The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Seniors’ thoughts on the senior thesis this year

Mary Keile
After half a year, this is the process of almost completing the senior thesis.

In order to graduate, seniors are required to write a year-long paper on their topic of choice called the senior thesis. With large amounts of schoolwork, applying to colleges, and managing extracurricular activities, writing the senior thesis is challenging for most seniors. 

With dedication and hard work going into the research paper, seniors also must manage time for their academic assignments. The senior thesis takes time to research due to seniors finding and analyzing their topic.

“[The senior thesis] started around 2000,” Administrative Vice Principal Wendy Porter said. “There was a group I was part of [when] I taught social studies… and we looked at different things other schools were doing, and this was something that came from partially [from] Hillsdale High School.”

The original senior thesis had a different name because there were more components to this project. 

“[Hillsdale High School] call[ed] it a senior exhibition project because they had an exhibition component and they call it something else, but we call it a senior exhibition project because we liked their component for that, for many years, kind of [a] struggle to figure out how to do the exhibition part of it,” Porter said. 

While the senior thesis can interrupt seniors’ time, the senior thesis can help with managing and developing different skills. 

“I think the reason they want to have [the senior thesis] is [because] they want to create a big assignment where you as a student can fully learn [how to] research, [develop good] study skills and time management,” senior Zack McCartan said. “They want [seniors] to be prepared to write a research paper in college because this might be similar to something we [will] do.” 

The assigned grader evaluates completed senior thesis assignments. (Mary Keile)

Some students feel that if the school added different formats for completing the senior thesis, seniors would enjoy this year-long project more. 

“I think the senior thesis is somewhat important, but at the same time, I feel students could use a different representation of that project [in] different forms,” senior Sierra Pestoni said.  “[For example,] video, a drama [piece], or something that a student would want to do rather than writing a paper on a topic they’re passionate about.” 

Another issue students find with the senior thesis is that it conflicts with their extracurricular activities. 

“I play a sport, and I’m also part of a bunch of extracurriculars off campus,” senior Sofia Perna said. “So sometimes [completing work for the] senior thesis is hard, but we get a lot of class time.” 

Senior Kyle Ohea explained that he had to manage his time with the senior thesis while also dealing with other homework assignments. 

“Sometimes other homework would get in the way, but I always had the senior thesis above all that because it’s the most important part,” Ohea said.

The senior thesis projects are occasionally worked on during seniors’ English and government/economics classes where they can get feedback from teachers. 

“I can finish 50 to 70% of my senior thesis assignments in class, and then I only have 30% [to] finish outside of class,” Perna said. “[It] isn’t that hard to manage because I can just [do]  that on [the] weekend or between practices and stuff.” 

Seniors find the senior thesis overwhelming but in the end it can be beneficial.  

“I think it could help your writing skills because it helps you understand what level of writing is expected of you in college, and you can prepare for that,” senior Caroline Peck said. 

In order to make the senior thesis more fun and interesting, seniors recommend choosing a senior topic that is interesting. 

“Having an interesting topic that you’re interested in is probably the most important thing,” McCartan said. “Don’t choose something that will bore you. Choose something you have a passion about…[and] can write about.” 

While the senior thesis takes time, students can also learn from their senior thesis topic. 

Senior Connor Willams working on the senior thesis at the library. (Mary Keile)

“My senior thesis topic is about perfectionism and how it influences eating disorders, and it helps you understand other people’s thought process[es] and why people act the way they do,” senior Caroline Peck said.

Although the senior thesis is a struggle, the senior thesis can help seniors be more aware of studying their topic. 

“It also helps me understand … friends who suffer with this type of stuff,” Peck said. “So it helps me understand [why] they act [from these eating disorders] and what I can do to help them [from overcoming the disorder].” 

Despite the senior thesis giving seniors stress and pressure, in the end, it prepares seniors to write college papers.  

“In my opinion, I’m on both sides,” Ohea said. “I feel it does prepare you for college, it [also] helps you out a lot but at the same time, it does stress you out,  it’s a lot of work, and it’s worth a lot of points [too],” Ohea concluded. 

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About the Contributor
Mary Keile
Mary Keile, Staff Writer
Mary Keile is a senior and second-year journalist. She enjoys writing about local news, entertainment, and opinion. Mary hopes to write helpful articles for students to find practical and enjoyable. In Mary’s free time, she enjoys listening to music, cooking, volunteering, and painting.

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