Hello, I'm a first-year undergrad at the University of Chicago. I'm having difficulty gauging when I'm supposed to get into research. I read some threads about the difficulties in getting into a REU over the summer- especially for students at large research universities (and the fact that I'm an Asian male). I've only had two math/physics professors so far, and I only know one of them well enough to get a recommendation. Furthermore, my lack of experience in physics research almost guarantees the failure of my application. I know some second-years who worked in labs without pay over the summer, and got paid positions the quarter after. But working without pay during the summer may be a financial burden on my family (rent, food, utilities, etc.). I also know a lot of second-years who haven't done any research at all yet. Lack of time in my schedule isn't really the issue for me- my grades were solid first quarter and if I got a lab position, I would just cut down time spent playing video games... There is also a math REU at UChicago which is far easier to get into and requires no recommendations. Although I'm considering a math/physics double major, what really gets me going is physics, and spending ten weeks studying differential geometry does not seem all that appealing.