My Life This April: In Which I Go to a Research Conference, Get a Fellowship, and Take Way Too Many Exams

Good morning! This is my second My Life This Month post. For those who don’t know, I post once a week on Saturdays, with occasional extra posts (such as Beautiful People, which didn’t happen this month) on Wednesdays. On the first Saturday of the month, I post a book quote analysis; on the second, a science post; on the third, a book review; and on the fourth, My Life This Month. On fifth Saturdays, like this month, I post extra exciting things, like this month’s introduction to my work-in-progress.

One thing I’ve learned this month is that, in April, college ramps up. I’m nearing the end of the spring semester (my last final is May 16th), so I’ve done a lot of schoolwork and not a lot of writing. As you can see by today’s title, most of the highlights of my month were school-related. I’ll do them in order, though that order isn’t necessarily chronological.

Earlier this year, faced with the prospect of a career in genetics research, I decided I should visit UNH’s Undergraduate Research Conference, or URC (at UNH, everything is abbreviated). So, this past Saturday, I made an extra commute over to the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture’s URC event. COLSA is my college, so I hope to present at this event in the next few years, and I found it very interesting. Because I’m still a freshman and haven’t taken biochemistry yet, some of the presentations went over my head, but I enjoyed learning about various topics, including garbage-raiding elephants in Sri Lanka, the ability of horseshoe crabs to sense temperature, and how plants grow in hydroponic versus aquaponic agriculture systems (in hydroponics, you grow plants in just water; in aquaponics, you grow plants and fish in the same recirculating water). You can read more about the COLSA URC here, if you’re interested.

Secondly, some of you might have seen me talk about my work in a seaweed lab before. I have now been awarded a fellowship for paid work in that lab over the summer! I’m very excited; it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever applied for and received. It’s an awesome summer job and a great step forward for me, so I couldn’t help mentioning it just a little. 😉

The last one is really self-explanatory, so I’ll try not to complain too much. As I said, college really ramps up in April. This month, I have taken six exams and had one major paper and many various lab reports due. Welcome to the life of a genetics student. (It’s good, though. I really do like college. I just wish that I didn’t have three exams in one day sometimes. . . .) To make the focus more positive (one of my general goals for life), I’ve learned a lot, about photosynthesis, the cytoskeleton, reduction/oxidation reactions and batteries, and bioinformatics (look for a science post related to this next month!). And that’s just scratching the surface.

As far as writing goes, as I said, I haven’t done much. I set my own goal for the month with the Go Teen Writers April monthly challenge (check this blog out if you’re interested in writing challenges!), but didn’t get it nearly finished. I did write more than I probably would have otherwise, though, so in the end, let’s call it a success.

All in all, I had a good month, though a bit busy. I look forward to next month’s life post, when I can officially say I’m done with my first year of college! Woohoo!

What about you? What did you do this month? Have you ever been to a research conference? Do you think it’s something you’d be interested in? Have you achieved any milestones this month? Have you made much writing progress? Are you a college student, too? Tell me in the comments!

 

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