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Feeling dumb in labs

I am in my first year of biomed and i ve done my first practical today...
I was the last one to leave the lab, this just made me feel dumb and think i am not good at labs at all...
My instructor was asking me questions such as turn this into decimals or how to convert from yl to ml and stuff like that.. i felt dumb that i couldn't answer fast! I know this stuff already but when it came to practical i felt dumb as i couldn't do these normal calculations...
Has anyone felt the same?
(edited 4 months ago)
Original post by lx kaur
I am in my first year of biomed and i ve done my first practical today...
I was the last one to leave the lab, this just made me feel dumb and think i am not good at labs at all...
My instructor was asking me questions such as turn this into decimals or how to convert from yl to ml and stuff like that.. i felt dumb that i couldn't answer fast! I know this stuff already but when it came to practical i felt dumb as i couldn't do these normal calculations...
Has anyone felt the same?


Hi @lx kaur,

I'm sorry you feel that way about yourself, but let me begin by assuring you that you are not "dumb" just because you left last, or because you couldn't answer fast. Your university accepted you in their biomedical course for your excellence in character, and clearly you achieved high grades to get accepted in the course. I don't think it's very fair for you to underestimate your abilities over such measures.

It's your first year and it's all very new and overwhelming, I assure you that you're not the only one in that lab that feels that way. Just like the name, practicals require lots of practice, and in time you'll do great!

Don't be so hard on yourself :smile:
Danish
BCU Student Rep
Reply 2
Original post by BCU Student Rep
Hi @lx kaur,

I'm sorry you feel that way about yourself, but let me begin by assuring you that you are not "dumb" just because you left last, or because you couldn't answer fast. Your university accepted you in their biomedical course for your excellence in character, and clearly you achieved high grades to get accepted in the course. I don't think it's very fair for you to underestimate your abilities over such measures.

It's your first year and it's all very new and overwhelming, I assure you that you're not the only one in that lab that feels that way. Just like the name, practicals require lots of practice, and in time you'll do great!

Don't be so hard on yourself :smile:
Danish
BCU Student

hopefully I will do great...cause I ve never felt this dumb in this way. I am thinking i am of a slow thinker, I ve need to understand everything before I do start with my work. I feel like everyone are working in a really fast pace but I just there doing everything slowly but when i saw others leaving the room, i just felt like rushing and my hands trembling from anxiety and guess what.. i had to do that dilution thing again... i was crying inside but still had to control myself and finish the work.
i will just accept this as a bad day,
but thanks a lot, this meant a lot to me and reassured me! i didn't want to tell this my friends cause they think i am the "nerd" one and not need any help and if i make a mistake they just take it as shocked and make fun, hence why i felt like writing how i felt in here..
thanks again❤️
Original post by lx kaur
I am in my first year of biomed and i ve done my first practical today...
I was the last one to leave the lab, this just made me feel dumb and think i am not good at labs at all...
My instructor was asking me questions such as turn this into decimals or how to convert from yl to ml and stuff like that.. i felt dumb that i couldn't answer fast! I know this stuff already but when it came to practical i felt dumb as i couldn't do these normal calculations...
Has anyone felt the same?

Hi there,

firstly congrats on starting your first year! I'm a second year zoology student so I'm also in the lab a lot and overlap frequently with biology/biomed/ecology students. It's completely normal to feel like that in a lab, and trust me you're not the only one. Everyone feels daunted and unsure of what they're doing, even if it doesn't seem that way.

It doesn't matter at all when you leave the lab, and it doesn't in any way reflect the quality of your work. Some people might rush to complete the practical so they can leave as soon as possible, but in the process pay less attention to detail/their work. On the other hand taking your time will help familiarise yourself with the lab environment and make sure you're doing everything correctly and you understand. Plus, depending on the week, module, lab, etc., you will find yourself leaving at different times (so one week you might be one of the first to leave).

When it comes to being asked questions, I understand how you feel. I often get really anxious when put on the spot and struggle to answer even the simplest of questions. However, this isn't a reflection of you as a person or how much you know. I wouldn't worry about it too much and just try to move on, the lecturer/lab assistant was probably just trying to prompt you to think and isn't judging you based on if you give them the correct answer.

However, find reassurance in knowing that labs will become easier and less daunting as you familiarise yourself with the equipment and general protocol. There may still be some instances in which you feel a little lost, but so does everyone else. The staff are there to help you and you will find your feet. Best of luck for the rest of the year, you can do this!

Aimée (Lancaster University Student Ambassador) - a fellow student who frequently leaves the lab last :smile:
oppenheimer also felt he was bad at labs while at cambridge, but he turned out ok. he wrote to a friend while at university: 'I am having a pretty bad time. The lab work is a terrible bore, and I am so bad at it that it is impossible to feel that I am learning anything'
hope this helps
Reply 5
Labs was hard for daughter in physics. like the first years, they were pulling out 50% in lab work first term. It took a while to write a lab report the way its meant to be done, but they got there in the end. And you will get there also.

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