On my blog, many posts are about some cool discovery in science or tips for high school students, but I recently noticed that there isn’t much about myself on my blog. So I thought, what better way to share something about myself and share my many interests past just science than to answer 10 questions about me and my blog? Anyway, here are some fun facts about myself and my blog that not many people know about!
Q: What does your blog’s name mean?
I actually had a bit of trouble coming up with my blog’s name, and it took me a couple months to finally decide on a name. But in the end, I chose Lavender + Lab Coats because lavenders mean a lot to me. First of all, lavenders are my mom’s favorite flower. Secondly, they remind me of bumblebees in the summer (fun fact – bumblebees are one of my favorite animals since I can’t just choose one animal as my favorite! Some of my other favorite animals include foxes, dogs, hamsters, and penguins), since in the summer, the bumblebees near my house like to pollinate the blackberry flowers, and of course, the lavenders.
Finally, my grandmother’s name means wildflower or lavender, and since she was a huge inspiration for me, I decided to choose lavender for my blog name! “Lab Coats” is the science part of this blog, and since my favorite subject in school is biology, I wanted to write posts exploring more about biology.
However, my main dilemma with the name of my blog was the length of it. As a domain name, “lavenderandlabcoats.com” is 19 letters long, and it’s typically recommended to have a domain name of around 6 to 14 characters long. But after all, I created this blog because it made me happy, so I decided to stick with “Lavender + Lab Coats” because I liked it. That was also something I only started noticing after creating a blog myself – now, whenever I see a website with a long domain name, I think “hey, it’s a fellow long-domain-name-website!” In the end, after spending months agonizing over what I should name my blog, some things that were helpful were to write down words I liked, and then rearrange them, or to plug the words into a domain name generator.
Q: What are three fun facts about you?
First, I’m quite an adventurous person. I don’t think many people expect this, but I find unpredictability and change exciting. With this spirit of adventure, I don’t like living in the same city for too long, traveling to the same places, or doing the same things everyday. I’m a sucker for sunsets and flower fields, so the vast fields and beautiful scenery in the Great Plains and mountain states in the United States are definitely one of my favorites. But the beaches in East Asia are also quite stunning, so I think there’s beauty in every place. One thing that’s for sure though, I think that rare, lesser-known places are usually much better than the famous attractions!
Also, besides science, history is my second favorite subject in school! I love watching history documentaries for fun, and in particular, I love watching the YouTube channel Oversimplified for its humor and adorable animations. Fashion history is also incredibly fascinating, and I think it would be exciting to dress in those large dresses from the 18th century.
Similarly, I love going to museums, and particularly history museums. My favorite museum is probably one small museum on the Japanese Internship Camps – I was around six years old when I visited that museum (I’m not even sure if I was able to read at that time!), but I was fascinated with the museum and it made a lasting impression on me. In middle school, history was my favorite class, and in particular, I remember the unit on American law and our mock Bar Exam. However, I dropped history in high school because the way the class was taught made me dislike history, so teachers and classes can really make a huge difference in your interest in a subject.
Finally, I’m a huge animal lover! I love pets, any pets, from hermit crabs to dogs. My family had a dog named Moji, and he was just the sweetest, most adorable, dog ever. He was quite timid with other dogs and people, but he was incredibly loyal and the best dog ever. We’re not really sure what type of dog he was since he was adopted, but we think he might have been a Formosan Mountain Dog or a Kai Ken.
In addition to dogs, I owned fish when I was younger, mostly betta fish, although I did own a couple goldfish that I won from carnival games. The three betta fish I had were named Betta, Bella, and Betta Junior. Bella was my longest living fish, she died at three years old from old age.
After that, when I was 10, I really, really wanted a hamster. After months of convincing, my parents finally agreed to let me buy a hamster from PetSmart. My hamster’s name was Honey, and she was a long-haired cream-banded Syrian hamster. She was such a sweet hamster – she let me play with her and show her to my friends, never bit me, and was incredibly soft and adorable. Unfortunately, her story doesn’t have a happy ending. She died at a rather young age of around 1.5 years, and she also lived in a tiny 10-gallon aquarium during her life. I was devastated by her death, and her death inspired me to delve deeper into how to actually care for hamsters, since there was so much misinformation everywhere.
