Young-Ji Cho
multimedia creative looking for her next opportunity

Blog

Ultimatums

My last post was right before the end of semester critique. Since then, classes have ended, I've come back home, and of course, the critique occurred. 

Right after our presentations, the faculty went off to discuss as a group whether they believed we could continue our theses next semester. Then, a couple days later, we got the letters of fate in our mailboxes. 

Mine read as follows: "From your presentation it was difficult to see your thesis will produce honors level work by the end of next semester. A great deal more work is needed to give the project a chance... If dramatic progress is not evident, the fall semester will be graded as a one-semester honors course which will conclude your project..."

As soon as I read those words, my heart felt like an anvil dragging my whole body down from its intense weight. I had only heard rumors from upperclassmen art majors, thought this was only a scare tactic myth, thought it would never happen to me. And yet here we were. I'd basically been given an ultimatum. A lot of emotions flew through me following that news.

I recognized that I could've, should've, produced more work this semester (hindsight is 2020, right?). I signed up for way too much and my thesis took the hit. At the same time I couldn't help but feel disheartened anyways actually reading those words and I wanted to give up. I felt pretty hopeless about my project.  But after having a very helpful, motivating conversation with my mom, I decided to shift the way I saw this situation. I imagined that if I hadn't gotten this letter, I probably would've felt satisfied with my progress and let things lull over break. This might even have been the kick I needed to get things into high gear. Which the faculty probably saw as well. This was not the faculty giving up on my project, I hope. It was them reminding me to keep working, working, working.

If you quit at the first sign of resistance, you'll forever be stagnant as a person. You learn from accepting criticism and constantly pushing yourself to do better. And I want to do better. As I've said from the beginning, I legitimately believe in my project and I want to see it come to fruition.

I know that I should've done more for my project this semester. But at the same time, I don't regret my choices. I tried my very best to manage everything in my life these last few months. For the first time in my college career, I got all A's in my classes. Camping out at the library until closing every day paid off. I survived taking finance and econ classes through HBX, proving to myself that I could handle data-driven and analytical learning. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and improved relationships with peers and mentors. I couldn't juggle everything though and unfortunately the thesis suffered a bit. But in the end I don't wish to take any of this semester back and how the timeline for my thesis has worked out. I'll just take this as part of the journey and go forth extra motivated to finish this project off. In the end, no matter what happens, I just want to be able to say I did my best. 

 

ThesisYoung-Ji ChoComment