In a crazy world known as college, there are thousands of activities and organizations an incoming freshman can join. There are many paths one can take during the limited time on the University of Texas’ campus. For me, the best decision I could have made was to get involved with research before I even stepped foot on campus. By applying to Freshman Research Initiative, I was able to open doors in places that others could only dream of, including being apart of the DIY Diagnostics family.
DIY Diagnostics is not just another random stream in the lot of streams a freshman can choose from; it truly is a community all in itself. Every student in this stream gets to face hardship together and learn how to push through it, whether it be in a lab setting, computer programming setting or merely just with the stress that comes along with being at a stimulating university. Your freshman year is not made to be easy; if you aren’t put in challenging situations then you are not growing as a person or as a student. DIY Diagnostics helps create an atmosphere that throws you through loops every now and again. Research isn’t always easy and DIY Diagnostics does not sugar coat that fact, but this stream does allow you to dip your foot into the field of research and try it out.
Any stream in the Freshman Research Initiative allows you to try out this abstract term everyone calls research. What sets DIY Diagnostics apart from all of the other streams is that it has opportunities that are not warranted elsewhere. We have ground breaking research that students get to be apart of with recent medical issues, such as the ZIKA virus, along with exciting equipment like 3-D printers that students get to use their very first semester in lab. The wide variety of skills one learns within the first semester in DIY is unlike any other stream. You will learn how to make a working app using the language of coding, use technology such as LAMP or QPCR to carry out ongoing, relevant experiments, aid in your community by learning how to sample a site such as Waller, and you will gain lab experience that is valuable to future research labs if you should wish to pursue this field during your undergraduate and post graduate years.
The benefits of such a diverse field allows you to be more flexible with your fall semester when you finally get to preform your own research that you plan out. Unlike most streams, you can dabble in just about any field of study with such a well-rounded spring semester. Although you may struggle with the unknown and having to do something completely different each week in the spring, the experience will aid in your growth as a scientist as well as a future employee who doesn’t back down from the unknown. DIY Diagnostics is a family that I joined my first year at the University of Texas and although we bonded mostly by struggling, it’s a family nonetheless that I am proud to say I am apart of and helped contribute to