Mistakes Happen: Don't Panic

Did you make a mistake? Don't panic. What might feel like a tragic mishap to you could be easy for someone with more research experience to fix. So don't panic, and don't throw anything out. Simply take a deep breath and ask your research advisor what can be done. If you need help starting the conversation, use the words: "This is hard for me to say but...." and follow with: "What can I do to fix it?" And keep this in mind: when you watch how someone with more experience troubleshoots, you learn how to solve problems in the process.

Handling the F-word (Failure)

When you start a project in a research lab you’re bound to have a few hiccups at the research bench. Mistakes are an unavoidable part of learning something new or acquiring new skills. However, also keep in mind that how you react to failure will tell your labmates how easy you'll be to work with in the long run.

Your labmates will be much more willing to help you fix a problem or prevent one in the future if you stay positive. It's okay to be disappointed when something goes wrong --just develop a strategy to stay positive and be resilient.