The last chapter

You’ve made it. If you’re reading this, planning for your capstone, you’re likely about to begin your very last semester of your time here at Michigan. Can’t you practically taste the rest of your life after this class comes to an end?

Well don’t give into that excitement and terror and uncertainty yet. This class is an important one. The capstone to the writing minor, like the gateway and probably many other classes you have taken in relation to your love of writing, is centered around you. What do you want to know? Who do you want to be? What do you want to create? Why is it important you put this creation into the world? That is why you are in this class. Not just to fulfill your requirement. Not to fill space in your academic schedule. To create. To find yourself through your creation.

As you begin this class, know that the chaos happening inside your head is completely normal. You’re probably thinking things like What the heck am I going to spend all semester doing? Is X project good enough? Do I really care about this topic? Will I have time to get everything done? Is it going to turn out like I hope it will? Breathe. There have been many before you, and many will follow you, who think these same questions and still finish the semester with an incredible piece of work. Somehow or another, with your dedication and passion for writing, you too will be a successful capstone student. 

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Take a second to breathe. It is okay to stop and reflect.

My advice to you as you begin the course, is to think with your heart. The project that you are about to create needs to represent something you love, something you are truly curious about, something you are willing to dedicate dozens of hours upon. Do not think with your brain. Don’t get wrapped up in how much work it may or may not be, who your consultant could possibly be, what grade you think you could get, etc. These logistics will come up eventually, but when choosing a project, the first priority must be your interest. And remember that a project can be basically anything. Maybe you just want to reflect on your time as a student here. Maybe you want to write a novel. Direct a movie. Make a twitter. The ideas are endless, so don’t limit yourself to something your brain tells you is a safe bet. This is a unique opportunity to explore the wide range of possibilities. 

What’s more, remember that although this is your last class of the minor in your last semester of your last year here as an undergraduate student, it is not the end. It is the end of a chapter in a long book of your life. One that will have many more ups and downs, creative projects, social outings, challenges, and more. Do not wallow in the finality of your time here. Continue to be curious. Continue to learn. And most importantly, continue to write. 

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