Where might my capstone take me in future?
The past few weeks have been a major adjustment; however, in some ways it seems like the corona virus allowed us to all share our feelings of uncertainty that existed before the pandemic. I had already been feeling confused and not sure where to go: now the virus has brought us all into that place of unease (not to belittle the severity of the virus in anyway; I have significant privilege by not being immunocompromised and social distancing in a safe and secure environment). In clear ways it has shown the inequities in our nation even more clearly and has allowed for an even larger discussion about it as so many people have been impacted. Working on my capstone during this time has felt challenging — it is hard to stay focused on academic material when it seems like so many systems are collapsing in front of us. At the same time, there are so many inspiring people who are coming together. This morning, I had coffee with the woman who lives beside us that I had never spoken to before (with ten feet away from us, of course!). There is a sense of community that seems to be evolving more deeply than it had been. I am trying to focus on the positive.
As far as my capstone, it won’t hurt to hand in a concrete thesis to a graduate program or present on future job applications. However, it is the process of being self-motivated, navigating research, and learning a significant amount about a topic I am passionate about. Like we discussed in our alum panel, there is a balance between putting the pressure on a job to align with values. There has always been so much pressure to follow the adage, “Work with what you love, and you’ll never work a day!” I’m not sure how this will play out in the future, particularly in the next few years focusing on building a career while trying to have a stable income (AKA, unpaid yet full-time internships are often a joke). Writing this essay is a great practice in fitting in my values into a solid assignment, and leaves me so much space to explore what I am interested in. By exploring eco-spirituality and environmental activism, I am able to evolve my current thinking around a subject that I hold dear to my heart. The motivation I have received from professors and fellow students have allowed me to see that I am not alone in this private-yet-influential matter. Whereas before spirituality has always felt extremely personal, by having the space to research and produce a thesis on the topic I am inspired to continue to understand different viewpoints from an educated lens.