Dominique Tham '16
It started Freshman year. Everyday since then, I have heard endless complaints from Seniors about this infamous “Project”. I assumed it would be a stressful, horrid experience. It has proved to be anything but that. I spent a lot of time debating what my topic should be – I went from Photography to Business to Leadership…but all of them seemed too simple. The project and all of its objectives were practically set up for me. I accepted that a project like this wouldn’t keep me interested for 135+ hours. So I decided to challenge myself by expanding my boundaries. After discussing with Mrs.Labella for hours, I finally formed a project to fit my interests.
The title of my project is Developing a Literary Magazine Exploring the Idea of Happiness. (Nerdy, right?) My objectives include: Editing through writing (essays), editing through magazines (school newspaper, visiting an editor in New York), and editing through Photography (taking Senior Portraits). All those are the little things though – the one component that is most intriguing is centered around Happiness. I am interviewing 50 different people on the idea of Happiness, all whom have different racial, socioeconomic, and geographical backgrounds. Are they happy? What makes them happy? If not, what is preventing them from achieving happiness? What different factors affect happiness? …the questions could go on forever. I will then have an article about each person, sharing what I gained from my discussions with them. Then, from those findings, I will write a statement on the Human Condition declaring our level happiness as a human race, if we really are happy as a whole and if not, why. My resources are endless. And everyone (and I mean everyone), if I talk to them long enough, sparks interest in my topic, which makes working on my project easy and enjoyable.
The key to a successful project is one’s interest in their project. People choose topics that they either are already doing on a daily basis or think it will ‘look good for colleges’. That, right there, is the main reason why people hate Senior Project. Senior Project should be a release time, a set 90 minutes that the school generously gives you to dedicate to something you love. With all the stresses that come with senior year – colleges, AP classes, sports, friends, scholarships – Senior Project should be the one thing that each student should find some calm in. While I may agree that the Project guidelines may be a tad too strict, I also feel that this strictness is necessary to provide structure.
Granted, I may be a Class-A overachiever, but I believe that even people who aren’t can find something that lights a fire and ignites a passion. Although I may be of a miniscule minority of Senior Project lovers, I hope that more people will see the light and take advantage of this great opportunity.