Senior projects: daunting or worthwhile?
TRL’s Lily Bouldin and Maddi Lindsteat share their views on senior projects
February 10, 2021
Focused on deadlines
I believe that senior projects are a distraction from getting real internship opportunities and building relationships. Treacherous deadlines and requirements of the project, hinder students’ creativity and expression.
As I am currently rushing to get my senior project done, it feels as though my busy schedule has caused me to strive to simply complete the project. Not to mention, COVID-19 has disabled many of my original ideas for my project. After reaching out to what seemed like every vet within a 50 mile radius, I was turned down by each one because of the risk of exposing or getting exposed to the virus. This of course put me in a frenzy as I realized my month to present was rolling around. I luckily got an opportunity to intern as a law firm after I changed my senior project three times.
If it weren’t for my connections and my family friend, I would still be worried about my senior project idea and would most likely have to make something up.I believe that the completion of this project is being dangled over our heads all year. Instead, we could be gradually introducing ourselves to the workforce. This could include getting a job or connecting with a family friend. There is no time limit, therefore more time to enjoy the experience and learn.
The student log, mentor log and picture with you mentor all enter your head as soon as you start working on your student project. Rather than listening and learning from your mentor, you are worried about getting their signature. You must check off this box, and this is just another extra item on the to-do list.
While I believe that many people have created amazing things and have learned a lot through their senior project, I believe there needs to be reform so it engages students properly. This can include a deadline for everyone by the end of the year, deletion of the logs and limited assignments. Students should be allowed to present what they were excited about and what they learned freely without templates. This will truly expose the passion behind the project, and it will be evident if they enjoyed themselves while interning, creating a non-profit or remodeling a room.
While I admit that my intentions all lead to simply graduating, I desire that students truly learn and understand before they are thrown into the workforce post college or highschool. I also admit that the senior project is a great way for students to understand their passion or career path. On the other hand, if they have a stressful experience with their senior project, what they once loved and desired may soon be hated.
Pursuing a passion
Though I am risking potential hate mail, and the shaking of heads as I pass my peers in the hallway, I have to say that participating in the creation of a senior project isn’t as bad as it may seem. After turning in my project and reflecting on the experience, the process was worth it. I will admit, as the due date creeps close, it seemingly becomes more daunting, but it builds up to a great feeling of accomplishment once the project is completed. Not only can you brag to your friends about not having to worry about completing the project anymore, it can also be very rewarding depending on your chosen topic, and the way you choose to pursue it.
If you take a second to think about it, a lot of the projects that have been turned in and presented over the years can actually help students in the future. Whether it’s an internship at a business, or raising money for a good cause, these projects can be used on resumes. I think that this beneficial factor was probably taken into consideration when our school decided to make it a requirement for seniors. Taking part in this can aid us as individuals when we are trying to look good for colleges or even when going to get a job.
As I said before, the assignments on Google Classroom that go along with the senior project may seem very intimidating at first, but in my opinion, they are not too difficult. Most of the assignments are just filling out a sheet to track progress or filling in blanks to describe the project chosen. When it comes down to it, I think that it is most important to pick something that you are passionate about and interested in. It’s up to all of us to make the best out of the situation, even if it sometimes seems like a lot to handle. For instance, I chose to raise money for something that is very close to my heart. Though it got stressful at some points throughout the process, it was worth it in the end to know that I had made a positive impact on others lives.
Overall, I think that students in all grade levels at the high school should take the concept of senior projects as something to look forward to rather than dread. Everyone, including myself, can learn from this experience. It is a time when we can learn new things and make mistakes. It allows us to dig deeper into our interests and potentially affect the people around us in a positive way. Rather than looking at these projects as just another grade, my opinion is that we use it as a segway into our future. It can be something that is lighthearted and temporary or a trial run for what we want to do in the future. Either way, it can be a fun way to try things and maybe even get our hands dirty.