With the start of the spring semester, seniors have one focus: graduating. In order to graduate, seniors must pass all of their classes. It seems simple, just pass your classes and get your diploma, but it’s not that easy.
All senior English classes have a shared requirement which makes passing all classes more challenging: the dreaded senior project. We’ve all heard about this massive project since our freshman year, how hard and exhausting the project is going to be, how much time and research is involved.
However, the senior project really is not terrifying undertaking that we all think it is before starting.
“The senior projects is a cumulative activity that will hopefully have you use the skills you’ve learned all throughout your high school career to allow you to develop your knowledge and skills that you are really interested in,” English teacher Arianna Smith said.
While it is a comprehensive research paper and presentation, the senior project also offers students more freedom and creativity than they often find in English assignments.
Essays are often on the top of the list of student complaints. The writing process is time consuming and many students just do not enjoy it. However, because the senior project allows many students to research and write about a topic they are passionate about, this typical chore becomes more interesting. Though not all seniors have the option to choose their topic, most have at least more individual freedom to research than in a typical essay.
All students have a particular topic or issue that they can talk about for hours and hours. That is what many of the senior project assignments are about. Students can often pick any topic or issue and argue why it is important. The possibilities are endless in these situations.
Some senior projects are more restricted such as writing about a particular assigned book or from a particular perspective. Still, all students have the same chance to use skills that they have acquired through their years of schooling. This is the chance for students to show off what they have learned all throughout high school.
“Students don’t always take advantage of the free rein they get for the senior project because senioritis kicks in and it’s hard for students to stay focused but if they do take it serious and engage in the process there is a lot of value in it,” Smith said.
This should be appealing to students because it is an opportunity to showcase their thought processes and creativity. Students should be coming up with topics or writing arguments that tell people who they are and what they believe in.
Students often choose to do their project on issues such as global warming, obesity, immigration or discrimination. All of these are strong topics, but they could dig deeper. Instead of just covering the broad topic of discrimination, talk about police brutality specifically to make it more contemporary and engaging. Instead of talking about immigration in general, talk about how immigration laws have changed in just the last two years.
Students have a voice and with this opportunity presented by the senior project, they can use their voices respectfully and productively on campus.