Here it is! I can’t believe the time has come to submit my senior capstone project. We’ve worked on them all semester (and heavily the past few weeks) and I can honestly say I’m surprised by what I’ve created. It’s not perfect by any means and I already wish I had more time to edit, but it’s a genre I’ve never done before and in that there is something to be proud.
Initially, I had a series of ideas—each of which I stuck with for a period of time—before deciding on something completely different. As a senior, I felt very overwhelmed by my impending graduation and the struggles of finding a job. Driving my stress I realized were the conversations being had around this pivotal moment. It very much felt like the only option I had was to graduate and immediately move to a new, exciting place where I had been hired by a glamorous company with exciting benefits, and offered the new and improved status of “successful hired person.” Except, this wasn’t what I had lined up and the more I talked to other students, the more I realized that many were in the same position.
I started thinking that if so many people feel unsatisfied with their immediate future and so consumed by a fear of failure, even though others were in the same boat, the story that we’re being told isn’t right. It’s too easy to get sucked into the narrative that life after graduation is a straight path to success, but in reality, every person has to make their own path and most aren’t straight. You might find yourself at the dead end of a cul-de-sac or driving two hours in the wrong direction. It happens.
The intent for this project was to explore these ideas through interviews with UM employees from the Career Center and the Center for Campus Involvement as well as UM students and present their stories (as well as my own) through a short, six episode podcast series. I wasn’t entirely sure of my goal at the start of this project. I wasn’t trying to necessarily give advice or complain about the difficulties of graduating. I just wanted to provide a bigger picture than what I think we’re given or at least what we buy into.
Thanks for everyone’s support and advice throughout this process. I hope you enjoy listening!