As I spend more and more time in my lab, a lot of the assays and techniques that intimidated me before are becoming easier. For example, I used to absolutely hate western blots because there were so many steps that took place over multiple days. Now that I’ve done them more though, I’m able to carry out each step of the assay without having to look at my notes every 5 minutes. Rather than the dreaded and seemingly insurmountable experience that they were before, they have now become a typical day in the lab.
I’ve also been able to learn a lot of making stocks of important solutions and other items. By doing these, I feel that I’m contributing to the entire lab, rather than just working for myself. They are sometimes annoying to make, especially when you have to make them often, but I still appreciate the opportunity to practice these kinds of skills as well.
There are a couple people in the lab to whom I often ask questions, and they almost always know the answer and are able to explain to me in a clear and concise way. My own explanation and teaching skills are subpar, so I aim to one day be at their level. Then, maybe new undergrads can look to me for answers and advice!