Today was a huge day for me: the day I turned in my Honors College thesis. This was the first of two days that I have been anticipating since I applied to the Honors College six years ago (the second is the actual defense in ten days). However, while I have been planning and re-planning my thesis every other month for the past five years, my final idea didn’t come into fruition until six months ago.
Inspired by the recent upheaval and frustration over the way universities handle sexual assault, my thesis advisor suggested that I write a proposal for a book about rape on campuses. Completely at a loss for a different topic, I decided to go with his suggestion.
This turned out to be one of—if not the best—decision I’ve made at the UO. While the topic was certainly draining at times (and for these moments, I suggest “bookending”), it was life changing to be given the opportunity to speak with so many strong women at different stages in their survival from assault.
I’ve been seeing a lot of posts in this blog about anxiety for graduation in a few weeks. The last few years have been so tightly regimented on our behalf. We had a certain number of credits and classes to complete in order to graduate, on top of the self-prescribed groups and extracurricular activities we thought were necessary to set us apart from the competition.
Well, we’re finally done with our checklists. The only thing still required of us is to pay off student loans. Seriously, that’s it. If you’re anything like me (which I know you are at least a little bit since we’re all members of the high-achieving class of PDXSX-ers), then this makes you panic: we’re now accountable only to our own expectations of ourselves.
Personally, I’m going to take my experience with my senior thesis to heart. While I spent years trying to plan it out, which many better than me are able to do successfully, my life surprised me with an opportunity. I was reluctant at first, but that opportunity, now fully-realized, was life-changing.
Now you might say, “Blah, blah, blah, Laura. Your advice is so conventional and predictable.” Advice becomes repetitive and conventional because it works. Taking a step back from your life post-graduation and carefully-assessing all of your opportunities, goals and expectations can do you nothing but good.
Good luck PDXSXers, dream big. 😉