Brittany Jackson, Copy Editor
You would think that seniors at Pacific Lutheran University would bond over the grueling and tiresome process known as capstone. While some do, others selfishly take part in what I call Capstone Shaming.
As part of the general university requirements, every student must complete a capstone course in order to graduate. Yet even with this universal requirement, some students still trivialize the work of their fellow Lutes by making comments such as “my capstone class is harder than yours.”
While the content and even process of each capstone varies by department, every capstone still has the same core: research, a lot of work and a presentation.
As an English major, I am fed up with students in other departments criticizing my capstone because at the heart of that critique is something even more offensive: that my major somehow has less value than yours.
Whether you’re joking or not, labeling someone’s capstone as “easy” is essentially discrediting all of the hard work they have done on a project that is representative of their learning experience at PLU. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, that makes you a jerk.
Just because you took that one “easy” literature class doesn’t make the whole department easy and it definitely doesn’t give you authority to comment on a capstone class that you are not taking.
It’s not just me who has experienced this type of shaming. Senior kinesiology major Hannah Fry said it’s irritating when students in different majors say they have harder capstone classes.
“It’s all relative,” Fry said. “Something that seems simple to you might hold more weight [for someone else] because it’s their capstone.”
However, I’m not totally unreasonable. I understand that complaining about capstone is a necessary cathartic release. However, there’s a difference between groaning about your own project and degrading someone else’s.
I’ve found that there is some strange belief that if you enjoy your capstone, that somehow makes it easy. Just because I enjoy meeting with my capstone class twice a week doesn’t make preparing a 25-page essay and a presentation for the entire English department easy. It makes it more enjoyable. See the difference?
As senior finance major Zach Blakeslee pointed out, the ease of a capstone course is based solely on the person taking it.
“I don’t really care [about capstone shaming],” Blakeslee said. “I just know they’re cramming because they probably didn’t do enough research. I’ve done all the work.”
So the next time you think you’re the only one up late feverishly writing an extra page or scouring through journal articles, remember, you’re not alone. ◼︎