Reflection on a summer at W&M

Its been a nearly a month since I was last at William & Mary. Since then I have been able to get out of the lab, work and play outside, not touch my computer, and reflect on my 5 weeks of research.

Spending my summer doing research certainly had its pluses and minuses. I really enjoyed being able to work on a project that I developed, not a group project, or working for someone else. I was fully immersed in a my own work. Although the work was very tedious at times, I learned how research is done in a hands on way. When reading academic papers and reports you just see the final product. Doing summer research gave me a new appreciation for all of the work that it takes to create a final finished research product. I developed more patience, and learned what it feels like to truly struggle with something (read: R) for days on end. Although I often became frustrated with research I think at the end of the day, I became a better student, and a better worker because of research.

I also enjoyed the slow pace of a Williamsburg summer. Unlike the regular school year, I came home from working ¬†every day and was able to cook for myself, play pick up Ultimate Frisbee every night, and get to bed at a reasonable hour. In a couple of days, I will move back to W&M and I’m certain I will miss the slow pace of the summer as I plunge into a jam packed semester.

Although summer research was a rewarding experience that has helped me to develop important real world skills, there were some things I found frustrating about my experience. I tried to work 8 hour days, 5 days a week. This was surprisingly difficult. I struggled to sit in the depths of Millington Hall and work for 8 straight hours on the same project. Summer research tested my mental endurance and fortitude, but is definitely something that will help me in college and into my ventures into the real world.