If you’re reading this, you probably know about Independent Study (I.S.) at the College of Wooster. If you don’t, I’ll offer a brief explanation. Independent Study is the senior thesis here, and its two to three semesters of grueling work, research, and writing. Hearing that, you might be wondering why my title says “Thank You…”, and I am prepared to tell you.
I want to thank my Independent Study for a number of reasons. Thank you for teaching me how to make a decision. I had to choose one single project idea and work on it for an entire year. That can be terrifying to undertake, as all sorts of things could go wrong. The last thing I wanted was to have second thoughts or not find enough research on my topic. Luckily, I managed to take this project the whole way through.
I want to thank my Independent Study for making me more adaptable. Many of the problems and changes made to my project were completely unforeseen, and changes in the plan aren’t always something I deal well with. However, with the help of my advisor, I made it over each hurdle.
I want to thank my Independent Study for helping me manage my time. Always having a huge thesis project to work on in the back of your mind can be incredibly stressful. Every second of free time should be spent working on it. I also had to learn how to take breaks, and when to step away from the project and come back to it later. Even though you feel like you should always be hunched over your computer with your I.S. document open, this isn’t always the case.
I want to thank my Independent Study for teaching me how to persevere. There were days when the last thing I wanted to do was go sit in a lab and watch more rat behavior. I had days when I absolutely hated my project and I wondered what I was doing. Even so, I also had days where I loved my project, and I was proud of all the work I had done. These ups and downs made the whole stressful time worth it.
There are a myriad of other things I would like to thank my Independent Study for. Thank you for teaching me how to write a paper over 20 pages long, and for showing me how to synthesize tons of scholarly articles and information. Thank you for giving me the strength to think more independently, and complete this project; of course not without the help of various individuals. Finally, thank you for giving me the confidence to believe I could execute this project.
In light of all of my thanks, I’ll offer a word to the wise. The senior Independent Study at the College of Wooster is no joke. Yes, it IS hard. Yes, it IS long. But one day you will be finIShed, and it will feel amazing.
Thank you, Independent Study. Oh, and thanks for the Tootsie Roll!