Balancing school with doing research

The past month has been pretty busy in the lab. I have been working on my project for about 15 hours a week, which is hard to balance along with the tons and tons of school work I get. I am a Pharmacology major so I have had to take a pharmacology lab that meets once a week for 8.5 hours, and sometimes it even goes over that time. In addition to being in that lab class for so long, I have to write weekly lab reports that have sometimes been up to 40 pages long! Don’t get me wrong though, I absolutely love that class, it is probably one of the best classes I have taken here at UCSB, but balancing that class, along with my other classes and the research I’ve been doing has been a challenge. It is important to plan your time wisely every week in order to be able to get everything you need to get finished done.

I also have a job on top of school and research. So time management has been a very important skill for me to develop, or else I could not have been able to get through the past two quarters so easily. Sometimes I stay in my lab a little later to work on powerpoint presentations that I have to prepare every week about my results from each week. It really helps to stay and do this in the lab then worry about working on them at home. This is an example of how I plan my time wisely so that I do not have too much to worry about when I get home from school and I can focus on finishing other school work.

So my main message is: know how to manage your time well when you work in a research laboratory and have a heavy course load (and maybe even a job).

On another note, I have really been enjoying working in the lab this past month because my results are starting to look a lot better. In my last post I mentioned how things don’t always go right and it is important to be patient. The patience is finally paying off and I am seeing some promising things and can’t wait to see where I will go from here!