My group and I had to plan a research project from start to finish. In our case, we were trying to observe how different salts could make water clearer. We had a really good idea of what pattern these salts would follow but our hypotheses were based purely on our own scientific intuition. We had no literature to back us up. So we were terrified because our entire project and our grade in this important class was contingent upon our gut instinct as chemical engineers.
So our very first experiment, we were waiting with bated breath. And it followed the exact pattern that we thought it would. And we were almost in tears. So it might not sound that profound, but it felt like we had made this discovery, no matter how minor it was and the fact that nobody would ever see it outside of our professors. It was rewarding to see all of the intuition we had cultivated over our time here actually produce results. I continue to carry that feeling of elation with me; it keeps me going.