New opportunities

Hard to believe that the semester is almost already over with just weeks remaining. What I thought would take an eternity has come way too fast for me.

When I first heard the semester was being moved to an online format my heart sank, but it really has not been that bad. Yes, I miss going to my labs and interacting with everyone there, but I’ve also taken up working at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital helping out where I can as much as possible.

It’s funny because I missed out on a lot due to the shutdowns, but I also gained something back as well in the process. I’ve had new job opportunities, helped create a new Aggie service program, and had the opportunity to spend more time with family than ever before. I’ve also discovered several Nutria’s living around the Zachry Engineering building due a few late-night runs!

A Second Home?

Other than Thanksgiving being just around the corner, there’s a plethora of things I am looking forward to in the coming months.

As part of my undergraduate research, one of the principal investigators (the faculty member in charge of the research) I’ve been working with has asked me to help on a new grant we just received from the DoD (Department of Defense) dealing with Gulf War Illness.

The second research lab I’m working with also finally seems to be ready to begin our experimental trials after an entire semester of careful planning how to model hypoplastic left heart syndrome (a rare congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped).

Yet, for once, I just seem to want to go home so I can meet the newest member of my family whom I’ve been receiving videos about for the past two months—our new dachshund!

But so much has been going on this semester in my labs and nothing seems to be showing any signs of slowing down. It’s funny to think that I consider my labs to be almost my second home now—I definitely spent more time there than my apartment.

As I’ve gotten to know our awesome graduate students and fellow undergraduate workers, I’ve truly been blessed to become a part of such great teams.

From helping a lab-mate setup at Wolf Pen Park for his concert to having serious life advice talks with our PhD students, this semester has really changed my perspective on just how much a lab can do for you, personally, rather than just put hours on your resume.