I know this might seem like I'm worrying about something too early, but I am a rising sophomore (undergrad) that is anxious about independent research. I am currently in a physics lab right now that I think is decently interesting. However, my current role is helping out the grad students and postdocs with their projects, whatever they need me to do.
Part of the reason that this is my job right now is because I haven't come up with an idea for my own project. I have lots of things that I think are interesting regarding this field (optics/quantum), but the physics being done is way above the level that I can understand in my current year of schooling. Although I just started here, there will come a time where the professor will approach me and ask if I want to start something on my own, and I just don't know what to do. Should I be asking people now? Trying to learn these things on my own? Or is this common in physics labs?
To put it in perspective, I am the only undergrad in the lab, so I'm not sure anyone really knows how to deal with me either.