I did research as an undergrad and i'm currently in the PhD portion of my MD-PhD degree. I loved undergrad research but it was definitely intimidating at the time. My advice to you is to try and attend lab meetings (even if your PI doesn't seem to care if you're there or not). Also try and get into the lab during the summer...that's really the time where lab members can focus on you and you can focus on the lab since you likely won't have classes. There're tonssss of scholarships available for undergrad summer work.
Also, get as involved in the literature as possible. Really read the scientific papers not only from your lab but also in the field. Feel free to ask grad students/post docs in the lab if there's anything you should read up on.
TAKE NOTES. you're a newbie, any technique that you learn just write it down. Writing it down will help you remember. I also advice the undergrads in the lab to literally talk out the technique as they do it. It works. If you don't get something, ask someone and google it.
set up a schedule that you can stick to. Don't give more hours than you can handle because your PI will likely hold you to it at the worst of times (finals, GRE/MCAT time, etc..)
If you need help with anything feel free to ask, I work in neuro but I have knowledge of genetics, infectious disease, microbio, etc.
Hey, thanks! This is the best response I could have hoped to see. Going to be working there over the summer and hopefully over my last two semesters, definitely going to keep this in mind.
The thing that makes me most nervous right now is how informal the set-up is. Don't have a schedule or plan completely solidified yet, I'm expected to stop by and poke around at my convenience. I feel weird popping in unannounced and bugging grad students, but I guess that's part of the fun. I'm pumped to get my start in the lab by doing work that really interests me.