When I look back at this project in several months or years from now, it will, as always, look bad. Everything I’ve written in the past now feels unsatisfactory, so when I was planning for this project, I had in mind the notion that this project, too, will not be good enough for the future me, however much the now me liked it. For mandatory essays for other classes, I think I didn’t put a lot of thought and energy into it, both because the requirements were laid out and because I thought of them as little more than labor for grades. But the fact that I had to choose something I do care about and build a website from scratch made this project register to me as different from anything else I’d written. So there was a bit of dissonance between the part of me that pessimistically assumed that this project was inevitably going to be another amateur piece I will end up dismissing, and the part of me that wanted to produce something that would remain meaningful to me after I get the grade.
Now I think that both of these ideas can be true simultaneously. When I become a better writer in the future, the quality of this project will of course seem unsatisfactory, but I wouldn’t be the better writer I will be if I hadn’t created this project. This was the longest thing I’ve ever written, and I don’t think I’ve ever had another school assignment that occupied so much of my leisure time as well. It’s not that I was required to do more work; it’s that ideas and fragments for the project suddenly popped up in my head even when I was resting, and I had to open my laptop and write them down. While the unprecedented degree of agency ascribed to me gave me a lot of pressure, it prompted me to put in much more thought and care. So I think I will continue to think of this project as meaningful because of the uncomfortable yet fruitful writing experience I had.