Doing research can be insanely frustrating and undergraduate research is no exception. Our lack of a complete formal education and hefty course load makes undertaking a research project that much harder. I know I have struggled with dedicating 10 or more hours a week to a project only to come to the realization that the amount of labor necessary to truly get something significant done in the lab is nothing short of a 60 hour work week riddled with all nighters.
So, was it worth it? Did I make the right choice in starting my research career early? I think so.
Because of my undergraduate research experience, I am leagues ahead of my peers and well on my way to having a successful career in research. I know how to take a critical look at the problem at hand, devise my strategy of attack, and use all the resources at my disposal to tackle that problem head on. I may not always be successful, but at least I went for the ride and learned a ton along the way. Failure is not a lack of success, it is a lack of effort.