Updated: Jun 24
This was originally posted on June 09, 2013 (as a mere showcase for my senior project at the time).
You've just come in to this page wondering "what ideas can I use for my senior project" or "I have no idea what I'm suppose to do for this project" or something between those lines and you're in one of these two situations:
You're preparing months ahead of time OR
You're currently procrastinating a few weeks or maybe on the week that it's due (that's pretty bold of you actually.
No problem! I had the very exact same issue as you since my teacher (for me at least) didn't really give out clear instructions and only showed the class some examples but not really on the how.
Each high school will have a different requirements and format on what medium you can submit and present this in such as a PowerPoint or creating a video (which everyone had to do at my school) but I promise you you will find the results you're looking for.
In this quick and easy guide for your high school senior project, I will be showing you:
How you can easily have an idea for your project using this this specific personal quality
3 examples of how this personal quality is used for senior projects
Determine if your personal quality is good enough that it will have some impact on your future career and daily life
Finding the Solution to Your Problem on Your Senior Project
So you are in either one of these two situations:
You might either have a few to tons of ideas or
You have absolutely no ideas whatsoever (in this case, me) but you might lack the direction of where your project is supposed to go.
And I have seen a bunch of projects that were random, totally weird in a bad way, and lacked a sense of direction since my teacher was pretty vague about it.
But one easy approach to solving this problem involves one simple feeling you have:
How to Find Your Exact Passion For Your Project
At some point during your time in high school, you have developed some sort of passion you enjoy doing such as extracurricular activities (volunteering or sports), developing a new hobby that involved a new circle of friends and people, or if you spent all your time in high school solely focused on academics (which I actually feel sorry for you and nearly ended up finding myself on this path also).
Regardless of what your passion is, it should showcase some sort of personality that people don't already know about yet that paints you in a positive light overall.
Think of this as a way to let colleges or a workplace get to know you personally.
Will your personality help you find a way to cooperate with people in order to solve a problem together in comparison to the other applicants who have the same generic knowledge and/or work experience as you do?
3 Examples of Showing Passion for Senior Projects
The High School Senior Who Used Music to Transformed & Became One of the Top EDM Artists in the World
The first example is a comment I found on YouTube video on one of my favorite EDM artists, Porter Robinson. It would be nice to see what exactly he did for his senior project but unfortunately, we're stuck with an anecdote from one of his classmates.
As you can see, his senior project focused on his passion and creativity with music.
Taking a look from his biography, he started producing music at the age of 12-13 (different sources say different things) and as you can expect, he continued it throughout his years in high school.
And although he was accepted into college, he wanted to take a risk and continue his opportunity in music.
Now, you can obviously see he has become well-known music artist most notable for his work on the music video Shelter which has accumulated over 50 million views.
The Gaming Streamer Who Played for Fun (When Twitch Was Still a Start-Up) and Became a Professional E-Sports Player
My 2nd example is what my friend Slooshi, aka Andrew Pham, who became a professional e-sports player before e-sports was even a thing.
For his senior project, he did a "draw my life" video (video currently not on YouTube anymore) related to e-sports, specifically on how he earned money just for playing League of Legends professionally and traveled across the Pacific Ocean to a foreign country to play in tournaments, all while he was still in high school. [Note that this was in the early 2010s which was unbelievable at the time so it definitely wasn't normal unlike today]
His passion and ability to play well in a game like League of Legends all started when he was introduced to chess around the age of 4 or so. Although I was only able to beat him only once [out of 20+ games] in 7th grade, the neuroplasticity [the flexibility in simple terms] of his brain allowed him to transfer his skills from chess onto real-time strategy games (but he's no Beth Harmon in chess).
Fun fact: Andrew originally used the name slushie because our middle school/junior high offered slushies during lunch time and we would frequently buy this ~$2 high sugar drinks offered in two different flavors from 6th to 8th grade until high school where it was not offered over there.
The Aspiring Filmmaker in High School Who is Now a Biological Scientist and Currently Focused in Utilizing Business, Psychology & the Film Industry (me)
For myself, I was becoming really passionate about film making and acting beginning my sophomore year in high school despite being socially awkward back in the day due to a strict parent whose parenting style shaped my personality while being very demanding of academics.
