I killed a dozen zebrafishes today and only got 8 brains to show for it. That’s the highlight of my day (two days back, because I am a lazy ass and only just managed to finish writing this).
Here’s the thing about Science most people (outside of Science) don’t tell you: It is a repetition of failures.
I think a lot of people my age when they go into research fields straight from Undergrad years don’t realise is that for every success story there are probably more than a hundred dismayed tales of failures. That’s what doing research is. If you end up in a lab and the first thought in your head is how everything is going to work perfectly on the first try then please, take a seat, we have a long way to go. You can follow a prescribed protocol down to the last second and still have to end up troubleshooting a few steps here and there. And that’s where the fun is.
It’s even more fun (and terrifying) when you are dipping your toe in the fresh, new field. You have unchartered seas to cross, dragons to politely ask for directions and hidden treasures to shine the light on.
It’s been three months since I started my research. In these three months I have a miniscule amount of data to show for but that doesn’t in anyway quantify just how much I have learned. Science can be tiring and disheartening when you are constantly told that results and positive results at that are what defines your journey in science. But holding onto that attitude feels doing science a grave injustice. I came here to learn (and hopefully get a degree successfully) and I every week I learn something new or tweak an existing knowledge to work my way, which is a lot of fun.
So, what I am trying to say is that research is a lot of hard work, numerous failures and full of things you didn’t know then but know now.