You’ve finally made it to your senior year of high school. It’s bittersweet, and the only thing standing between you and the rest of your life is graduation. You can already imagine yourself strutting in that decorated cap and gown holding your diploma in your hands. You’re applying to schools and jobs, thinking about your future, and enjoying your final year with your friends at the top of the school. You feel invincible, unstoppable even, and just can’t wait to get the hell out to start this new chapter of your life. *Record scratch* But wait — what about that senior project deadline?!
Whether you’re looking to go straight to college, travel, take a gap year or find a job straight out of high school, it’s so vital to choose a senior project that will make you stand out in whatever you do. Sure, you could always pull something together last-minute like most high school assignments (admit it, we’ve all been there before), but why not create a project that’s resume-worthy and on something you’re passionate about? If you’re searching for ideas, don’t fret. Here are five senior project ideas that will get those creative juices flowing and surely make you stand out.
- Volunteer somewhere local
No matter where you live or what your career path is, you should always volunteer to help people, places and organizations that could use your time. Why not center your senior project around this? Volunteering is a great way to expose yourself to narratives other than your own, introduce you to new people and give back to your community.
If you’re unsure where to look, start by making a list of 10 things you’re passionate about. From there, Google places around your area that correspond with your passions and make some phone calls! Some great volunteering ideas are beach clean-ups, animal shelters and clinics, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, your local library and children’s hospitals. If you can’t find the time to volunteer, you can always work with an organization to set up a donation campaign and raise money for the cause!
- Join political campaigns or activist groups
Contrary to popular belief, you are NEVER too young to get involved with politics. You may not be old enough to vote yet, but you’re never too young to work on a campaign. Historically, youth voter turnout has always been significantly low and recent trends show bigger turnout but still show some room for improvement. Rally your friends and peers to get involved on political campaigns and encourage youth voters to show up at the polls!
Even if you don’t ever plan on working in politics, your local politicians still play a big role in your life and govern policies that directly affect you. Research the politicians in your district or state and see how you can get involved. Making phone calls, canvassing (going door to door), running social media accounts and standing outside polling stations are great ways to start off. Saying you got to work on a political campaign and encourage people to vote will surely make colleges and employers have their eyes on you.
- Create a podcast series
Let’s face it: We’re the social media generation. Why not use social networking to our advantage? Podcasts of all kinds are HUGE right now. The best part is that there are so many topics to choose from: food, beauty, lifestyle, crime, politics—you name it! For your senior project, you’ll want to talk about something engaging and meaningful to an audience. Look for causes or organizations that matter to you and discuss to problems they face, where people can donate, how to get involved, and why this issue is important to you and overall. You can discuss solutions and see if you can get a representative to speak as a guest! This not only would be an amazing way to network, but a really meaningful project that would make a real impact.
Not everyone is comfortable being in front of a camera or great at editing videos. This is why podcasts are so amazing. You can use free services like Anchor to host your podcast and then upload episodes to streaming platforms like iTunes, Spotify and Google! Make a list of ideas or topics that inspire you and start a series around one of those topics for your project! You can have guest speakers, add in music and sound effects, and even get your friends involved.
- Make a change in your school
Whether you love or hate your high school, nobody’s school is perfect and there’s always something to complain about. Whether it’s the broken tampon dispensers or unhealthy cafeteria food, there is always room for improvement. Why not focus on making your school a better place for those that come after you?
Talk to your teachers and other students about what they believe to be major issues at the school and start creating a plan for finding and executing a solution. Your plan can be protesting an injustice with your peers, making a presentation to the student council or school board, or even writing a letter to someone who you think will help. Talk with your principals, deans and even reach out to the Board of Education to help facilitate a plan of action and why this problem is so important and needs fixing. This project doesn’t have to be monumental, so think small but mighty! Working on having free tampons in all the women’s bathrooms is a great place to start. There are schools already looking to have readily available access to tampons on campus like Boston University.
Another great idea is making your school greener. No, we’re not talking about painting your school green, we’re talking about encouraging your school to recycle and limit the amount of plastic utensils, cups, and straws they bring in every year. Do your research and take surveys from students about the amount of plastic thrown away at your school and make a plan of action. Creating a presentation about the benefits from switching to paper from plastic is a great way to make use of your senior project and make the earth a cleaner place.
- Apply a book to your life
We all have a book that we love and live by, and centering your senior project around that is the perfect idea for student creatives. Use ideas and concepts from your favorite book to make an impact in your own life or others around you.
For example, Chimamanda Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists is a great book that could be considered for this idea. Adichie’s book discusses why everyone should be for equality and the advancement of women. Another book idea is Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay that explores the complications of being feminist when you may like things that seem to be the opposite. If you want to make this fun, you could even use a fictional book and choose characters that you resonate with to discuss and explain why these qualities are impactful. Creating a presentation, writing an essay, or performing a poem about a book, how is resonates with you and why others should live by it as well is a fun way to both make this project meaningful to you and inspire others.
Hopefully your senior project isn’t due next week (if it is, good luck), and that you have plenty of time to start drafting out your project ideas. Your senior project doesn’t have to be boring and a waste of time. In fact, it can be a way to explore what you’re passionate about and make a real impact in your own life and community. Senioritis is real and that deadline will arrive before you know it.
Hopefully one of these five ideas ignited a spark in your motivation to get started. So sit down, grab a snack, and begin your first steps into a senior project that will give you that A and a double-take on your resume!