When are you done? – Challenge Journal #4

As I enter the last two weeks of college, I am both excited and scared. I’m excited to (finally!) be done cramming for exams, classes, and assignments. I’m curious to see how my education will come into play as I begin a career as a scientist. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to see how my life will play out. However, around all of this excitement comes a lot of fear.

What if I don’t like what I’m doing? What if I’m not successful?

In fact, the thoughts that seem to currently be surrounding my capstone project seem to mimic my feelings about the next steps in my life.

There are parts of my project that I adore, but there are also the parts that I still find myself doubting.

I’m choosing to get excited about my incorporation of media, my color scheme, and my layout. While these greatly contribute to a project’s success, it is truly the content/project at hand. Similarly, I’m looking forward to finding an apartment, making new friends, and living an “adult” life. I’m focused on the superfluous things. How can I dive deeper?

How can I feel confident and complete with my writing? How can I address and confront the issues that lay in the portion of my project that actually possesses content? How do I know when I’m ready to turn it in and be proud of what I achieved? How do you know that a project is done?

4 thoughts to “When are you done? – Challenge Journal #4”

  1. Hi Samantha!

    My name is Nia, I am in Ray’s capstone section. I definitely understand how your feeling both in terms of life after college and this project. I have been having a really hard time lately focussing on my project because I feel so stressed/nervous/excited about “adult” life. I think the thing to keep in mind here is that though your project may reach a point of completion wherein it is graded and evaluated, it may never actually be ‘done’ to your standards – and that is okay. Just like we do, bodies of writing also grow and develop as we learn more about the topic on which we are writing. It is okay to doubt your own work, but don’t let this doubt creep into your own perception of yourself as a writer. It is awesome to hear that there are components of your project that you feel really confident in. I think that focussing on the aspects you enjoy while continue to work on the parts you are doubting will help to round out your project. It is okay if it does not end up being the perfection you imagined, it is always a body of work you can come back to and develop more for your own piece of mind even after the due date!

    Best of luck!

  2. Hi Samantha, I am excited that you’re excited! Finishing college is one of the biggest moments of our lives, and while it is full of happiness and promises, fear and uncertainty are a huge part of it as well.

    I’m not sure if you did this in your section, but Ray had us write down before we even started our projects what it would mean for us to be done. And while this is perfect for technical stuff, I also wrote down how I wanted to feel when it was over. Granted, I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the feeling I’m hoping for, but it puts in perspective what emotions I thought I’d be having right now vs. the crazy emotions we (I’m assuming) all are having instead.

    As for content, I’ve learned that we just have trust that it’s good. We have the mechanics, we have the heart, and we have the assurance that we’re good at it (or else we wouldn’t be here), so just take a step back and trust in yourself that what you have produced is worth something. And if you really think it needs to be improved, then do that! Try to make it as perfect for your standards as possible before “turning it in,” and keep in mind, like Nia said, that it might never be a perfect project in your eyes. But if you’re proud of the time and effort you put into it paired with your writing skills, then that’s pretty much all you can ask for. Good luck!

  3. Hi Sam, these questions are relatable. I feel like I also don’t know how to tell when my project is done… Which is scary but maybe that is normal. I feel like part of turning in this project is a bit anticlimactic, we have been working on this project all semester and finally it is all coming to an end. However, it really does not feel all that special to me for some reason. Maybe that will change at the event we have next Thursday? Anyway, I feel like you should feel confident with you’re writing because you are a minor in Writing and you have such a unique prespective being a person in science with a love for cooking as well! I can’t wait to see your final project 🙂

  4. Sam, this post feels so relatable. I feel like all of us seniors are kind of hitting the subtle panic stage of our college careers/lives, and it is so, so scary. Similarly, my project seems to mimic these same ideas — am I doing enough, content-wise? Am I delving deep enough into this content to make it worthwhile?

    I will say, just from talking to you about your project, it seems as if this is something you really, truly enjoy. It’s something you’re interesting in, and it’s content that matters to you — and I think, at the end of the day, that’s what makes a good project. We talk about audience and purpose a lot for these projects, which I think is valid to a certain degree. But at some point, it’s about you and what matters to you; and if this project makes you happy and in some way can mimic that experience for others (and I think it does, because looking at it makes me want to cook), I think that’s your deeper meaning, even if it doesn’t seem obvious.

    That felt very dramatic, but just know you’re not alone! I hope this helps a little bit. And if not, at least we can all go to Chelas sometime soon to distract us from real life 🙂

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