My second hamster was also a long-haired cream-banded Syrian hamster named Cinnamon that I got from a hamster rescue. During this time, I made sure that Cinnamon had the best that I could give her. She had a double-decker bin cage with over 900 inches in floorspace, and her diet consisted of Higgins Sunburst hamster food with Mazuri Rat Blocks for protein – for those who aren’t as well-versed in hamster care, those are both good options for hamsters! Cinnamon’s personality was different from Honey. While Honey was sweet and mellow, Cinnamon was quite a feisty and energized little hamster. Nevertheless, we bonded well together, and I had tons of fun with her. She also inspired me to start a blog and post information about hamster care around the internet, which was one of my first blogs. Sadly, Cinnamon eventually died of pyometra at around 2.5 years old.
My last hamster (so far) was Creampuff, who was a male long-haired cream Syrian hamster. He had a long, beautiful, and soft coat, and he was a bit timid but also very sweet. During this time, I made tons of toys for him, including one of his favorites, which was a spinning saucer made from a bucket cap, some wood, a bottle cap, and a ball bearing. Unfortunately, he was a sickly hamster, and he died at a young age of just a few months old. I didn’t have any hamsters after that, since I felt that hamsters weren’t fit to be domesticated pets, but I still really love hamsters and I might try German-style hamster care if I have another hamster. I’ve also wanted to own rabbits, cats, or horses, but my family wasn’t too pleased with the idea of having a horse in our backyard.
Q: What is your favorite song?
It changes every week! Currently, my favorite song is Sit Next to Me by Foster the People, but it changes very frequently. When I like a song, I tend to play it on repeat over and over, so my family always gets sick of my favorite songs. Some of the songs that I liked previously include This Is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey, Crush by Tessa Violet, and broken by lovelytheband.
Songs that I’ll probably always like include All of Me by John Legend and Someone Like You by Adele. I first heard All of Me when I was learning about oxymorons in fifth grade since it contains a lot of oxymorons, and it’s also a beautiful song. As for Someone Like You, I fell in love with the song when I watched a video of figure skater Yuna Kim skating to Someone Like You when I was around 7, and it was the first song that I learned the lyrics to.
Q: What is your dream job?
Hmm… Given the idea of my blog, I think you can already tell! In biomedical science, many scientists go for the academia route, which is the world of colleges and universities, often progressing to professorship, or the industry route, which means working for private companies, neither of these options are really my “dream job.” If I were to choose, I would like to start my own biomedical research company or nonprofit, since I also love project management and running the inner workings of managing an organization (you may be thinking, well that’s oddly specific… I actually volunteered as a project manager for an educational organization and was the class president at my school, so I realized that I really do enjoy doing all the behind-the-scenes work that is behind each event and organization!). As for what my company would do, I would want to work on global health issues that don’t receive enough funding but are still very pressing issues – namely, antibiotic resistance, for one.
In the future, I also want to travel the world to work for humanitarian causes. While it seems like typically only physicians and nurses are able to volunteer in other countries as a medical professional, I think that even as a biomedical researcher, I could travel to other countries to see what medical issues are facing people worldwide and gain a better perspective of those issues. With my (future) company, I want to research these issues that don’t receive enough funding or attention.
But jobs that I would also love to do? Being a historical reenactor would be incredibly interesting, although I probably couldn’t make much of a living off of that. I would also be interested in being an environmental biotechnologist since I love nature and biology, especially evolutionary biology. The environment is also an increasingly pressing issue nowadays too, that’s also another job in biotechnology that I would be interested in.
Fun Fact: When I was little, I wanted to be a flight attendant! The only reason was because I thought that flight attendants were all tall, beautiful, and glamorous, so I thought if I was a flight attendant, that means that I automatically would be glamorous. Clearly I didn’t consider my severe motion sickness, since now a flight attendant is on my list of “the last jobs I would ever want to do.” I’m sure that the airplane crew probably wouldn’t appreciate me throwing up at the sight of an airplane!
Q: What are the top 5 items on your bucket list?
Alright, here is it… *clears throat*
- Go horseback riding in a flower field during sunset
- Try Turkish ice cream
- Ride on a covered wagon (okay, at least a converted van or RV) from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon and tour the Oregon Trail museums along the way
- Wear a Victorian era ball gown
- Visit the Cairo Museum in Cairo, Egypt
Q: What are five countries you want to visit?
