Where is the What, Now?

Where is the What, Now?

Over the course of your undergrad research experience, you'll have opportunities to develop a strong sense of self-reliance. The more you choose to do so the more rewarding research experience you'll have, and the stronger your recommendation letters from your research professor will be.

The easiest way to show a basic level of self-reliance is by learning where the supplies and samples you need to do your experiments are kept. Sure, it's easy to ask someone, “Where is the ethanol?" or “Where do we keep the loading dye?" but the short-term gain of getting the answer isn't worth it.

By continually asking others to solve simple problems, you risk earning the reputation of being lazy, disorganized, or unconcerned with interrupting your labmates when they are busy. This will not inspire others to help you achieve your research goals, or inform you of opportunities outside the lab that will enhance your professional or personal development.

So ask where things are stored, but then write it down-- even if you're sure that you'll remember. Just the act of writing it down might help you lock it in. If not, at least you have a place to refer to.

But if you accidentally forget where something is stored, and you didn't write it down, there is a pro-tip you'll need: Look in three places before you ask, "Where do we keep X again?" (But then, really, write it down.)