Senior Thesis: Scary or Fun?
Blogger: Sarah Sterling
Hello, lovely people!
I haven’t blogged in awhile, partly because I was away for most of my winter break, but also because my life has been completely consumed by my senior thesis, or as we call it at Oxy, senior comps (Comprehensive Project). At first I thought that blogging about my comps might be boring, but in reality I think it’s interesting to hear what different people have the option to do for their comps and to see what people are writing about.
For example, I am writing about... Disney. Are you surprised? What I love about my major (Critical Theory & Social Justice, in case I hadn’t mentioned that before) is that the “point” of our studies is to learn how to think critically about everything. Therefore the CTSJ comps topics range from Disney to celebrity weddings to Marilyn Monroe to flamenco dancing. If we can prove that we can think critically and analyze a topic thoroughly, then we are doing a good job on our projects.
Most majors require a comprehensive research or analytical papers for senior comps, but other majors have more creative or unique projects. Economics has a big final test, Film has to do a final short film, and Psychology and Cognitive Science have to run an independent experiment. But regardless of what major you are in, Oxy allows for original project ideas as long as you are showing off your smarts and working hard on it!
While it is daunting to try to write the “best” thing you’ve ever written, it’s been a really rewarding experience so far. Fall semester we had a whole class dedicated to writing our comps, which really helped get me started and know what my trajectory should be. This semester I get to work one-on-one with professors in my department to edit and eventually finish my paper in March! The deadline is racing towards me, but I’m doing everything I can to keep my stress levels low and work steadily towards my goal.
If any of you are like I was as a high school senior, you’re probably looking to avoid writing a senior thesis in any way possible. I even tried to only apply to schools that didn’t require a senior thesis (there aren’t that many, by the way). If I can be honest with you, it is not that bad. It’s a great bonding experience with students in your major, you learn a lot about your topic and your own academic ability, and by the end you have something to really be proud of!