- France (okay, I spent 5 years learning the language, I need to at least go to one country that speaks French, and Canada does not count, despite the delicious poutine there)
Q: What is your favorite movie?
This is a tough one… Probably The Hate U Give. It’s such a moving film, and the story is just so impactful yet heartbreaking. Some other movies that I also love include Hachi: A Dog’s Tale which always makes me cry for some reason, and I’m not the type of person to cry very often. Not technically a movie, but watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix led me to develop an obsession with the series, and I spent months analyzing the perfect style and hair. The Devil Wears Prada was a pretty good one, probably because I could relate to the workaholism portrayed in the movie. There are plenty of other amazing movies, I just can’t remember them.
Q: What is your worst habit?
When I was born, my dad bought me this blanket. It was just a normal kind-of-like-fleece blanket, but I carried that blanket around every single day, no matter what. Even today, I still do it, no matter the temperature outside I always have the blanket wrapped around me when I’m at home. But the habit I have with this blanket is that I like to rub the edges, particularly when I’m nervous, and now it’s to the point where the edges are incredibly frayed and the seams aren’t even visible anymore. While I probably have worse habits, this one’s one of my weird habits.
Q: How have you changed within the last two years?
A lot! When I was younger, my family moved around a lot, and this made a huge impact on me because I felt the need to constantly do whatever it took to fit in. For a while, especially during middle school, my self-esteem and identity was down the drain, and I would constantly envy all the other students at school and pretend to be like them. This later made an impact on me as I began to develop social anxiety to the point where I couldn’t look at people in the eye without constantly thinking about what I did wrong afterwards.
But I would say that what really changed me was taking chances and being brave enough to pursue what I wanted, and in particular, applying to be class president. As a shy kid, being part of student government never interested me. So when I applied, my thought process was honestly just “because why not.” I never realized how much this experience would change me though, since being class president helped me realize that I could have the confidence to lead a group. Despite being a quiet student, I would often naturally take on the leadership role within a small group, and applying this to class office helped me develop this leadership and confidence to discover that I could be a leader and liked being a leader.
Another thing that helped me reclaim my identity was fashion. I’ve always cared about my appearance, not to an obsessive level, but I liked looking good and feeling confident in my outfit. But as I lost my identity from trying to fit in everywhere I went, fashion became just me blindly following the trends and a sense of dread when I couldn’t look like everyone else at my school. As I gained confidence, I realized that fashion could be a creative outlet rather than my meager attempts to fit in. Now, I feel like I have freedom in what I want to wear and feel more confident. These are all small things, but within my cover of pretending to be perfect, I think there are a lot of issues that I’ve faced with my confidence and self-esteem that no one knows about. It’s harder to “just be yourself” than you would expect, so if you’re in the middle of trying to discover yourself, I believe in you!
Q: What are your hopes for your blog?
When I first started this blog, the main reasons were because first of all, I had dropped history class that year because I disliked the timed writings that we had to do, and I wanted to find some way to practice my writing skills. Secondly, while my school has various clubs and classes that relate to biology and medicine (thank you to my chemistry teacher for sharing information about all the classes we have available! Tip for other students, if you’re stuck or feel like your school doesn’t offer enough classes in a subject, ask your teachers! They may be able to provide advice for what classes you should take if you’re interested in a subject), I wanted to do something more in biology, but I wasn’t sure how. I didn’t know how to get an internship or research with a professor, so as a self-starter, I decided to do what I do best – create opportunities for myself. Now, what started out as a small, free Wix website has turned into a professional blog completely managed by myself. I’m still shocked that I was able to do all of this by myself without any help, but if you would like to read more about the process that went into building this blog from scratch, check out my post on what I’ve learned as a high school blogger!
Since I started my blog mostly for my own self-improvement, I want to continue consistently posting since it’s a great way to gain writing skills while also learning some cool new facts along the way (who knew that meat glue was so cool?). I also created this blog to document my journey and tips I’ve learned as an aspiring biomedical scientist, so I hope that I will continue my blog as I grow up and become a biomedical scientist so I can share what life is like as a scientist! In addition, I also hope to gain some new readers on my blog, since it’s awesome to know that people are enjoying what I write.