Wishing on a Lab: the Tale of the Undergraduate in Search of a Place

Written by LEAH RUSHIN
Research is such an abstract concept that in reality many will gloss over it without putting much thought into what it actually entails. The idea of research entails a community. It is a group of people who aren’t content to be told that there are no answers to a question, and who actively seek solutions to it. These people need help, and undergraduate students represent a huge, untapped source of cheap labor and fresh insight. The reality of the situation is that professors orchestrating research love to have young minds to mold in addition to their graduate students.
Why should you want to join in on the academic fun? Life experience is the number one answer. Have you ever wondered how we know anything at all? It’s because somewhere, some person had a question and the drive to answer it. You could potentially find a whole new field of interest to give your life meaning! You could find your scholastic calling (or at the very worst find what is most definitely not your calling). In research, you get out what you put in, and there are hundreds of people eager to give you a chance to flex your brain.
Now comes your guide through all the chaos: SURGe, the Science Undergraduate Research Group. SURGe is your bridge between being a student and being a part of a broader community of scholars. Every week SURGe holds meetings for members to come and listen to professors talk about their research fields, meet others with similar interests, and get in touch with their inner scientist. After meetings you will have the opportunity to meet these professors and learn about getting into their lab, or another that you could be referred to. You can get context on a topic that has caught your attention and become an important part of academic discussion which is vital to research, just like being an original thinker. Join SURGe to find out what research opportunities there are for you!

Summers in the National Laboratory

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