This summer in the Boise Foothills has been probably one of the most important learning experiences of my life. I’ve experienced a change in interest/career path, I’ve made amazing friends, and I’ve learned so much about myself that I feel like a new person. For the first time in my life I was alone in a new city, and it was really scary. I had to “fend for myself”, as in buy my own groceries, plan my own meals, get myself to work, plan my own social activities, and I didn’t have my family or my friends there to help me out physical or mentally. I believe I am independent and I know I am, but my skills were truly put to the test with my internship in Boise and I now know that I have more growing than I could ever imagine to do. It’s one thing to say, “Yes I’m ready to be by myself”, and it’s another thing to actually have to do it. And I’ve learned that you cannot figure out everything in one summer. I feel like all the terrifying and exciting things I did while studying the sagebrush are simply feeding into my experience as a human being, and I will continue to have experiences like this and never truly have everything “figured out”.
I’m not sure what my career path is anymore. I’m not even sure I want to stay in STEM. And sometimes that makes me panic, but on the other hand it’s kind of exciting because I will have very interesting experiences while I try and figure myself out. And it’s not like I’ll ever truly figure myself out. Currently I want to shift my focus away from Ecological and more towards Cellular biology, but I’m not sure I can see myself doing research with my degree because there’s more to life than a lab. But I also don’t know everything there is to know about the field of scientific research. Which is fine. The biggest lesson I’ve learned this summer is that it’s okay to never understand and/or control everything that is going on around you. That’s pretty much impossible to do, and if you try to do it, you’ll cause yourself misery. One day I will be capable and confident enough to provide on my own, but I’m always growing and learning.