Heading into my research experience I aimed to accomplish three things, write with clarity, learn how to do a bibliography, and finally learn how to build a relationship with a professor. I have accomplished most of my goals, I would say. Not only did I write more essays this summer than I thought I was capable of, but, I accomplished them well. My personal experience differs from most PURM students because I spent a decent part of my summer in Florence. So, it made communicating with my professor that much more difficult but, this summer taught me that technology can work wonders even on bad wifi. Communication is key not only in life but in research because you need to express your thoughts while giving feedback to improve the research.
Believe it or not, this research has helped me liberate myself from the idea that you need to follow your professor's word like a bible. I was given a lot of freedom to run my research and I saw many directions to take the project especially when it was not necessarily the ‘main road’. At times, we as students get caught up in the grades as the main goal versus the process of learning we came here to do. This summer has really revamped my love for learning because it has changed not the only way I have viewed my professors but the way I learn from them. Have I not mentioned learning how to do a bibliography? Don’t worry I finally figured out how to use Zotero, and sync it between computers because my computer almost broke 3 times this summer. Do not worry my computer survived the summer. On a more serious note, I have really enjoyed this experience and I don't think I would have done research otherwise. So, as I continue my journey here at Penn, I begin to think about what change I could bring to the field of research in the coming years.