Research has taught me to take charge of my education. Over the past couple years, I have worked with the UC Irvine Family Lab on a group study and have also had the opportunity to work on two independent studies. Few experiences teach you more about leadership skills, patience, and interpersonal skills than projects like these. Additionally, research has enriched my experiences in my other academic courses. In the process of conducting research, I gained the literacy needed to fully appreciate scholarly text. Reading about various studies and trying to memorize how each studyís pieces connect is one way of learning. Inherently understanding these details without memorization because of oneís personal experience with research is another (much better) way.