Pro vs. Con: Senior projects

Pro: Senior projects allow students to show off

By Olivia Covington

One week ago I finished my journalism senior project, and I have to tell you something — it was hard.

It wasn’t hard in a, “I can’t do this!” kind of way, but more like a, “Wow, this is a lot of work,” way.

Since journalism seniors don’t take written comps, the project entails a lot. You have to write a story, make a video, do at least two other things — radio, graphics, photos, etc. — and you have to put it all together on a website. It doesn’t sound like a ton of work, until you really get started and realize all the research you have to do before you can even start putting together the presentation.

But despite the stress and long hours of work (someone spent 25 hours on this project before they stopped counting), I actually loved my project. I was very interested in my topic, and I had the chance to show off my reporting skills. Isn’t that what journalism is about?

For journalism students, it really makes more sense to do a project than take a written exam. When you’re out in the field, you’re going to be reporting, shooting videos and taking photos. How effective would a test be in measuring those real-life skills? Not very.

So for all you future journalism seniors, take heart. “The Project,” as it’s now becoming known, is hard, but it’s not impossible. It just forces you to do your job, so take pride in that, because it’s your last chance to shine.

Con: Senior projects use up time, energy

By Emily Metheny

One week ago, Seth Morin and I submitted our senior journalism project. Last Saturday, I slept for over 10 hours because I felt, for the first time in a long time, that I actually had time to breathe.

Senior projects may seem like a necessary evil. It’s like, yeah, I want to show you that I know everything. But the problem is that the timing is terrible. In spring, seniors are working on securing jobs and applying for graduate school.

What’s more important? Having a job after graduation or not graduating?

For me, that’s a hard question, because I don’t want to be a graduate without a job at commencement. On the other hand, because I do want to graduate, I have to focus much of my time and energy on a project. I have little desire to move home after graduation because I want to begin the next part of my life. To do that, I need a job. But to get a job, I need to pass.

After adding on all this work, I am still a full-time student with several campus jobs, positions in organizations and an internship. On top of all that, spring is the time everything happens at Franklin. Everything. Have you looked at the calendar? This is my last hurrah — I don’t want to miss out.

At the end of the day, I am happy to have completed the project. I have a nice portfolio piece, and, most importantly, I realized how much my fellow seniors and I care for and support each other. This project was hard and time consuming, but having other seniors rooting for and encouraging you is amazing.

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About Ashley Shuler 1253 Articles
Ashley Shuler is the executive editor of The Franklin. She has held various multimedia journalism and public relations internships, including positions at Indianapolis Monthly, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and Dittoe Public Relations. When she isn't staying up late to edit stories, Ashley spends her time boutique shopping and drinking as much vanilla Coke as possible. This is Ashley's third year in a leadership role and her fourth year on The Franklin staff. She previously held positions as web editor and news editor.

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