What an experience this Spring semester has been. Ending senior year in the middle of a pandemic was something none of us were expecting, but nevertheless I feel like my senior year has been nothing short of amazing. As a double major, I had to write two thesis papers in order to graduate. As scary as this was, I definitely felt prepared to take on the challenge. In the Fall, I was the recipient of the English Department’s Dixon Award, where I was given a travel grant to conduct my own independent research project in London on the Anti-vivisection movement during nineteenth century England. After traveling to London, I completed my English thesis on empathy as beauty and truth in John Keats’s poetry. I guess you could say that I had quite some experience with completing a thesis before starting my ENVS capstone this Spring.
Although I was already familiar with the process of writing a thesis, completing my ENVS capstone was a very different process and experience compared to my English one. Collecting data, using charts, following an hourglass structure, and creating a framework that incorporated different theories was much different from analyzing a few lines of very figurative, poetic language. Although my ENVS capstone was completely different from my English thesis, I still had to use the same skills I learned from writing my English thesis to complete my ENVS capstone. Some of these skills included time management skills, patience, and close reading. I appreciated using a different approach to writing a thesis than I was used to, as I now feel much more prepared to do all sorts of different work in the future. If I need to write any sort of scholarly paper or perform research, whether it’s about english literature or science, I feel that I have the skills and background needed to do so.
As I am preparing to start law school next Fall, it feels so nice knowing that I am capable of completing big projects and papers, along with conducting all types of research. I think one of the biggest takeaways from writing my capstone (besides all the others I mentioned above) is confidence. I now have the self-confidence that I need to get myself through law school and succeed. It’s pretty intimidating taking that next step into a new chapter of my life, so I’m glad that I was able to do many things that pushed me outside of my comfort zone this year as I make that transition.
Writing and completing my ENVS capstone has been such a rewarding process. All of the time and hard work that has been put into the entire process and final product itself has paid off. There have been so many people that were involved with the completion of this capstone, including my awesome professors and peers. It’s a really bittersweet ending to an amazing four years!