This all started after suffering from a brain injury before finishing my freshman year in high school. Since the injury has regressed the age mentality of my brain a bit, my mind was open to learning something new and that started with watching funny skits and short films from self-taught film makers.
I wanted to experiment on trying to make a short film using the resources available to me and negative experiences in my life as a source for my acting along with a friend who had no idea what he wanted to do for his project also (though he had a passion for music).
As you can see in this video, I had no knowledge of using cinematography (the art of camera movements) or over-the-shoulder camera angles and as I look back back at it, the video is terrible in my standards even though the video contained a bit of comedy (due to my weird personality and nature of coming up with ideas which has shaped the person I am today in terms of comedy and currently has a huge impact on my line of work for creativity).
But at least the video had direction since my friend and I both covered 1365 days of experience in school is 4 years of high school and the results of what we got out of it so it had purpose to it (more significantly in terms of experience for me though).
Flash forward to today, I'm currently involved a bit with business (self-taught) while using the knowledge from my neurobiology class as a way to further understand how human behavior works.
While I took the safe route which was graduating from college with a degree in biology to please my parents, I wanted to take a much riskier route afterwards so I am not left with any regrets.
I taught myself a lot of things along the way that schools never bother teaching you which includes self-development and proper communication with people, both casually and professionally.
All of this can easily connect to acting and marketing if you understand how the human brain works.
As for my friend, he initially wanted to be a gaming journalist for his career since he was passionate about video games.
He was a news journalist that covered political topics for a while but then shifted to writing for We Got This Covered, writing about video games, anime, and pop culture. He shows no signs of stopping as he's working his way up.
Is Your Passion Strong Enough For Your Future?
Regardless of what you're planning to do for your senior project, here is the actual truth of its purpose in my experience:
According to Wikipedia, it says that the project is supposed to give "real life experience that will help [you] in your next path in life (college, job, entrepreneurship, military, internship, etc.)" which, honestly, I think is somewhat BS.
That is barely just a scratch on the surface because in reality, going out in the real world is actually a big and scary place where a lot of things can and possibly will go wrong in life and a lot of things can go right because you can take a lot of different paths in life that are neither right nor wrong.
Your real senior project is the point where you graduate from high school and figuring out which paths to take in life while failure, the thing you've been told to avoid at all costs while in school, will be your biggest teacher and friend.
And I don't mean just in grades but in other parts of your life such as relationships and applying for jobs.
The faster (and harder, if possible) you fall down from your failures, the more you can learn from those experiences and find out what worked and what didn't and pivot based on those experiences because that is something you cannot get enough experience out of from going through years of high school.
So if you want to do your senior project right for yourself and prepare yourself for the possible outcomes of your future, even if it combines multiple ideas, be sure you can answer these questions below:
Is this idea something you're absolutely passionate about?
Will this passion continue for years to come, having some sort of impact in your life that can possibly affect your future career?
Is this passion something that provide value to other people's life, possibly changing the perspective of their own worldview?
If you cannot answer any of these questions above, will your idea at least positively benefit someone else's life to some aspect?
Follow up question: if your idea shows a positive benefit to their life, will it show the relatively same response to someone else, perhaps a teacher or any random stranger, if they were in that same situation?
If you can at least answer one of those questions above, you'll have an easier time going through life due to your own outlook on how you view life.
If the path you've chosen is not a path you liked later on, choose a different one or even better, create an entirely new one. It is totally up to you.
Unfortunately, there are things that schools, even colleges or a lot of workplaces, don't teach you which are vital to your future success in your career and in daily life which shows the failure of the US education system.
As what John D. Rockefeller wanted when he created the US public education system and expecting us to regurgitate information being taught to us on exams which we may eventually forget over time:
So self-education can be a major factor in determining your future success since it's more likely to give you practical skills in life compared to being in a classroom where you just use it for school (looking at AP Government which didn't count towards college credit for my high school 👀).
If you're interested in looking for some way to prepare and improve your perspective and your life's future, be sure to check out my post on: