These past 5 weeks have flown by so quickly! I went from accidentally stressing all my flies to being able to run the social space assay in an hour with no mishaps. I chose to investigate whether taking probiotics can impact sociability after reading a study that found a link between how social individuals were and the diversity of their gut microbiome. While analyzing the data I collected quickly became part of my weekend routine, I looked forward to coming into the lab and being able to talk about what I was finding and why my results may have looked the way they did.
When I started TRIP I was mostly nervous about one thing, the independent project. How was I, someone who couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner, supposed to decide what I wanted to spend 3 weeks researching and eventually present? Being able to talk to my peers, Dr. Leystra, and the TAs about things I was considering or topics I was interested in was the biggest help in deciding what I wanted to do for my independent project. I eventually realized that I was so afraid of failing at whatever I decided to do, I refused to make any decisions, and when I got over that fear was when I started to have the most fun.
I’ve come to really cherish the time I’ve spent with everyone in TRIP, from making last minute presentations for proposals to struggling to transfer flies from one vial to another to accidentally letting agar boil over because we forgot to watch it. TRIP isn’t just valuable to me because of the research I was able to conduct, it’s valuable to me because I learned how to adapt, communicate, work with others, and deal with setbacks. Although I must say that I will never voluntarily analyze social space assay data again, every moment and person I met throughout this experience has helped in changing me for the better.