Currently, I am struggling with my Senior History Capstone Thesis paper. Never in my life have I had so much trouble coming up with a topic, finding resources and getting started in general! Honestly, I can’t even tell you why this is being so difficult. I’ve written dozens of papers and never had a minute’s trouble with them. I love to write and I enjoy research of historical topics.  Not sure what is different about this one.

     Unless your professor tells you otherwise your topic for most any paper is usually not set in stone. If you get stuck with an idea you thought sounded good but find you simply can’t work with it, it is okay to go back to square one and find a different topic. In fact, this is what I had to do to begin dealing with my paper. I started with one specific idea. Couldn’t find primary sources, couldn’t find scholarly sources, finally found some great primary sources but they led me in a different direction thus causing me to change my topic. Alas, this didn’t work out and I kept some of the sources but changed my topic focus. *sigh* this also did not work out — the secondary sources were too elusive. SO, yesterday, I stumbled upon a gold mine of sources for my original topic idea!

     Anyway, even though, I have turned in an Annotated Bibliography and a rough draft for the second and third ideas I had for my paper, I am back to square one with my original idea. In this case, the already-turned-in and graded works won’t make a difference in my changing back to the original topic. Also, my professor was much more enthusiastic about this new, old topic than he was over the second/third ideas. Sometimes, when something is not working , we have to go back to square one and begin again. There is no reason to struggle with something if we don’t have to. It is okay to make several attempts until we get it right. Better to let go of something that is not working than to keep struggling with it and do poorly on it. All that will do is waste a lot of your valuable time and cause you a great deal of unnecessary stress. [NOTE: I would NOT recommend this approach every time you are working on a paper. I am specifically talking about ONE instance of the paper just not working for me when all the other times things have gone smoothly when I’ve written papers. They are NOT supposed to be easy, we are supposed to have to put in time and effort!]

     I’m writing this whole blog on campus this time. So , although, the cats are undoubtedly hungry {a constant state with them} I do not have to rush off to feed them. SO, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce you to them.

cat1Meet Elton J. Tomkitten! He recently celebrated his fifth birthday! He weighs over 25 pounds and is close to 3 feet long. He likes to help me with my homework by chewing on the corners of any history book I happen to attempt to read in his presence. He also watches television–especially any show about WWII or the Revolutionary War.


cat2 And this little lady is Pink Floyd. She is our Maine Coon Cat. Age unknown as she adopted us one day. We have had her for around 7 years now. She is kinda stupid but very lovable.


Gotta go for now. I’ll feed the cats when I get home!


phoebePhoebe E. 
Class of 2016
Major: History
Minor: English
Blog Theme: Trials and Triumphs 
of a Non-Traditional Student...

Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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