As we come to the conclusion of this year, and our virtual graduation is just around the corner, it seemed only fitting that this last post addresses the question, “What are my final thoughts on what I learned this year as a result of my capstone?”
As I have mentioned in my previous post, I have found my capstone to have been extremely eye-opening to work through, intriguing to learn about, and at many times, challenging. I feel like this culmination of my ENVS journey has revealed to me just how far I have come since freshman year and how strong all of the tangible skills I have accumulated along the way have become. In addition to the analytical skills that I have developed these past four years, I think my capstone really taught me how to work independently and be confident in the work I produce. This process has largely rested on each of our own shoulders. To create our own timelines and benchmarks, we had to hold each other and ourselves accountable, and this was honestly a big take away for me from this process. It was very valuable to learn to be comfortable with keeping myself accountable and timely on my weekly goals. See here to read more about how my capstone evolved.
I think it’s really awesome how confidant I feel about the topic I have chosen to research. Finishing up this capstone, I feel like I have learned so much about PBDEs levels around the world, and more specifically in the SF Bay. It is exciting to think about how quickly one can become an “expert” in something that previously they knew nothing about. It makes me feel more confidant and more ready to take on tasks, jobs, or internships that are out of my comfort zone, knowing that I can learn and adapt quickly and competently.
I know that we are graduating in a crazy time. While I have learned so much from my capstone, I have also learned so much about many other things within the context of the current pandemic. I have learned how to be even more self-motivated and independent in academia. I have learned how to advocate and seek help from afar. I have had to embrace truly not knowing what comes next. Even though plans were made they’ve all been canceled and postponed, so I have learned how to embrace today for what it is, without looking too far ahead. I’m still excited for whatever comes next, even if it may be different than how I imagined, or may have to be pushed back. I know I will take these many skills and lessons with me in the future, whatever it may hold.
Thank you for taking the time to read my posts. They are a reflection of the thesis writing and developing process, and have been a beneficial way to record these past several weeks!