So, I was recently accepted as an assistant/volunteer at a medical school research lab in my area, which seems to be doing some cutting edge stuff. The PI seems to be pretty interested in me and definitely would be ok with the idea of me doing independent work. I've identified a couple areas that interest me and that I would like to perform experiments in (as I type, I have past publications of work in similar areas opened up to digest and interpret).
However, I don't think I have enough time to be "formally" recognized for any fruit of the work I produce (if I produce any) via, publications, Siemens, ISEF, blah blah.
How important is formal recognition to colleges?
I plan to pursue my work dilligently, no matter what happens. Unfortunately, I'm a rising senior so time is something that I don't have. I feel like such a fail compared to kids who have already practically solved the cancer problem. I might as well apply to community college and hope for the best.