Well, this is it. One of my final assignments in college. I better make it good.

While its finality may seem arbitrary, it’s actually incredibly relevant to my Capstone project. For part of my project, I’m writing a personal reflective essay of my college career, using my a cappella group as a lens. I struggled a lot on how to begin this when I had an a-ha moment when writing my site’s Introductory Essay: when describing big picture what I planned to do in the project, I remembered something I watched a long time ago, Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. The Last Lecture is the life advice the professor, who would soon pass away from terminal cancer, imparted on the audience. It has two parts which I think are relevant to my project, his childhood dreams and the lessons he’s learned.

I’d like to do something similar: trace my journey through college and reflect on why the group is meaningful to me and what I’ve learned from it. However, that seems like both an incredibly tall order (how can I ever compare to a literal last lecture?) and incredibly cheesy and cliquey (ah, yes, I grew in college). We’ve all had these experiences, plus I’m young. What do my lessons mean? Does me echoing past fables mean anything? Would this essay be an empty gesture, a waste of thought, and a waste of space? Of course, I think it’s valuable to me to get my thoughts down. But my audience is greater than that: it’s my group and other interested parties in my group. Or maybe my audience is just me and this entire project has been a way to create a time capsule of this experience…

Well, have fun psychoanalyzing that! (And please let me know how I can navigate cheesiness, doubt, and meaningless mimicry)

One thought to “Wow”

  1. Hey Ben,

    Congrats on finishing your thesis and having this last big assignment left! I’m really excited to see how your project turns out.

    I totally relate to the struggle of not wanting to write something cliche and cheesy, but also realizing that that’s basically what you need to do. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this particular “cheesy” prompt of reflecting on your experience and growth throughout college, though. Yes, people have done it, but each narrative is unique. Perhaps there will be similar themes to other narratives out there, but it’s still your own. You do a good job of identifying that you have a greater audience than yourself, so you already know who you’re writing for and it will be valuable for them, because it’ll be specific to your group–its dynamics, inside jokes, conflicts, relationships, quirks that only you all know. I think identifying and writing about those little things will be key in making your narrative unique despite its common prompt (basically the same prompt for my own project as well).

    Hope this helps a little. Feel free to reach out if you want to talk through some of these ideas and other things in your head. Good luck!

Leave a Reply