Even journal club, which I was originally terrified for (as described in a previous blog post), ended up being a fantastic learning experience. My ability to read and understand a scientific paper grew tremendously once the pressure was on to present it to other people, and the actual act of presenting was less daunting since I actually understood what I was talking about. Preparing for our final research proposal was made easier by the feedback we were given from our journal club presentations, and I was only minimally nervous when it was time for us to present.
And of course, my scientific writing has improved over the past few months. I spent the summer after my freshman year working on a paper at the NIH, which took me over a month to complete, so I was wasn't sure how I'd be able to finish the writing assignments in 109 in time. Luckily we had fantastic instructors who made sure I understood the point of each module and helped me make a story out of our research. I'm ending the semester with a new confidence in my ability to approach and understand problems from a biological standpoint, and it's a pretty awesome feeling.