Coming in to William Tennent High School, setting up my lab station, and getting lost in unanswered questions… well, I wouldn’t want to spend my Saturdays any other way! This internship has made me realize how much is unknown in so many different fields of science, but it has also taught me that I have the ability to try to answer some of those questions. As a teenager, being able to collaborate with PhD researchers one on one to try to answer some of these questions is an amazing experience that I simply cannot describe with words.
The first few times I set up my experiments, I felt extremely out of place… I felt that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing… that maybe I could just get by if I didn’t ask too many questions.
Wow, have I changed since then! After a couple times of sorting flies, setting up my centrophobism assay, and crushing flies to analyze their gut microbiomes, I started to get the hang of it. The further I got into my research, the deeper my curiosity got into my question. “What about different concentrations?” “What about different genders?” “Is too much turmeric bad for you?” “Why does the microbiome look like that?” And eventually, it all started to come together.
Looking back at the start of this journey, I remember applying to the program thinking “haha alright well at least you tried… but there’s no way you’re getting in.” The fact that I not only completed this internship, but also loved it so much, has given me an invaluable asset: an idea of what I may want to do with my life. Through this internship I have learned that research is so much more than looking up facts and corroboration and correlation… research is an outlet for creativity. All of the hypotheticals that standard education tends to deviate away from flourishes in the lab and through research. I could get lost in questioning why things occur the way they do, and that’s an amazing feeling; a feeling I experienced every time I worked on TRIP-related material. I am not quite sure what I am going to do with my Saturdays moving forward… it’s going to be weird not going to the lab, but as I approach the end of this internship, I would like to say thank you to TRIP.
Thank you for giving me access to a lab to conduct experiments I wanted to.
Thank you for providing me with the information I need to be a good researcher.
Thank you for helping me decide what I may want to do for a living.
Thank you for helping me face my fear of insects.
Thank you for helping me realize who Ravi Arya is.
I may be ending my journey with TRIP, but the connections I have made and the skills I have learned will stay with me for as long as I live.
Thank you for an amazing journey.