Discovering my limits
by Darshni Naiker
I completed my undergrad in the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Medical science: Anatomy, thereafter I moved to Cape Town, where I got the opportunity to study in the University of Cape Town doing forensic science and as much as this as always been a goal of mine the difference in level of work load was evident from day one. However, during the course of the first semester, I learnt so many new and intriguing concepts of forensic science including performing different analyses, scientific writing, and professionalisms. There was times when things would get overwhelming but being exposed to new ideas and concepts I have not been introduced to in undergrad pushed me to work harder and challenge myself. I learnt to questions issues or situations and try to apply the theory taught into assignments given and problems I faced.
Even though I did have to work on a project in undergrad, the experience is entirely different. I have gained a lot of knowledge of a field I previously had no interest in. Every component of the project has helped me grow as an individual and scientist. The research done for my project helped me understand the value of reading articles and even though I sometimes still find interpreting articles difficult, reading many articles and talking to other students in the field as only further sparked my interest in entomology. A large component of my project has been lab work, and this allowed my to gain skills I did not have a chance too. Performing them for my project has not been without challenges and there are times when I get disappointed when experiments fail but I have learnt to accepts the outcomes, figure out what went wrong and work harder on the next one.
Another important part of the course that has left an impact on me is the presentations that was required of me to be done as assessments or for journal clubs. As someone who is afraid of public speaking this aspects was nerve wrecking and caused me a lot of anxiety but after completing a few the experience helped me be more prepared and get used to the idea of talking in front of people. This was an important skill to gain and helped me develop as a student and scientist. Throughout this roller-coaster of a year, I also gained some of the most supportive, encouraging, and inspiring friends. Despite their crazy busy schedules, they always seemed to make time to check in on me and sharing our daily troubles made each day better. All the situations, good and bad I have experienced so far has been so instrumental to me and my journey in University, I have discovered my limits and that I can handle more than I thought I was capable off.