Reflection/Advice – by Conor

Looking back now on the writing process, I feel, more than anything, satisfied. It was a bumpy road working on the story and I’m not entirely out of the woods yet. However, now being entirely in the editing stage and coming to the end of my project, there are a few things I’ve learned, and would like to share with those who plan to do Independent Seminar in the future.

1. Find out what type of worker you are

This was one of the hardest things about my project, trying to find what my style was. Was I a consistent, “write for an hour every day” type of guy or was I more of a “binge write at 2 am” person. Going into this project, I had no clear idea, but now on the other side I have realized that I am probably more of a binge writer, and while it can be bad for your sleep cycle, some of the best work can be done in the wee hours. Basically, learn from me and determine quickly what your style is, and be consistent.

2. Find something you enjoy

My original idea for my Independent Seminar project was a research paper, and while it would have been interesting, I realized that I was much more interested in investigating the topics of German identity/immigration/society on a personal level. Adding the creative element to my story allowed me not only to reflect the emotional nuance of the topic at hand, it made me excited to write about it. The moral is, if you’re gonna work on something in an independent setting, make it something you’re excited about, that excitement will translate into hard work and results.

3. Don’t panic

Independent Seminar can seem at times to be a daunting task, and for me as a Senior applying to college, it often was. But do not let all this spin you up into a tizzy of panic. I can admit that there were definitely a couple of occasions where I would open my laptop and start writing and think about how much work I had left to do on my project, alongside all of the other work I had to do for my other courses and applications, and I’d just want to curl up under a pile of blankets and sleep and/or cry. Don’t do this, it’s counterproductive. Be organized, be consistent, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a blogging deadline or a goal you had set for yourself, you’ll be fine, it will all be fine. (Crying is still allowed though). Best of luck to you all.

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