Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"STOP right there!!!"

Today was one of those days where I woke-up and was ready and rarin’ to go.
A rare occurrence, I assure you.
I'm guessing it was mainly because I didn’t have to work this morning.
It makes things a little easier to be perky in the morning when your wake-up time isn’t 5:30am.
Oh and coffee.
A nice heaping mug of coffee helps too.
That was a great way to start my day considering I had a research meeting scheduled for 1pm at my university.
Trust me, I need a good attitude when it comes to my research.
I know I signed up for my research mentorship,
but at times, it is just a bit too overwhelming for me to wrap my head around.
{more on that in a bit.}
Since I had plenty of time to get ready for my day, I did just that.
Remember what I said about dressing to feel confident?
I thought I would give that a try again today.
I wanted to look professional, but since it is summer, still a bit casual.

Here was my attire for the day:
Top {Target}
Shorts {Gap}
Skinny "Faith" bracelet {Fabulous gift from my Aunt Carol}
Beaded bracelet {once belonged to my great-grandma, Lydia}
Earrings {Target}
Purse {Forever 21}
Shoes {Payless}
I must admit, those heels soon turned into a pair of flats.
But either way, I am still suffering from blisters.
After making the drive to my university, I took a deep breath before entering my meeting.
It started out just the way I had planned it in my mind.
I felt confident.
I looked confident.
And then the introductions were over.
It was time to get down to business.
That was around the time my confidence vanished.

Today, my mentor and I met with a professor in charge of statistical analysis
something I know very, very little about.
At first I was calm, but then my brain just couldn’t keep up.
Standard deviation??? Ummm I remember getting a LOT of help with that for Chem112 lab reports.
And SPSS? Say what? Well this one just blew my mind.
{It is a statistical analysis software which looks similar to excel in layout—
only about 50 million times more confusing}
After that meeting, my confidence went from being as full as my cup of coffee this morning
to a confidence in the negatives.

Isn’t it crazy how quickly our confidence can drop?

Needless to say, I could not wait to get out of that meeting.
I had so many familiar thoughts going through my head:
“Amanda, who are you kidding? You aren’t smart enough to do college level research.”

“Why don’t you just leave this kind of work for the pre-med students?”
But then I took a deep breath, and told those thoughts to “STOP right there!”

{Sometimes you just have to be assertive with those negative thoughts. They deserve it!}
Then I reminded myself why I am doing research in the first place. I had been offered this opportunity a few months before and I grabbed it without realizing how much work and stress it would entail. But the beauty of the whole situation is that it is always worth it in the end. I was awarded a research scholarship for my original proposal, so someone put faith in me.
So why can’t I put faith in myself?
It’s a difficult question that I think will always take me time to sort through.
But as for now, I just need to keep reminding myself of how blessed I am to have been given this opportunity.
It may not always be easy or run smoothly,
but it all has a way of coming together in the end.
So the next time you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, remind yourself of all of the positive aspects of your life. I know it may not always be easy, but I promise you all have a lot going for you even if it may be overshadowed by the negativity.

Friends and family also help too!
To get my mind off of research, my roommates/friends,
and I went out for frozen yogurt at Cherry Berry.

 Sweet, sweet therapy!


  1. Amanda!

    Research can be sooooooooo overwhelming (did I emphasize the so enough?!?). There is a vast variety of things to know and more often than not there will be things you have no clue about, unfortunately. I suffer from that daily in my research, I don't have the slightest clue about everything that is involved in all of my research. But, especially at this level of research, there are so many people that are willing to help you learn.

    I'm so glad you have a positive outlook on the situation, it can be rather disheartening at times, but just remember you will never know everything and that is more than okay. You play an important part in the research you are doing and have something very important to offer. If you were not there, the research would be lacking a vital part, even if it seems small.

    What I have come to learn is that it takes time to really understand a small part of the research and that is a great place to start. The reason why there are so many collaborations in research is because not everyone knows everything and it takes years to gain the knowledge in some of the fields! Research is never as effective until you learn to do what you can do best and ask for help in the areas that are not your forte.

    I hope the rest of your research goes well and we will have to chat about it once school starts :) PS I love reading your blog!


    1. Tanya!
      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! (I definitely needed them.)
      It makes me feel so much better knowing that I am not the only one who struggles with research. All the other students seem to be on top of things and know what they are doing, especially you; so it is comforting to know that even the most accomplished of students deal with the same troubles as I.
      Thanks again, T!
      P.S. It makes me so happy that you love reading my blog. If you have a second, you should "follow" it. I'm giving away a necklace if I reach 30 followers by the day school starts. :)

  2. Found your blog today, love it....stay strong! I do the same with my negative thought, assert them elsewhere eh?!!
    Hope you pop by and say hello!!
    Nic @ our little balham life

    1. Thanks Nicola!
      P.S. Just stopped by your blog! Love it! :)

  3. I took a class on SPSS and the like last semester...I I still don't know what the heck I'm doing when I use it! So don't worry :) That stuff is tough and takes so much time to learn. Don't get discouraged! It sounds like you are having amazing opportunities this summer...just focus on learning as much as you can!

    ps. Now I want froyo!

    1. I'm hoping to at least get in a stats class this year. That may help clear some of this mess up!
      Thanks for the words of encouragement! :)

      p.s. Go get froyo...NOW!!!! :)

  4. Hi Amanda!

    I wish you the best! I am sure that everything will be ok! :) I am sending you all my positive energy! I have a surprise for you on my blog that I hope you like it!


    1. Aww Thanks Lau!
      You are too sweet!
      I had never heard of the Versatile Blogger Award before, but you have truly made my day! (I will pass it on in one of my upcoming posts!)



I love your kind words :)