TIME magazine

Sometime during early middle school my parents had signed me up for a subscription of TIME magazine. I would look over the magazines, pictures mainly, and would toss them in my bookshelf. There was one issue that stood out to me. The cover was dark blue with an image of a brain with what at the time looked to me as “lightening passing through the brain.” I wasn’t able to understand the article relating to the cover, but I looked at the picture often. I didn’t seriously start thinking about studying the brain until my freshman year of college. I had just moved to Pennsylvania and began my undergraduate career studying biology. I enjoyed my classes but after briefly learning about neurons in my introductory biology course, I knew I wanted to learn more. The school I attended didn’t offer neuroscience as a major, and I began to consider transferring. Would it be worth it to leave all the friends and the life I had just established to begin college somewhere else? This question kept me for months. In the ended I realized I would be happiest studying a subject I was interested in and decided to transfer.

Before transferring I wasn’t fully aware of all the neuroscience research happening around the world. There was a whole science world out there, just waiting for me. I began research because I thought it would be interesting, something I had never done before. I was starting off at a new school, didn’t have many friends yet, and thought this would be an exciting opportunity to gain more experience in neuroscience and science in general, while meeting new people. Quickly my interest in neuroscience grew into a passion, as well as frustration. So many times my experiments would not work out, there would be bouts of contamination, and data that didn’t make sense. I thought I was the only one. I figured I was just “bad at research” and this wasn’t for me.

I talked to my PIs and expressed my feelings. They reassured me that it wasn’t just me. They explained that research is difficult and requires perseverance, and they told me if I was looking for instant gratification and quick answers this was the wrong field. I thought long and hard about my options. It was true, research was difficult, and results were hard to come by. But I loved the time I spent in lab, even when I was only preparing solutions and feeding cells. I couldn’t imagine giving up research to do something else. The way I felt when I would go to lab, knowing I would never be bored and there would always be new questions waiting to be answered is what kept me going. I am so excited to be pursuing a PhD in a field I am exceptionally interested in. I know I will never grow tired of uncovering new information about the brain.

This entry was posted in Doctoral Funding Mentoring Program and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to TIME magazine

  1. Mollie Davis says:

    I am really impressed by some of the decisions you made. Transferring to a different college to study neuroscience, leaving your friends behind, is something that took courage and shows how passionate you are about your work. Good luck with your studies!

  2. Gina Pope says:

    I love that your blog post took us through the beginning budding of your passion to the ultimate realization that you are in the research field of your dreams. As Mollie said above, transferring to pursue your passions is extremely brave and really shows your dedication to the subject. I’m sure that your portrayal of this passion in your personal statements will clearly demonstrate to the reviewers that you are dedicated and worthy of an award! Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s