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.