The end is upon us. I have to say, the REEU program has left me feeling extremely anxious for the duration of the final week. Things didn’t work out the way I would have liked for them to near the end, but nonetheless, my experience was rewarding. For the last week, my partner and I rushed to get our information converted into presentation format. We also had complications in our data analysis which gave us some interesting results. Though it was stressful, I found out how strong I really am and the capabilities that lie within me. To be honest, the best part of this internship was the belief others had in me, especially Megan, our program coordinator. She has always been a rock for everyone to lean on, in hindsight it probably was a lot for everyone to depend on her, but she never complained about it. That’s one thing I learned because of her, no matter how challenging life gets just keep moving with a smile on your face because days get better. We had various mentors throughout the internship, but Megan was more of an older sister to me. I probably got on her nerves, but she still entertained my shenanigans. For that I am thankful.
From the program specifically, I’ve gained beneficial knowledge for the future. Setting realistic expectations for myself for future projects or research is a must. Stressing myself out is not the route to go. I now understand the hard work put into writing proposals, research manuscripts, editing, and poster presentations. I know what to look forward to when I do pursue graduate studies. My work ethic has changed drastically too. I’ve always been a hard worker, but I’ve learned that perfection is not always reachable in this field. Because I participated in this internship, I know how to use software like digiKam and Audacity, which could be advantageous for future research. My goals for the future are to go to graduate school and get my Masters. Career wise, I want to specialize in conservation efforts of habitats, and work with endangered and threatened species because some of my favorite animals are on that list. Because of this internship I know I’m one step closer.
I’m grateful for this amazing opportunity, the lessons I’ve learned from this project, and the connections I’ve made with these beautiful souls. The social outings were memorable, especially seeing everyone in their natural element. One thing I will say I regret about this experience is making friends that I’ll have to leave behind. I’m more on the emotional side and become attached to people way too easily. Unabashedly, Alyssa, Jenny, and I were something akin to the three stooges. We had way too many weird and funny moments that honestly should have been on America’s Funniest Home videos. I guess we’re too cool for that though. Personally, Alyssa was the little sister I never really had, and I felt partially responsible for being a sisterly figure for her. Now Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, where do I start? She’s honestly a great person and gives me nostalgia of past relations I once had. She’s unapologetically herself, and that pushes me to embrace myself more. I’ve learned something from ALL the REEU interns that I’ll cherish forever. I hope they learned something from me too. The saddest part is truly in the goodbye. Alas, I’ve learned that not all goodbyes are forever.
To all the REEU interns: Alyssa, Jennifer, Garret, Taylor, Mae, Maggie, Reece, Avery, and Emily, thank you for allowing me to experience the exuberant gardens growing within your spirits. Let’s meet again in the future and embrace each other warmly, ok? I’ll leave you all with an original poem:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
My garden overflows with deep regards for you.
For the last time, Mia signing off.