Final senior projects have surprisingly positive impact


Photo by Vivian Pisani

Seniors Andrew Sill and William Rusiecki work on their AP Research final project where they make their course plan for college.

It’s the day of your AP exam. The entire senior year has been leading up to this day. You’ve been studying, reviewing, and preparing to take this final test. After four hours, it’s done. You’ve survived senior year and you are done with your high school education, assignments, and tests.

However, you come back the next day and every single class has assigned you a final senior project. AP Chemistry and AP Research assign a project on an in-depth presentation on courses you need to take for your major, information about internships, role models in your future field and what you need to know about the career path you want to take. AP Statistics assigned an open project where it asked us to teach statistics in a creative way. Finally, AP Literature assigned a reflection essay and a meaning of life presentation.

As these projects were assigned, there was tremendous pushback and complaints about how we seniors didn’t need any more work assigned, especially because these projects were deemed “busywork” by the students due to the fact that all of our “real work” was finished. It was our senior year and it was pretty frustrating to be assigned more after we had finished exams and everything and we needed to graduate. Initially, I was completely against all of these projects.

However, as the two weeks went by after exams, I can admit that my AP Research/AP Chemistry project was helpful in understanding my plan for going forward for the next four years of my life at Georgetown University. It did help to plan out and organize things so that I wouldn’t be as overwhelmed in the future. Even though my four-year plan could be wrong, at least it is there.

For AP Literature, I enjoyed writing the essay, as it allowed me to reflect back on my high school experience without worrying about being too formal because these projects aren’t as strict as normal assignments. The meaning of life presentation also surprised me a little. While I wish I didn’t have to present in front of the class, I did enjoy thinking about what shaped me as a child and I appreciated an opportunity to really force me to think about what I value and what I think is important for me to live a happy and fulfilled life. This included talking about my favorite movies, singers, and childhood books.

On the other hand, the AP Statistics project didn’t provide me with any insight or planning for myself. Instead, my group and I created a parody of Carly Rae Jepsen’s song “Call Me Maybe” where we made lyrics and recorded us singing about how to perform statistical hypothesis tests. The exam was done and there was no reason to do this as it didn’t offer me any benefit. I’m dreading having to play our music for the class.

Ultimately, the final senior projects incited an initial disdain because of the thought that seniors deserved to be finished with schoolwork after working hard for four years. However, since we still had to be in school anyways, the projects weren’t particularly hard, and there were positive takeaways. I liked doing them more than I thought I would.