We have arrived at the final blog post. It feels like it’s been forever and no time at all, all at the same time.
This project was a nebulous thing. I thought for a long time about how to describe it in this post, how to properly quantify the experience of its undertaking. And even as I’m writing this, I’m not sure how to encompass it in words, but I will do my best.
In research, nothing is what it seems. You may go in with a very specific idea of what you think you’ll find and how you’ll find it, but in truth, nothing was clear cut about the process, at least for me. That doesn’t mean, however, that I didn’t gain anything: there was much to learn within the chaos and in the end I am extremely glad that I did this project.
Academically, I was able to gain knowledge and understanding of our court system, some famous cases through the years, and also of the way constitutional issues play into the media and its effect on the courts.
Personally, though, I gained a lot of really valuable research skills. When I took on this project, I already had a pretty solid idea of what I expected to learn. In my head, I had already tailored the results that I expected and built up my project around these results. This turned out to be a big mistake. When my results were contrary to what I expected, I felt lost, and like I had failed in my research. But this is in no way true. If your hypothesis is contradicted, you have still made an important research discovery, and your research still means something, as long as you lean into it and explore the reasons for your discoveries.
My final product, as mentioned, is a short story. It’s still in the workings, and I’ve had to revise the themes and such after hitting the snag of contrary research and having to pivot a little bit. It will be on display at the Senior Project Showcase, and I will also upload it online. I will be presenting my findings on Wednesday, May 23, from 7:30 to 7:45 PM.
I had an awesome time helping out at the law office. HUGE thanks to my advisor, Amy Carlson, for giving me this opportunity, and for helping me out along the way. I also have to thank my teacher advisor for meeting with me and giving me guidance, as well as our lovely Senior Project coordinator for her endless influx of emails as well as support. It’s been an amazing experience and has definitely expanded my horizons in terms of future research in my college career and later on.
My advice to those of you that are interested in doing a senior project is this — don’t expect anyone to hold your hand through the process. In the end, this is YOUR project and YOUR research, and the biggest part of the growth you can achieve through the process is to work through it as best as you can on your own. It sounds scary, but you can DEFINITELY do it, and you’ll wind up with an extremely rewarding project when you’re done. Good luck!