The school year is quickly coming to a close! I graduate in less than 30 days! It seems incredible that four years have flown by so quickly. Change is always good, but it definitely comes with a good deal of anxiety–there are just so many opportunities and choices to make as graduation, and “real life”, approaches. It’s all very exciting and very confusing. For now, as I’m finishing up my honors thesis and preparing for post-grad life, I’m just trying to take advantage of the time I have left here on campus. Linfield has been an absolutely lovely place to live for the past four years. I’ve had opportunities and grown in ways I never thought possible. I’ve made lifelong friends and had experiences I’ll never forget.
I present my honors thesis on May 16th. I’m NOT NEARLY done with my thesis, but I’m close enough to present. It’s nerve-wracking and gratifying all at once. So far, I’ve hit 60 pages out of our 50 page minimum, with more to add (like a conclusion) and edit. I never thought I’d be able to write this much, or even have so much to say about any one topic! I think that my ability to articulate so much has a lot to say about the quality of our English Department. I would never be able to write and think as critically as I do now, as a senior in college, without their tireless effort and support. It really is a special department. I’ve enjoyed working with all of the professors so much–it feels like a small family here at Linfield.
Working one on one with my thesis advisor, Dr. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, while TA-ing for his Shakespeare class, has really opened my eyes to the possibilities that academia offers. I’ve always been adamant about not teaching, yet as I’ve worked with this class over the past semester, planned lessons/activities and run events, I’ve found myself really enjoying the challenge. I know that graduate school (and a Ph.d) are some of my goals in life, but now I can actually see myself as a professor, and importantly, see myself enjoying being a professor.
However, before any of that can happen–I have to finish my degree! I’m really excited to see how my honors thesis turns out. I have the rest of the project mapped out in my head. Though I may be nervous about presenting, I’m really excited that I was able to accomplish so much. School has always been really important to me, so graduating with honors, from a department that I know cares about me, not just academically, but as a person, really means a lot. It makes all of the hard work, the sweat and the tears I’ve put into writing this paper, worth it. Now, I just need to figure out how to title it–my greatest weakness! One would assume that after writing 60 pages of applying critical theory to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and its adaptions, coming up with a simple title would be easy. It’s not! It’s the worst! I have a difficult time titling my poetry, not to mention the largest and most complex work of my entire college career….(not to be dramatic…though if you’ve been reading my blog posts for this long, you should know by now that I’m a fairly dramatic person).
Despite this, it’s difficult not to be optimistic. The sun is FINALLY coming out (though we’ll see how long it lasts), and I love the color and spirit of May. I may have a hard time with change, but really, who doesn’t? It’s nice to welcome a little bit of upheaval now and then–it makes things interesting. Right now, I’m just going to enjoy the process of writing (even if it is exhausting) and take advantage of the time I have left here with my friends.
After graduating high school, there’s always the fear that you’ll lose your friends–some of that is true, people grow and change dramatically while they’re at college. But, I know that the friends I’ve made here on campus are lifelong friends. You go through SO MUCH change while you’re here, and the people who stick with you and experience those changes as you grow and evolve during these four years are the people that will stay in your life for a very long time. I’m incredibly grateful for that.