We know from Day 1 that as seniors, we’re required to complete a thesis. For me, that word itself has proven to be scarier than actually completing the task. From sophomore year to now, I’ve heard about the long hours and the dozens of pages that would need to be written and researched in order for this near-impossible requirement to be satisfied. But luckily, I’ve found that half of those frightful stories aren’t even true. For me, at least.
As a Communications major, my final project consists of two parts. One, a creative project that shows my expertise in my field, and two, a written research and analysis paper that also shows my understanding of the major and its theories. I know that sounds like a bunch of liberal-arts mumbo-jumbo, but it’s not.
Simplified, I have to come up with a really fantastic piece of art and a paper on a theory. Sounds a lot like what I’ve been doing my entire college career, right? RIGHT.
When I started the process, I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about time management and having the best idea, but I’ve learned that this entire thesis adventure is about trial and error (hopefully not too much error). I decided to combine my love of writing with the medium that influenced me to become a writer — children’s books. I would create a concept for a book series that would speak to young children just like all the books I read growing up.
Then reality set in. I had never written a book, and writing for children proved to be harder than I thought it would be. I had to choose an audience, an age group, and be sure that the words I used fit those readers. Finally, I had a book…. Well, I had words. Then, it was time to find my illustrator. I searched locally, internationally and even at Arcadia, but I wasn’t able to find a match. And then it hit me via an Instagram post. An illustrator had somehow snuck onto my friend’s list. Fast forward a few weeks and Tiffany Neal and I had created a book! I was excited, but alas, another roadblock. Someone suggested to me that I have the book printed and published, and not just in an online format for thesis presentations. This is where my research began. I looked into independent publishing, large publishing and finally learned about self-publishing. I formatted my new book and waited exactly 5 business days for it to show up on my doorstep, where I did the happiest happy dance I could choreograph.
My book titled “Mind Your Manners” is here at last and it’s so perfect! I’m even considering putting it on the market and, hopefully, as a bonus, I’ll get an A+ for my creative portion of senior thesis.