View Full Version : Lab Classes

07-31-15, 03:29 PM
Anyone have any strategies for getting through lab classes? I do well academically and so far I've done well in my lab classes but at the same time they are frustrating for me and take far longer than they should. For example in a microbiology lab the thing that was supposed to grow did not grow - so I came in later to re-do the experiment as it was essential to have for the next lab class. Lab instructor made a big (friendly) deal over helping me out and getting stuff out for me. I re-did the experiment only to discover when I came back a few days later for my regular lab class that after all that extra work I'd thrown away the new one and kept the old one :mad:

Not only was that discouraging but it was embarrassing too because then I had to explain that to the lab instructor and my lab partner that was counting on me.

On top of that I'm in my 30's at a Big 10 school - oldest fellow student I've met was 21 so I already stick out & they already don't want to be my lab partner to begin with, ya know?

I think it's the organization that trips me up. There are so many people milling about and talking during lab that it gets really overwhelming. Even when I make sure I'm concentrating and try to set things in ordered piles or even write out my own steps to take I somehow end up going off course and screwing things up.

07-31-15, 06:22 PM
I used to hate labs. I never knew what I was supposed to do and whatever I did never worked. The worst was working in groups because I could never follow what the other's were saying. :umm1:

I wish I had some advice but I can't think of anything. It sounds like you are being already as organised as possible. Maybe some day you'll be able to laugh about it (and your lab partner will too).

07-31-15, 06:37 PM
I loved labs (comp sci and physics) .The practical focus kept me grounded compared to theory oriented courses.

07-31-15, 07:58 PM
Ugh, I didn't like labs. 3 hours of annoyingness.

If it gets too tough for you, can you ask for accommodations?

11-26-15, 05:44 PM
This semester my lab destroyed my GPA. We have to answer 20 questions in 15 minutes, as we rotate around the room from station to station. Talk about anxiety overload and blanking out. Or 90 in 45! continuously studied, but the set-up is not helpful. You only get 1 chance and it's brute memorization. I also completely die being in there. 2.5 hours without break.

11-26-15, 10:12 PM
I struggled in lab. Anything requiring patience (titration!) and complex procedures was no go.

Keep this in mind looking for jobs and career goals. For some strange reason i got a job as a marine lab tech after college. :scratch:

12-01-15, 05:14 AM
I didnt like my lab because I wasn't doing very well in it.

12-06-15, 09:54 PM
Ha! Yeah, I am my last year in a B.S chem program, and I absolutely hated intro level labs because of all the people and distractions. I would know exactly what I was doing, but constantly make careless organizational errors. If you take any ir medication i suggest taking a dose right before a long lab.

Now that I work in the lab by my self or with one or two others most of the time I love my lab work. I'm actually have to spend so much time in the lab I have a key and my own bedspace in the building:D. In the lab, organization, structure and heavy forethought is paramount, especially with ADHD.

12-09-15, 04:43 PM
jameruski: I'm impressed you can do it with ADD. I volunteered for a lizard genetics lab in undergrad. No problems out in the field noosing lizards of course...but preventing cross contamination of the samples(remembering to eject tip...remembering which vial you took the sample from...which row on the gelplate you are working on...) was a whole nother thing. I have no idea what the gel I did looked like and don't want to know!

We had lab exams that were brutal. People running around every which way using all the instruments. I remember we had to do a proof on what an unknown compound was. I ended up being one of the last few, and knew I wouldn't have time for it. Ended up picking a clear vial and knowing it was silver something because every other possible elemental combo would have been Still failed that practicum though

01-05-16, 12:34 PM
I also dislike doing labs, and for some reason I like writing lab reports even less. Hard to stay on track with all the details, I guess, which makes it feel more difficult than it is.

The thing that has helped me with labs is keeping notes, having checklists, going through stuff pre-hand so you know the main principles by heart, and double-checking everything. It's a bit of extra work and slows you down, but then again, you're expected to be thorough and keep note of everything in a lab, right?

I tend to feel very insecure about my lab work, and I've even thought that I might not be cut out for any scientific work because of it. Then again, most of the students are clueless in the lab as well, so maybe shouldn't feel that bad!