In this article I am going to give you some tips and tricks on how to survive your future senior as I depart from school and complete my own project.
Tip 1. Do it
The first tip I have for everyone is simple, do senior project. For those of you who are saying “oh I’m only going to have 3 classes after my AP tests so I’m not going to waste my time with that” or “I’d rather sit in a class of three people and do nothing for 2 weeks”, I’m sorry but that is a ridiculous excuse not to do senior project. This is a special chance to do one thing you want to do (and you don’t have to take your finals).
On a personal level, I am taking 3 AP classes this year, and as the two weeks approach rapidly I do not expect any real conflict where I have to sacrifice studying for working and vice versa.
Tip 2. Do not be afraid to do what you want
I know what you’re thinking, it’s a school project so I have to do something academic and school-ish. I hate to break it to you boys, but that’s just not the case. When I say don’t be afraid to do what you want, I really mean it. Just in the class of 2016, there was a project where students played GTA V for 60 something odd hours, a project where a group of guys lived in a house for a week where all they did was eat sleep and play video games (literally), and a project where a group of guys put on a concert for any artists that wanted to play.
Even my project deviates from the standard assigned school projects we get every now and then. My friends and I are planning on producing a short film based on a short film that was also written by us. The biggest thing to take away from the proposal process is that the teachers are trying to find any way possible to accept your project. It’s not like the college board and the SAT where they try to find every way to make you look worse and stress you out.
Tip 3. Get organized early
Once you figure out what you really want to do for your senior project, get started on scheduling and planning early. When I say early I mean as early as you possibly can. Once you have the assembly next year that introduces the topic, that is the time to brainstorm your top ideas. This is important for a couple reasons, one being that if you set a schedule early, there’s more time to move things around and adapt in case something important pops up.
My group and I knew what we wanted to do right away, and that made scheduling a lot easier because as things came up along the way, we already had a built schedule to work around. Our plan was to film our movie over spring break, and since I play baseball over spring break, we were able to build around my game schedule.
Tip 4. It is supposed to be fun
I know school projects 9 times out of 10 are more of a drag than anything else. But senior project is that 1 other time. Assuming you stay organized and don’t procrastinate, this will be an easy and very fun project. Don’t take the fact that it’s a school project at face value and limit yourself to some powerpoint or other boring thing we have done about 50 times in four years.
There are projects this year that are things I would never think of. A couple of my teammates put together a home run derby that raised money for Our Daily Bread. There’s another project where two seniors built a boat from scratch, and another group that programmed their own video game. The possibilities are endless for what you can do for your project.
Tip 5. Do it with your friends, just make sure you all can actually work together
We have all been in a situation where you pick your friends for a group project. You have a couple class days to work on the project, but instead of doing that, everyone is messing around wasting their time. The same thing goes for senior project. It can be your best two weeks at St. Joe if you want to mess around for the entire time and get nothing done, but that final day where you have to present your project, that will ruin not only the two weeks, but your entire year. Have fun, but make sure you’re getting work done at the same time.
For my project, it’s no secret that filming takes a long time to do, if there is any sort of messing around, the time it takes to get a substantial amount of work done will double. Needless to say, messing around did happen, and the time for us did double. It put our schedule back a day, but luckily we were able to make up for lost time.
These are five very basic tips that I hope can make your senior project experience a lot less stressful that it could have been.