Researching for Project II

Most of my weekend has been spent not by researching, but by milking my idea for project II for something unique and interesting. I don’t quite understand why this project has been giving me as much difficulty as it has, but I have found it nearly impossible to reach satisfaction during my brainstorming process. I actually changed my original idea completely in hopes that maybe my it was not I who was the problem, but the idea itself – revamping my common app essay – was simply too dry or too old. However, when I finally experienced my “ah-ha moment” and felt the pieces of my second idea – revamping an old high school philosophy paper about societal pressures and their effects on development – fall into place, I realized that maybe it had been I who had been debilitating my thinking and creativity.

I had allowed myself to overthink everything, and in the process had failed to allow any promising niche in my idea to become the shining center-peice of my writing.

That being said, from now on I am going to strive to not let myself overthink this project and to be intimidated by the openness of its guidelines.

Now that I have in fact reached a point of satisfaction in my brainstorming, I can explain to you that I am going to be writing about how societal pressures changes what kids want to do with their lives (i.e. an astronaut or firefighter or singer) into a more “respectable” and “oft-saught” profession of a doctor or a lawyer or a businessman/woman. I want to interview kids, college students, and adults, asking different questions of each category to compare their dreams from when they were younger to when they are older. I want to ask adults if they regret not entertaining their childhood dreams at least slightly as they chose a direction in life. And I want to do all of this to illuminate that some people do regret being influenced by the societal idea, while others are perfectly content with their lives’ trajectory.

My goal is to encourage college age student who are experiencing the classic extisential crisis of “what do I do with my life and/or what am I passionate about” to consider whether they will be a person who will be satisfied to follow the obvious, easy choice of what society deems proper, or whether they will regret not integrating at least a small piece of what they initially wanted to do into what they choose to do.

Now that I have started to research slightly more, I have decided that I would like to write a statement article for the Michigan Daily, or for some other student publication. I therefore spent the weekend going through previous Michigan Daily statement articles so to examine word length and other structural components, voice characteristics, and research inclusion. This helped a lot because it has allowed me to funnel my ideas into a more cohesive and sensical group. I have a better idea of what I need to research and how I am going to need to talk about it.

I am finally feeling excited about my idea and am looking forward to implementing research and to writing my article.

3 thoughts to “Researching for Project II”

  1. Hi Madison,

    Wow, I am very excited to read your piece! Similar to you, I am very interested in how people evolve to fulfill societal standards rather than personal aspirations. I see myself fighting this everyday, especially when choosing something like my major or what career path I want to pursue. It is incredible to see how you are taking something from high school and revamping it after you have graduated high school and experienced part of college. Have you changed your academic area of concentration since high school?

    I think that the topic is a great thing to publish in something like the Michigan Daily because many students have similar feelings, yet never speak up.

    I am excited to work with you on this project and read your paper.



  2. Hi Madison! I feel for your struggles, and I am so happy that you have made a conscious effort to keep this project from intimidating you any longer because your idea is perfect. When I hit the point in your post when you explicated your goal, to encourage college students to consider their options through a personal lens of character and future contentment, it clicked for me. This is something I have heard friends extremely close to me as well as strangers (while eavesdropping in the Ugli and so forth) discuss. It is such a common “existential crisis” as you called it, and I think you will do great things with this project. Quick question: do you have an idea as to the likely ratio of people who are content and people who are mildly disappointed will be? I’m curious to see what you come up with! Best of luck and let me know if you need any help.

  3. Oh man, you are definitely not alone in the overthinking of this project!! I spent way too much time this weekend trying to figure out if what I proposed was actually what i wanted to write about, and then having the resulting Classic Existential Crisis you mention in your post lol. I think the research that you have so far is on the right track, for what you decided on, though. A student paper at a university is a perfect place to put your work on! But, I wonder if also a high school audience would be good to aim for, too?

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