not help. It is something that I feel awful to complain to roommates about, and to have effect them in any way.

In thinking of solutions, I realized that I either needed my own room or a z-room. Realizing these solutions and necessities in what we need in a living space is absolutely key. There are hard-no's and specific things we want in an apartment or roommate. Listen to those and if it means living with certain friends over others, take that into account. Don't doubt your wants and needs, or settle because you don't want to hurt someone's feelings. In the end if you're honest, your friends are more likely to respect you and care about your needs.

Think of your choice in living as if it were a new relationship, we have certain standards and things we expect and enjoy in significant others. An apartment and roommates are a similar situation in life. I wouldn't settle for qualities that seriously effected me or that I deeply disliked, so why would I ever settle for a similar living situation? Would you?

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