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I'm facing a dilemma right now and I want to see if any one of you has ever been in my shoes before. 

 

I'm currently volunteering as a lab monkey and so far I have 8 months (~360 hours). Everywhere I look, I see that professional schools want longevity and want to see that you keep persevering in activities that you take on. 

 

I would LOVE to continue volunteering and helping grad students and maybe even after a while start doing my own research (I was already taught certain techniques like Western Blots, Genotyping, gel electrophoresis etc).

 

However, the problem is I CAN'T continue to volunteer because I was enrolled in a COOP program that lasted 6 months. When they were over, I was asked to continue during the summer because they appreciated my work and I gladly accepted. The summer ends in a month... I don't want it to seem on my application that I quit because I didn't like it anymore or I couldn't handle it.

 

What do you think I should do? Talk to the lab owner and see if she/the grad students still need help? Offer to come back next summer? I'm lost right now...   

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I avoided this problem by choosing a university in my hometown, enabling me to keep all the jobs/ECs I had in  high school, throughout university. It got a bit overwhelming by the end of 4 years, never ever quitting things and only adding more and more and more, but I persevered. 

 

 

I do apologize for the sarcasm....but I do sincerely encourage you to take a deep breath, and then go to something with your friends and not think about applying to med school at all. Then come back, re-read your post, and I think you'll find the answer to your question is quite clear. 

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I avoided this problem by choosing a university in my hometown, enabling me to keep all the jobs/ECs I had in  high school, throughout university. It got a bit overwhelming by the end of 4 years, never ever quitting things and only adding more and more and more, but I persevered. 

 

 

I do apologize for the sarcasm....but I do sincerely encourage you to take a deep breath, and then go to something with your friends and not think about applying to med school at all. Then come back, re-read your post, and I think you'll find the answer to your question is quite clear. 

 

Is the answer to move on to another position once I get the chance and forget about this one? :P

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Its tricky, I too had been with a lab for about 1.5 years (volunteering + NSERC + more volunteering)...I ultimately left because it felt stagnant and I wanted to explore new things and didnt feel like it'd be doing the lab a service by sticking around when my heart wasn't in it anymore. Although my boss seemed completely fine with it, and said I was welcome to join again in the future..I now get the impression that she doesnt like me (sucks because I lost a reference). I have found some new lab work in a much more relevant field now and love it  :) Maybe just don't leave till you have something else lined up.

 

As far am I'm concerned though if a medical school prioritizes longetivity+stagnation over moving on to something new and growing then they can kiss my rear end. I highly doubt adcoms are gonna sit there like oh why did he quit this after only 8 months when you have other commitments that you stuck with for years. Long term commitment is great! But there is no sense in sticking with something long term if you lack the passion, that defeats the entire purpose of it in my opinion. I have found my niche volunteer commitments now that I plan to stick with for years to come, but it did take some searching before that.

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Its tricky, I too had been with a lab for about 1.5 years (volunteering + NSERC + more volunteering)...I ultimately left because it felt stagnant and I wanted to explore new things and didnt feel like it'd be doing the lab a service by sticking around when my heart wasn't in it anymore. Although my boss seemed completely fine with it, and said I was welcome to join again in the future..I now get the impression that she doesnt like me (sucks because I lost a reference). I have found some new lab work in a much more relevant field now and love it  :) Maybe just don't leave till you have something else lined up.

 

As far am I'm concerned though if a medical school prioritizes longetivity+stagnation over moving on to something new and growing then they can kiss my rear end. I highly doubt adcoms are gonna sit there like oh why did he quit this after only 8 months when you have other commitments that you stuck with for years. Long term commitment is great! But there is no sense in sticking with something long term if you lack the passion, that defeats the entire purpose of it in my opinion. I have found my niche volunteer commitments now that I plan to stick with for years to come, but it did take some searching before that.

 

Very true, but the problem for me is that I love it but I can't continue it, even if I wanted to (although I didn't ask yet). 

 

I only have 2 more years before I can apply so if I start something new, I'll only have about 1.5 years done....I don't have any other EC that's longer than that too. Will it look bad on my application? 

 

It might be too early to think about it but come on 2 years is not a long time and I want to be ready once the time comes. 

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Ahhh that is rough. No its good to think of things years ahead, I wish I had. If your only problem is asking the boss then that's not a problem at all...odds are they'd hire an undergrad volunteer to replace you and TRUST ME, every lab wants to keep their undergrads for as long as possible due to the time they invested in you (it appears that they like you too).

 

If you just CANT do it for circumstances...then there is nothing you can do bro. Yeah it sucks but get out there and find something you can do...there is no magic number of 'years committed', pick up some new commitments if you like them stick with them for the upcoming 1.5-2 years (A LOT OF TIME) and apply like a champ. Do what you love, do what you can do, there is nothing more to it...don't waste your energy over something you simply can't do because that's life :)

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Ahhh that is rough. No its good to think of things years ahead, I wish I had. If your only problem is asking the boss then that's not a problem at all...odds are they'd hire an undergrad volunteer to replace you and TRUST ME, every lab wants to keep their undergrads for as long as possible due to the time they invested in you (it appears that they like you too).

 

If you just CANT do it for circumstances...then there is nothing you can do bro. Yeah it sucks but get out there and find something you can do...there is no magic number of 'years committed', pick up some new commitments if you like them stick with them for the upcoming 1.5-2 years (A LOT OF TIME) and apply like a champ. Do what you love, do what you can do, there is nothing more to it...don't waste your energy over something you simply can't do because that's life :)

 

Yea you're right :) I'll talk to her the next time I'm there and we'll see if we can work something out. We can always keep in touch too...she has my email and i have hers so if she needs me I'm pretty sure she'll tell me, I was a real big help. 

 

Anyway, thanks for the insight, I really appreciate it:)

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I'm facing a dilemma right now and I want to see if any one of you has ever been in my shoes before. 

 

I'm currently volunteering as a lab monkey and so far I have 8 months (~360 hours). Everywhere I look, I see that professional schools want longevity and want to see that you keep persevering in activities that you take on. 

 

I would LOVE to continue volunteering and helping grad students and maybe even after a while start doing my own research (I was already taught certain techniques like Western Blots, Genotyping, gel electrophoresis etc).

 

However, the problem is I CAN'T continue to volunteer because I was enrolled in a COOP program that lasted 6 months. When they were over, I was asked to continue during the summer because they appreciated my work and I gladly accepted. The summer ends in a month... I don't want it to seem on my application that I quit because I didn't like it anymore or I couldn't handle it.

 

What do you think I should do? Talk to the lab owner and see if she/the grad students still need help? Offer to come back next summer? I'm lost right now...   

 

This is not a problem at all in my opinion. Moving to a different city a very good reason to be leaving a lab, and you should not have any problems because of it. Plus not all activities have to show longevity, you just want some of them to so that it does not look like you jump from thing to thing. Hope that made sense!

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This is not a problem at all in my opinion. Moving to a different city a very good reason to be leaving a lab, and you should not have any problems because of it. Plus not all activities have to show longevity, you just want some of them to so that it does not look like you jump from thing to thing. Hope that made sense!

 

Yes it does, thank you very much! :)

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