As a Sociology major, I just spent the last six months working on my senior thesis and preparing for my oral examination. Whitman requires all graduating seniors to complete some sort of senior project, but each major does it a little differently. All seniors are required to do oral exams, but different fields of study have different requirements for exams or written thesis.
I loved writing my thesis. It was exhilarating to choose a topic that was interesting to me and dedicate so much time and energy to one project. I was able to use everything I’ve learned in the past four years at Whitman and demonstrate how far I’ve come. Before this year, when I heard about seniors doing their final projects, I was terrified. There was no way I was going to write a thesis. And yet here I am, six months later, with a ninety-nine page document that is entirely my own work. It’s wonderful to feel proud and empowered by seeing how far I’ve come at Whitman.
For my senior thesis I interviewed non-heterosexually identified college-aged men and women about their conceptions of having children. My thesis topic was my own idea – a combination of personal experience and academic interest. I conducted my own primary research along with a hefty amount of background research on my topic. My work was methodical and based on my classes in research methodology, social theory, and data analysis. It was exciting to be doing the work that I read about it in countless Sociology articles over the years. And now I have my own bound copy of my thesis sitting on my desk, filled with my own words and the hours and hours I dedicated to this project.