I wrapped up my fall semester yesterday. I’d like to say that it felt good, but I actually ended the day in tears. Not cool Allie, not cool.
I headed to campus to present my senior research project, which is kind of a big deal at Penn State. I wasn’t too nervous because I had practiced the presentation almost every day since Thanksgiving, and wrote a 46 page paper on my topic.
The presentation went well. I had a decent-sized audience, and I feel as though I had handled questions well after my 10 minute presentation. After I was finished, two of my communications professors asked the audience to leave so they could finish asking me questions, give me my grade, and make any last comments.
I received an A on the paper, presentation, and all other class work. I was happy, but then my professors gave me some comments. The comments weren’t really on my research project, though.
“You turn all of your work in early and we never have to worry about you, but you need to let your work sit sometimes. You need to be okay with leaving work unfinished, and it seems as if you do things just to get them done.”
“You are a great student, and a good candidate for graduate school. I don’t recommend that you go to grad school until you find something you’re passionate about because students who don’t bring passion into grad school just get burnt out.”
I know that my professors meant their comments as constructive criticism, but that doesn’t take away the sting. I’m a journalism major, and to hear my professor say that he didn’t think I’m passionate about my work and writing makes me second guess myself, my abilities, and my work.
I have always turned in school work early to show how committed and passionate I am about my academic career. Every time I receive an assignment, and I have at it. I love to learn, write, and tackle new challenges. I had no idea that my professors believe I rush through things just to get them done.
It was hard to hear those comments from my professors because I have always looked up to both of them. It made me realize, though, that I shouldn’t be seeking human approval in life. I should only be looking to please God. It’s always hard for me to realize that people that I look up to will hurt me and let me down. No one is perfect, and that’s just life.
So I got in my truck, drove home, and had a good cry.
So yeah, that’s where I am right now. I’m happy that the semester is over–it was honestly the toughest semester I have ever had–and I’m just processing everything that was said yesterday.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post about this, but I like to keep things real on my blog. My life isn’t perfect, and I struggle sometimes. I’m always learning, and I love to share experiences like this one so that I can hear from readers and look back on this in the future.
Hopefully my next post will be a bit more happy and not so Debbie Downer-ish ;-)